Relocating has never been an uncomfortable concept to us. In 40 years of marriage we’ve sold and bought and rented 10 homes. Up until now, our residential adventures have exclusively been the result of a new employment opportunity for me. Although there were times we’d have preferred not to move, in hindsight, it was always the right choice. It’s allowed our family to live in many parts of our beautiful country. Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Winnipeg, Brampton, Burlington, Ottawa, Windsor Junction, Kingston and back to Stittsville in 2014. Before we met, I lived in Saskatchewan and NWT. Dawn in BC.
Indeed, this land is our land.
We have been watching residential real estate listings and like everyone, those eyebrow raising selling prices!!!! We’d been casually chatting about downsizing for at least a year. We loved our house and area and our neighbours but being honest, it was a much larger space than we needed and we’d out grown the neighbourhood. It’s mostly filled with young families, there are 2 primary schools within a few blocks and within a kilometre, 2 new subdivisions that have 1 year waiting lists to close. It’s booming to say the least. Perfect for us, if it was the mid-90’s, but those days are long gone.
On a warm evening in September, while sitting on our deck, we decided definitively to test the real estate market. Let’s list and see what happens. What do we have to lose? Gulp!
Dawn is an expert at decorating and staging and purging and she was at her best getting our already curb appealing home in selling shape. To say it showed well is an understatement and it attracted a lot of interest even with our aggressive pricing. Again, we didn’t need to sell, so there was no pressure on us. Well, within a week we’d accepted an offer!!!
“Ok, that was crazy, now what”? We are homeless and the shoe is on the other foot. There is a huge difference between being a no pressure seller and a “must find something” buyer and it’s outright frightening!!
Inventory was limited to say the least and anything we even looked at, was not for us. We wanted to downsize, not downgrade!!
We saw a country property that was very appealing!! A lot of positive attributes even though it would have left us quite isolated. We decided to make an offer with high hopes but lost the bid to another buyer who came in lower than us in price, but with zero conditions. The only condition we had, was to test the well water quality!!! Not an unreasonable request and we said it would be within 5 days!! That experience left a bad taste with us (pardon the pun). No one will convince me otherwise that we were “out localed”. The seller’s realtor, seemed to know who they wanted to get the house and it wasn’t we big city folks!!! Anyhoo, we kept up the search.
It didn’t go unnoticed to me that we’d need to be aggressive and with that, we needed to have our financing in place. I was confident in our equity yet still, offering on a home without conditions (including financing) is nerve wracking. Having a signed purchase agreement provides a lot of clout with lenders but it was not a blank check to buy whatever we wanted. I can’t be more appreciative of our lender who was incredibly helpful during the process. The mortgage specialist we had was fantastic and creative!!! We didn’t need creativity or rather, we were too nervous about being so. We kept it simple.
In early November, our son Adam, who was watching listings for us, sent us one from Renfrew!!! It looked great and we immediately took the 45 minute drive out to see the house, the town and the neighbourhood. The highway is a beautiful 4 lanes for most of the trip with much beautiful scenery. We booked a showing the next day and it checked all the boxes including price (although we knew it would be a bidding competition) This house is only 6 years old, a bungalow with a fully developed walk out basement backing onto what is now forest, but will eventually be developed. It has lots of bells and whistles including city water and sewer. We were ready this time.
With the help of our realtor, we made an aggressive offer (which we were comfortable with) and we hoped it would be accepted.
And it was!!!!! Hoorah!
Just like that, we went from being homeless to being responsible for 2 homes!!!! Oh my!!!! What have we done?
Time to get moving!! Literally and figuratively. There was no way we could move ourselves. Not a chance, and frankly we didn’t want to. We contracted a mover and they packed and loaded and delivered our belongings within a 3 day period. Not inexpensive but worth it to us.
We took possession last week and have spent the last 6 days unpacking and getting settled. We are motivated to have it “Dawn” ready for Christmas. It will be.
Renfrew is the first small town we’ve ever lived in. It’s only been a week but we are blown away with the friendliness of the people who live here. Our street is great and our neighbours have been most welcoming. They all have kids too…..Grand Kids that is, so we have bonded quickly with a few of them.
So here we are. In our 11th home!!! We are making no predications about an 12th house but ya never know!!!
I look forward to continuing my photography exploits, living healthy and well and spending time with Dawn exploring our new area in the Ottawa Valley. And of course, welcoming our friends and family to visit anytime they want!!! Cheers and Merry Christmas everyone.