I have a little secret.
It’s actually a big secret. A secret that only a handful of people know.
And one that I may get a lot of flack for upon disclosure.
But it’s too juicy to keep it in.
And it’s long overdue to come out.
So here it is:
We bought a house.
I didn’t want to say anything during our house hunting process because, frankly, I don’t want anybody’s opinions (my money, my life), least of all those of a few of uneducated, bitter, chauvinistic bloggers who have nothing better to do than comment on my posts and call me HGTV-Horny Youth Corps (props on catchy phrase, anyway). (P.S. I don’t have cable. Kthnx)
Blahblahblah Vancouver housing market blah blah, criticize, hate mail… etc
Anyway, for those of you who aren’t here to be a hater (which is most of you, I know), let’s get into the exciting details!
Our NEW HOUSE
I’m not going to tell you how much we paid for the house because it’s none of your business and I think that opens us up for scrutiny and people telling us how to spend our money but, here is what I will tell you:
We got a great price for our house, mainly because of a couple of problems with it that are completely fixable and that J could do himself at a fraction of the cost of the quotes we got.
The house was first listed $129,000 above what we bought it for. Needless to say, the market is not amazing in the area we live in right now and it sat on the market until the people that owned it (investors) had to drop the price by almost $100,000 to get any serious, good offers.
We negotiated it first down $10,000 under the listing price. Once we did that, and started to do all of the inspections and problems started cropping up, we got them down another $10,000.
The value of the land far supersedes even the price we bought the house at, but the investors were desperate and we were willing to jump and it worked sharply in our favor.
And, yes, it was within our budget.
In my post from August about what we wanted in a house, I listed the following things. See beside the bullet in orange for whether or not we got it:
- A plot of land 8,000+ sq feet | Yes, our land is 8500 sq feet
- A two story house (for a basement suite = rental income) OR a house with a detached garage/carriage house | Yes, our home has three stories and one that has a separate entrance
- 3+ bedrooms | Yes, our home has four
- Good bones (no hazards) | Our home had one hazard – which we are fixing prior to moving in
- Quiet street | Our home is a corner lot, on the corner of a quiet street and a busier road (but not SUPER busy)
No house is perfect, including ours. We definitely learned that the hard way.
We had an inspection which uncovered that the roof badly needed to be redone. For that, we negotiated $5,000 upon closing to redo it. J can do it for under $2,000 but it would normally cost around $5-6K so that’s what was negotiated.
The inspection also uncovered the possibility of asbestos in the vermiculite insulation in the attic. We had the insulation tested, and it came back positive for asbestos. We went back to the drawing board and negotiated them down again for the removal and this will be removed and the air tested and all will be safe before we move in.
Our possession date is at the beginning of January, which is a quick turn around time and to which we attribute being able to get a better price.
That means that as soon as we signed the papers, we came back to our apartment and packed a bunch of boxes. We won’t be able to get much packing done next week because we work all week followed by going out of town for Christmas.
We want to fix the roof right away for maximum comfort, and we have the asbestos people coming in to clear the harmful material out before we move in, so we’ve been all hands on deck with the research and costing and planning and (to be honest) freaking out.
Anybody who is a even not-so-long reader of this blog knows that I am a big – nay, huge – proponent of home ownership and that I’ve dreamed of this for so, so long.
I’ve always wanted a house and, more to the point, somewhere that I can land after a long, hard day. Somewhere I can cook and entertain and let my dogs out to play. A place that is actually MY home, not somebody else’s home that I’m renting. I’ve always dreamed of quiet, and ticking clocks and hot tea with a book, and family dinners and Christmas traditions and lawn mowing and garden watering and barbecues on the sundeck.
But I’m also overwhelmed. If I’m being honest. Which I think is important.
After years of apartment living and not having to clean and maintain anything above the bare minimum, and not worrying about repairs or value or even the color of the walls..it’s just going to be a big adjustment.
I’m the first to admit that and I’m not in denial over the whole thing; I know the differences between renting an apartment and owning a 2500 sq foot home and being landlords will be vast. I know that I’m giving up a lot of my spare time and money. But I don’t see that as a bad thing and maybe I’ll change my mind when we have to mow a huge lawn and pull up weeds and repair the dishwasher and pay the heating bill, but for now I’m excited and ready.
I’m going to probably do a video tour when we move in or post a ton of pictures once the house comes down from the MLS. I’m nothing if not paranoid. So bear with me!
Did you first buy a house or a condo or a townhouse? Was it a big adjustment to own rather than renting?