Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Happy End to House Hunting

Just a little over a week ago Major Man and I decided to see if we could get approved for a mortgage. We're in Canada (as many of you may know) so the rules are a little different than in the US. We're not facing a mortgage crisis of any magnitude though the market is softening considerably.

We discovered that the Government was putting some rule changes into effect on Oct 15th. Taking away the 40 year amoritization and the "no money down" option, though you can still withdraw from your RRSP to put money down on a home and you have 15 years to pay that money back. Easily done when you contribute regularly.

The government wants to avoid what is happening in the US so I'm glad that they are making these changes. It would mean that we'd be years away from owning a home though. Since Major Man was finally in a good job and I have a long term job, we figured we'd give pre-qualification a shot. We were more than mildly surprised to learn that we qualified for a decent mortgage. This was last Thursday, the 4th.

We about 20 homes in one week and yesterday we signed the paperwork to buy one! Boy, that was quick! We looked at it twice, first it was just me, then I brought my husband. The couple who owns it now has lived there for 42 years. It is in pristine condition. The deal currently hinges on the home inspection, but I can almost guarantee that there will be no surprises there. The house was immaculate. One of the coolest things was that this couple bought everything brand new in the 60s and they did NOT replace anything. They fixed and maintained. Everything is original except the white carpet in the front that covers the original hardwood.

Have a little look-see:

Just walking up, you can see that it's got a nice front yard, very clean.
There's a carport, no garage.
We really don't need a garage, neither of us 'tinker' in there!

The bathroom is awesome in green, lol.
But look! Dual sinks!

The light is pretty good in the master bedroom.
Inside the closet was a 75 pound turquoise green vacuum cleaner.

This room nearly did me in.
Look at the retro walls!
The bar! Glass on the wall!
The fireplace is a fake electric one. Love it.
(But, uh, those walls are getting painted!)

The backyard was beautifully maintained.
Gas firepit!

There's also a fenced off garden.
There are many bunnies in the neighbourhood, so I'm glad there's a fence.

Note that the cooktop, fridge and oven (which you can't see here) are ORIGINAL.
There are buttons on the cooktop to turn on the burners.
The inside of the fridge? Turquoise green of course!
With an "icebox"!

Do you see how shiny that floor is??

This will be a reading area.
The kids can eat in the kitchen.
No eating on the white carpet.
Punishment: disem-Nintendo-ment.

They've offered (and we TOTALLY ACCEPTED) to let us keep their floral couch and chair.

What keeps sticking out in my mind is that for so long I thought that home ownership was a fantasy, I'd never own a home. If anyone is fighting their way through debt, divorce, single-parenthood and feeling stressed, let me tell you: IT GETS BETTER. You can do it!

I feel incredibly lucky to be moving in to this home that has nurtured a family for 42 years. The couple who we bought it from had cards from their recent 50th anniversary proudly displayed. Did you hear that honey? Only 47 more years for us.

And the best part? If you look at this picture, you can see how close the house is to TWO schools. Army Boy attends the elementary on the right, while the junior high school is on the left. In the bottom left hand corner is the community centre. This big field is also where we play soccer every summer! Location! Location! Location!

Now, to start the packing . . .

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