We bought a house.
Not a very big house, but an average size house, with an average size back yard and average size rooms but it has a very big tub and honestly, there are days when the only thing that could possibly salvage the day is a long, hot bath and having the room to stretch out and wiggle my toes is worth every single penny I have and will ever earn.
We started casually but sort of seriously looking at houses a couple of weeks ago and on the 3rd of May we went to the bank to be pre-approved for a mortgage. We were in Niagara that weekend for our anniversary and spent a lot of time in the hotel room’s very big tub which only furthered my desire for such a tub then Tay went to Chicago on business for a couple of days and when he got back Tuesday night, I had already booked an appointment for us to see a place in Mississauga near where our friends Dave and Jackie live. We didn’t like that particular house but we did like the agent and when she called to follow up with me last Friday, I agreed to let her email me some other listings.
On Saturday we went and saw a place on her list that was having an open house and I fell in love with the place – so much so that we decided to have her come see the place with us again the following day – one, to get her opinion of the property and two, to give her a better idea of what it was we considered the perfect house. We went to a couple of other open houses on Sunday and still didn’t see anything we liked as much as the first house so we’d pretty much agreed that we’d put an offer in on it Monday night when they were taking offers. We were kind of hesitant about putting in an offer on one of the first places that we’d seen, especially since it was $40K over what we had agreed on as a budget but it was such a beautiful house…with so much light and a finished basement and a great location that it was hard to pass up.
Tay and I talked more Sunday night and we agreed that he should go out with the agent on Monday to look at a few more potentials just in case there was another perfect house out there.
And, as our luck would have it, there was.
The house (like the first one we’d decided on) is in Mississauga – but more west then where we are now. Not nearly as busy as our area and more culturally diversified I’m guessing from what I’ve seen, which was very important to me. Walking distance (1.5km) to the new train station opening in the fall, 2km to the grocery store I like that has a Goodlife, walking distance to our good friends Dave and Jackie.
It has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a finished basement (with a finished laundry room that includes a front loading washer, sink, dryer and space for a deep freezer and a 3pce bathroom). The main floor has 9 foot ceilings and crown molding with a gas fireplace in the living/dining room combination. Most of the house is painted in very warm, soft colors (yellows and oranges) and the kitchen is all beech which will look great with stainless steel appliances when we get around to buying them but until we do, the house comes with all the appliances.
I really, really wanted a place that didn’t need a lot of work – after living in our current house for over 8 years, we really wanted a place that was in move in condition. This place is exactly that – in fact, the only things we might change is to take out the carpet in the living/dining room and put down very dark, dark brown wood flooring (even if its just laminate) and I want to paint the upstairs bedrooms and the ensuite bath (there’s Mickey mouse painted on the walls in the boy’s room and Winnie the pooh in the little girls room :). At some point I’ll want to do small renos in the master bath – do the shower in glass so its less claustrophobic.
Tay first saw the house around noon Monday, took photos and sent me the link so I could see the house. I was convinced that the other place was still THE place, but I went to see the house at 7pm Monday night…and discovered I was wrong because this place was THE place not the other one, and by 7:30 we were sitting in the Tim Horton’s signing the offer.
Putting in the offer was so utterly nerve-wracking I can barely describe it. The house was on the market for 40 days, then dropped $15,000 in price. We offered $10K below the new asking price because we thought we could and there was such a long closing (early August). Around 8pm our agent went over to present our offer and we went to Dave and Jackie’s to wait to hear. Around 8:15 she called to tell us that before she could get there, the selling agent received a call notifying her of another registered offer and that the other agent was on his way to present the offer.
We had to decide within a few minutes if we were to leave our offer as is, or up it in case the other offer was more competitive. Taylor asked me what I wanted to do…and not wanting to lose the house, I suggested we offer asking +$100 (we’ve seen a lot of house sell at $100 above asking). Drove back over to the property, scribbled our initials on the changes, watched the other agent pull up and do the same thing with his client in the car and went back to D&J’s to wait some more (Tay told me to give them the finger as we drove past, but I didn’t as much as I wanted too ;). That half an hour or so at D&Js was the longest half an hour ever. I tossed down a glass of wine and sat on the edge of my seat. When the phone rang, I stuck my fingers in my ears cause I didn’t want to hear.
Their counter offer was $2500 above our offer/their asking price with the closing pushed back about a week. Tay originally didn’t want to go above asking, but I didn’t want to start looking all over again (we would have missed the window to put an offer in on the other place), so I barely blinked at the $2,500 and told him we should accept it. We hopped back into the car, drove over, and sat with the couple selling the house while the signed the offer and we initialled the changes. At the price we paid, the house is still below market value and will increase in value when the new station opens. From the sounds of it, the couple chose us ultimately because of our age, our ability to make a fast decision (the other people had seen the place over a week ago), and our agent’s history with their agent.
Yesterday was a very long day as we waited for our financing to go through, especially since we’d removed the clause that said our offer was on condition of financing. When I got home from work around 9:30 last night Tay told me that we’d been approved for our financing, we were just waiting on the mortgage insurance to go through. We popped a bottle of champagne and crossed our fingers that the rest would work out. I got the call around noon today while at work – everything was approved, we were good to go, we had the money for a house and a very healthy mortgage.
But after all the stress, all the hours on MLS, all the discussions, all the budgeting, after the roller-coaster of emotion that we went through when the offer was submitted on Monday, all of that was worth it because on August 20th, we’re going to have the keys for the door below and the home beyond it? It’s going to be OURS.