Since moving to Alberta, we have been renting an acreage. Having 2 dogs 2 BIG dogs made it difficult to find an apartment. Never the less we were blessed to find a place to live on short notice, but it was taking a toll on our financial well being and restricting what we were able to do for and with our children. Rent was not cheap, and the bills?? WOW! We were paying over $200 a month for gas and $150 for electric… EVERY MONTH! And more in the winter!! After 2 years we finally made the decision to make it official and become home owners.
No one really tells you how much of a roller coaster buying your first house really is. Watching that reno show with the “brothers” makes buying a house seem so easy (although I think having a great realtor who knows what they are doing makes the difference). During our first round, we found a house that we fell in love with and wanted to put in an offer IMMEDIATELY, without really doing our research about the area or without considering the space and how it would work for our family, especially since at that point we were only 1 month away from the arrival of Mr. Grey. ( Find out what other mistakes to avoid. See my 4 Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Your First Home post)
We were caught up with the lipstick and mascara right of the bat! ( The pretty stuff like floors and shiny appliances.) None the less, we put in an offer with conditions on financing and inspection and the ping pong game began! We went back and forth and back and forth trying to come to a settlement on the numbers… it was the worst! After a while I started to loose interest in the house. It was taking way too much energy out of me worrying if the seller was going to accept our offer. At the last minute financing fell though and we lost the house. Funny enough, I wasn’t devastated, probably more relieved! My thoughts were… “If it were meant to be… it would have happened!”
With that fiasco behind us, we gave the house hunting a rest… and focused more on preparing for Mr. Grey’s arrival. Seven months later, Mr. Grey is here, I was on Maternity EI and the finances were hurting and buying a house came up again. Staying where we were wasn’t an option anymore, so back on the hunt we went, and this time with a baby in tow! We looked at a few houses within our price range and within our beloved town, but nothing seemed to be tugging on our heart strings. I think for me, I really liked the idea of a fixer upper that we could really make our own, but the reality was that we would be living in another persons “once was” for a long while before we would even be able to afford to start making it our own… and all that with a newborn? MEH.
After a handful of older homes, our Realtor finally asked us if we were willing to look at new build houses… (Why she didn’t ask sooner IDK…) We looked at 3. The first was nice, shiny and new, and I was excited about it but I told myself and Mr. D that we should sleep on it and try to hold back the excitement for a day or two, and we were glad we did. Our Realtor at this point seemed to really want us to put an offer in on that house but it just wasn’t the right one for us. So a few days later she took us to another new build. It almost checked all of our boxes. It was in our favourite town, and big enough for the whole family. It was a 3 bedroom single family home with a detached garage, a reasonably large yard, a mud “room” off the kitchen by the back door (it was more of a mud space, but it was great!) A huge kitchen with high ceilings and cupboards that went almost all the way up. Shiny new appliances, beautiful floors and a double door pantry! A breakfast bar, large dinning room and a cozy living room with a fireplace. I WAS IN L.O.V.E. But of course, there was a catch… this house… just had an offer put in and the builder was about to accept, oh, and it was just outside of our price range. (I still think about that house sometimes)
There were two stipulations we gave our Realtor… we want to stay in the town we were in and we absolutely did not want a duplex. So on a whim, our Realtor asked us if we were willing to at least “look” at a new build duplex in the next town over. The kids immediately started to frown… they didn’t want to leave there school but I insisted that “just because we are looking doesn’t mean we are going to buy. We are just going to get an idea of what is out there.” So reluctantly we all jumped in the car and headed to the next house. When we finally reached the street and pulled up to the house, my daughter and I started to get excited… we looked at each other and almost knew what each other was thinking. “Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to move out of town?!”
We got to the front door and as we stepped in, it felt like home. Funny enough it had similar finishings as the house we were just at. The floors, cabinetry, marble counter tops, even the doors and colour on the wall, but what made this one better? UPPER LEVEL LAUNDRY!! (Anyone who has or has had their washer and dryer in the basement and has to schlep baskets of laundry up and down the stairs with a little one in tow will know exactly why this is so great.) Not only that, but the master bathroom felt like a master bathroom with his and hers vanity and a beautiful over sized glass shower and the best part is the WATER CLOSET! No more needing to brush my teeth while someone is on the toilet and having to hold my breath! lmao!!! (You know what I mean!!) The walk in closet was the icing on the cake……AMAZEBALLS!!! ( Can you feel my excitement!!) Needless to say, we put an offer in with conditions and by the grace of God it all worked out and were 14 days away from becoming home owners!!!
I think those 2 weeks were the longest 2 weeks of my life! We must have drove by a dozen times and asked the realtor to do a walk through at least 3 times after we put the offer in! We were so excited for this next level in our lives. Moving day finally came and we couldn’t wait to get in (another post on its own!) but we settled in and are able to finally say with truth that we are HOME.
Well, till the next one!