If you know me personally or have read any of my posts you’ll know that I’m madly in love with my house, or at least I was in love. Over the Christmas holidays when we had plenty of time to ourselves while our daughter napped, my husband I got serious about finances and our impending adoption. It’s interesting, we have been considering a move for over 6 months but the houses we were interested in prior to the holidays were all bigger and better, and with much larger price tags. Thankfully, we didn’t act on any of those homes we saw 6 months ago because in fact, after evaluating what we plan on doing once our adoption is finalized we came to the conclusion that we actually wanted to downsize. There are a lot of financial reasons for the downsize, but mainly, I am hoping to be able to stay home for at least a year once our daughter is in Canada and parental leaves in Canada only allow for 34 weeks. We aren’t sure what the adoption will bring and we both feel that we need to be prepared to spend more time at home with both girls if that’s what’s best. If the goal is to ensure that the family is taken care of we both felt that we needed a home where I didn’t feel like our finances were making me rush back to the classroom before the family was ready.
Once we had decided that yes, a downsize was in order, we got to it. We hired a realtor whom we have worked with in the past, cleaned our closets, got rid of some junk and then listed it. We were a little worried considering the current market. The housing market in Calgary is definitely not where it was last year at this time and we were trying to sell in a buyers market. To our surprise the day it was listed we had 4 showings and one of those couples put an offer in 3 days later. We had to concede a little on the price, but if our goal was to actually downsize in terms of mortgage we needed to take the offer. We had a conditional sale within 6 days of listing and a firm sale within 12 days. Our buyers take possession April 10th and so we were a little pressed for time in terms of buying something.
Honestly, we didn’t even start looking seriously until we had a firm sale. We were a little worried that we would fall in love with a home and not be able to put in a strong offer with our other home still sitting on the market, so we waited. Once everything was signed we spent two weekends looking at homes. The first, my husband went alone with the realtor as I was sicker than a dog. He was less than optimistic when he came home that first Sunday. The next weekend we lined up 12 houses for Friday and again were disappointed. At that point we figured what the heck and left Calgary and headed up to the mountains for the weekend assuming nothing of interest would come available that weekend. Of course, on the way up to my parents home in Radium BC something does come available that peeks our interest. We quickly texted our realtor and asked him if he wouldn’t mind going to look at the home and doing a FaceTime tour for us during the scheduled open house. Needless to say, we put an offer in without ever seeing it in person and unfortunately we lost the home to another buyer. We were upset. Actually, upset doesn’t even being to describe how we were feeling. We were feeling duped. The other offer used the same realtor and we felt that it was an unfair advantage. We had even asked over list, which in this market is crazy. Determined to find something we created a new list of 15 homes to see and expanded our search. We packed up our stuff and headed home early from the mountains hopeful that something in the next group would catch our eye. The following day our realtor called bright and early. To everyone’s surprise the deal from the previous night and previous buyers fell through and the house was back on the market. We headed over and put another offer in, this time having actually toured the home. Of course, the offer was accepted!
Although I will miss our current bungalow and backyard, there are some pros to this new house that we can’t deny. It’s a bigger home. Yes, we did find something bigger for a lower price tag. It’s a split, which means that we can actually talk at a decent volume once the kids go to bed without fear of waking them. It has a walkout basement. It has a mountain view and a downtown view. Lastly, it’s a 5 minute walk from my parents which means a 5 minute walk for Mia to get to her grandparents house. There’s even a park in the middle where we could meet. Some of the cons are that it needs some TLC, and by some I mean a lot. The home has been well used and so it’s not exactly what I would call move-in ready, and the laundry room is off of the main bath. Looking at it as whole; however, there are definitely more pros than cons, so it’s perfect! We take possession April 2nd and have a laundry list of things to do before our actual move-in date of the 8th. Before the 8th we are hoping to:
- paint the entire interior of the house including the baseboards and new doors
- re-finish the main level floors
- re-carpet the basement
- install new window coverings
After we move in and before the summer we would like to:
- paint the exterior brick and trim
- install air conditioning
- spray the kitchen cupboards
It’s a long to-do list, but I know that once we complete these projects the house will just feel so much more like us. Now with 5 weeks until the move we are busy packing. We have packed and unpacked so many times that we should be pros, but we aren’t. We have a few boxes that we have never opened in the 3 years since we lived here and I plan on not bringing any of that crap with us to this home. So, we are in the process of sorting our junk and selling it or giving it away. Once we have sorted through our crap and hopefully unloaded several hundred pounds of stuff we will start the packing process. This move will be systemic and I will definitely be posting my how to’s for an effective move, so stay tuned!