What'd we do this weekend? We bought a new house, a brand freaking new house, closing Aug 28th (two days after our first anniversary).
It ended up being more than we planned to spend, and things will be quite tight at first but we're so excited we're seeing stars. The stars could also be because I'm having trouble breathing, but you get the idea.
In a post last weekend I thought we had the model house all worked out, but some lacking of key details from the "sales" person meant that that house didn't come with the features we wanted (4 piece ensuite) and came with ones we wouldn't really use (cold cellars are great but we weren't interested in spending $2500 for one at this point).
What the sales person neglected to tell us (after we went on about definitely requiring a 4 piece ensuite) was that the one being built was a 3 piece ensuite, that things could not be changed, and that the model being built that we planned to buy had tons of things we didn't really need as upgrades. This was something she told us about AS we were ready to sign on the dotted line. Which meant our choice was to stick with the house we planned to buy and just wait 6 or 7 more months or we could move up a step and go with a bigger place entirely.
The not-so-obvious aside here is that if you're in sales you should try to sell things to people, things they've expressed an interest in, and you should probably endeavour to answer their questions, or at least pretend that the answer you plan to give matters to you, and you should know what's being built currently and don't leave out important information. But that's the aside.
So, the dilemma became wait for house we wanted an additional 6-7 months or get next model up and move this summer as planned. We decided to take the dogs for a walk along the conservation area adjoining the houses and talk about it. When we got there there were kids playing shinny on the pond (that'd be pond hockey for the uninitiated) which just about made my heart melt. I remember learning to skate on a frozen pond and on backyard rinks and somehow the idea of teaching our kids to skate on just such a pond is exciting for me. That walk we took a few months ago with the dogs that left lost in the most awesome cedar forest with a little creek and soaked through to the bone from a sudden rainstorm? It's less than a two minute walk from our new digs. This time next year I can probably be playing shinny on a pond with the neighbour's kids and get my ass kicked by 5 year olds who skate better than me. How freaking cool would that be? I had a chat with a new neighbour (he he he!) and he was telling us how quiet the neighbourhood is and how much he loves taking his mountain bike into the conservation area in the summer and how many kids there are in the area.
I think that's what made the decision easier for us and we signed on the dotted line (multiplied by several thousand copies it seemed) and advised the sales lady that an "indigo blue" door would not in fact be a "greeney-blue."
Here's the floorplan. Please note that I just about drool when I read phrases like "main floor sunken laundry" and "four piece ensuite" and "second floor balcony." Four bedrooms will be big enough for us for years to come.
So, conditional on financing and our lawyer's stamp of approval (Hi Kevin!) Here's our new floor plan. Please note that any of the closets on the second floor are bigger than our current bathroom.
Now all we have to do is sell our current house. As with most 65 year old houses the basement isn't perfect, so we're ripping up the carpet someone laid to hide the little moisture seepages (which make mold and mildew! ew!) and scrubbing the walls clean and patching and painting and bleaching every surface. Once that's done (and wow will it be a job) we have to work on a couple holes in the lathe and plaster kitchen, rip the wallpaper down from the bathroom, and paint and sand the upstairs bedrooms. We're going to rent a storage locker for our excessive stuff (like the king sized bed that barely fits in the room, christmas trees, and a whack of Dave's books and art) and then listing it (or selling it ourselves). The really awesome neighbour down the street will refinish our floors for dirt cheap and that should make it sell faster. It's a great house - full of character and very well built, and we've made lots of important improvements (no more brown vinyl wallpaper, fuses instead of breakers, much nicer decor) but since we're eventually planning on kids which will make it seem even smaller when that time comes than it already is. It will be sad saying goodbye to our first home, its gorgeous cedar-lined back yard, the one we spent weeks searching for, but I'm looking forward to all the features the new place will have, including being a stone's throw from a great conservation area and trails.