A House and Home

It feels weird to write about this since we’ve been living here for more than a month now but Annie and I bought a home.

It is a raised bungalow with Annie, Luna and me on the main level, and my mom living downstairs. The house is semi-detached, so we still have a connected neighbor, but we went from having neighbors all around us at the apartment to just one attached. The difference in our mortgage and property tax versus our rent was pretty low, and with interest rates being what they are, it just made sense.

Annie and I had been looking for more than six years in hopes of finding something that would work for us and that we could afford. And to be completely honest, while we put an offer on this place, we didn’t really expect to get it as we’ve had other offers and opportunities fall through. Don’t get me wrong, I’m stoked to finally be in the housing market and that it provides me the opportunity to help my mom out by giving her a change of venue.

I feel like I’ve made a good choice as we went from two bedrooms and one bathroom to three plus one bedroom and three full bathrooms. It will take us a while to get the place feeling like it is completely ours, but we’ve already made some great progress.

So, how did it happen?

We had been working with Jordan Beckwith for about two years, and while we did talk to other agents to try to get a lay of the land, Jordan’s energy, attitude, and professionalism had us coming back to him when we were finally feeling ready to take another serious look at the market.

As the co-founder of PressTitan, I run my own business in Canada, and that means that I had to have two years of tax returns before a lender would risk giving me hundreds of thousands of dollars for a mortgage on a house. And with Annie as a student, they certainly weren’t in any rush to help out a single income family.

Before we even had the tax returns we needed, or the full down payment saved up, we were out in the market looking at places. We found a builder less than twenty minutes outside of town, and it looked like a sure thing for a while. We were going to build using one of their semi-detached house plans and just modify things a bit. We were super excited because it would mean being able to pick colours, fixtures, and so much more.

Unfortunately, we had to back out of the deal because it was going to be over four months until we’d be able to secure a mortgage and that meant potentially paying a ton of non-refundable money before making sure a lender would work with us. So if the bank decided not to give us a mortgage, we’d be out thousands of dollars. We couldn’t take the risk, especially not for a house that wasn’t “perfect”.

After that, we felt a bit disheartened, but we looked at a few more places an some were really nice, though many were at or above the budget we had set for ourselves. We knew by this point that my mom was going to live with us, so we started bringing her out to the open houses.

It was an open house that we brought my mom to that ended up being the one we purchased. This was the first house we saw that day at around 1:30 in the afternoon. We looked through it and thought it was nice. We could see a ton of potential in it but it wasn’t in the best neighborhood and it was very close to the train tracks. It was well taken care of and felt like a good size. The price was a bit higher than we wanted to pay, but there was a certain energy to it that made us all excited about it.

We all went to another one that we were excited about. It was a detached house and at a lower price than the semi that we came from, but despite a larger yard, we didn’t get a good feeling about it and all left feeling fairly deflated. My mom then left to go do something else while Annie and I continued on to the next place.

In messaging back and forth with Jordan, we found out that the semidetached raise bungalow was holding offers on the place until 4 PM.

We had set a list of places to see that day and there was one more left at the same price as the semi-detached. It was another detached home in the side of town we wanted to live in. It seemed like it was pretty big and so we drove across town to look at it. It was older but just as large as we thought with a beautiful back yard and a nice sun room. Unfortunately, I could tell it needed a ton of work, and being the same price as the semi we were more and more interested in, we left that house thinking about the semi.

My mom was eager for us to put an offer on the semi and at 3 PM with the help of Jordan, we fleshed out an offer. At first, we wanted to go below a certain price cut off we had in mind, but Jordan convinced us to go a bit higher to increase our chances of securing the deal. We had to think long and hard about it, despite only being a few thousand more than we had intended and not enough to really move the needle on the mortgage.

In the end, we put in our offer and agreed to no other conditions other than home inspection and gave them their closing date. We submitted our final offer at 3:58 PM, two minutes before the deadline, and at 4:45 Jordan called us and let us know our offer had been accepted.

We bought a house.

We are now paying the mortgage on a three plus one bedroom, three bathroom semi-detached raised bungalow that’s under twenty years old in a rougher part of town near some train tracks. It isn’t perfect. It isn’t our forever home. But it does provide us with so many advantages over the apartment we were in, gets us into the housing market, whatever that ends up looking like, and allows us to help out my mom. I have my own office, instead of working from the living room, we have a small yard that Luna can run around in, and I feel incredibly fortunate.

I hope this was a good choice for my family and as we walked away from our real estate agent on the closing of this house, I said, “we should start looking at houses again soon… It took us six or seven years to find this place, might take us just as long or longer to find the next…” He laughed, but I’ve already started daydreaming about what might be next.

If you want to read more about the whole experience, check out Annie’s post that she wrote – We Bought a House! — Wait… What??

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