Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Who said unicorns don't exist?

As some of you may recall, Chris and I moved in with my parents last March when COVID hit and relieved us of one of our incomes.  We decided to take the opportunity for both of us to go back to school -- Chris to teacher's college and me into an MBA program.

So the plan was to finish both these things (target November and October respectively), and give Chris time to find a full-time job.  Meanwhile, I would look for a remote job that would let me not have to commute to the GTA.  And once all those pieces aligned we would move -- sometime between next fall and next spring.

Right.  You're not new here ;-P

So first of all, Chris got his job months before finishing school.  He was only guaranteed part-time though, so not quite solid enough to commit to moving to that area.  But still, well ahead of what we expected.  Now I was interviewing for a job that was "just a job" but would've given me that remote position, when I was offered a non-remote job that had a high potential I would love.  Yeah, I went with that one.  Job satisfaction for the win.  Now, pre-COVID, this role would've been 100% in-office, non-negotiable.  However, since everybody's been remote more than a year, polices are changing.  It's looking like I'll have to go in either 2x/month and 2x/week.  I feel I have a strong case for the former, but if my boss really wants people in the office...  Well at least it's only 2x/week.

So to put the timing in perspective:

  • Our house money is tied up in GICs till Sept;
  • Chris is likely to have full-time work lined up for Sept (we should find out next week);
  • I'm *hoping* for two days / wk in office -- I should find out about that next week as well.
Now with 90 days being a standard house closing, one would think that assuming Chris does get his ft offer, and I get confirmation that I don't need to be in the office all the time, we could potentially start looking for a new house in June...

As to the house...  Honestly, I was really dreading the search.  I had three priorities: a big yard with privacy, a bathtub (or the ability to put one in), and a space for an office.   In an ideal world, I'd also prefer a house with personality.  I'm not so much a cookie-cutter kinda person.  But that was not a "must have".  Chris had a very long list, but the vast majority of it would be met by purchasing a new house (although he was theoretically open to a house more than 100 yrs old, it was going to be very hard to find one of those that would meet his many other criteria).  The problem, of course, is that they don't put new houses on big properties anymore.  So this could potentially be a very long search.

And then Chris did the impossible...  He found our unicorn.  We weren't even 'officially' looking.  More just seeing what was out there in our price range to see how much we were going to have to negotiate or reconsider our shopping criteria.  So on Saturday of the May 24 weekend, he sends me a few links of possible houses (before I woke up - Saturday ams are for sacred sleep).  So when I woke up and was mindlessly browsing I clicked through them.  There was one I really strongly disliked; of the others, nothing particularly stuck out but nothing that would make me hate my life either.  So okay.  

But Chris tells me he *really* likes the last one.   Well okay, if you like it that much, let's go see it.  And while we're out there we may as well check out the other ones on the list and the ones I'd found the other day.  So we tag our realtor (who helped with the last purchase and sale) and ask if she's up for a road trip.  She was busy on Sunday but could do Monday.  Perfect.  Send her the list and let her do the organizing.

Now keep in mind, this is 1-2 weeks before we know if Chris has FT work, and 1-2 weeks before we know what my commute is going to be.  And, well, we both know we don't window shop well.  If we're going to look, there's a very good chance we're going to purchase.

So on our road trip, the first couple houses were definite "no"s.  They were in St Catherine's, and when we moved to Thorold (which neither of us know anything about) there was a definite shift in neighbourhood and we had a few strong possibilities.  Not strong enough to bump up our timeline by months, but at least to give me hope that one day we'd find something.   The house I really didn't like was even worse in real life, so that was a bit of a relief ;).

Then we got to the one Chris was waiting for.  And while it doesn't have the character I might've liked, it wasn't a sad box either.  And it's a new subdivision, but the houses aren't super cramped on top of each other.  So first glance is positive.  The downstairs is okay...  Nothing spectacular, but nothing wrong with it.  It'd certainly suit our needs.  Connected garage is very civilized.  And the basement was a HUGE space.  Unfinished, but future potential for sure.  And a home for the gym and my Oculus.

But upstairs...   The master is huge and the ensuite has a lovely soaker tub (win! - that wasn't in the pictures, so I was concerned), and good sized rooms for both C and I to have our own offices looking over the back yard.

That back yard.  A - it's a great size (I could have a pool some day!), and B - it doesn't back on anything?!?!   I mean there's a road there, but across the road is protected wetlands, so what would be my office has an amazing view.  Esp if we planted some trees along the back fence that over time would block the view of the road...   hmmmm - potential ;)  

This is the view from the living room; 
it's even better from the office

And did I mention that yard?!?!  One of two in the subdivision that have good yards.  AND it gets sun all day.  Amazing.

Now it's really in the middle of nowhere...  But apparently there are some good trails, so at least Sasha and I would have somewhere to adventure.  

So we go look at the last house on the list and it was awful.  Alright then...   Go back to the unicorn.  Yup, really is a unicorn.  In the mean time, our realtor was feeling out the other agent...  Yeah - they're expecting a bidding war and figure it'll go $150k over asking.  Frig.   Did I mention it was already at the top of our budget...?  Ugh.

But...  Unicorn.

So we drive home and think about it a bit.  The house is empty atm, so it suggests they'd like a quick sale (tricky with our $ tied up till Sept).  Okay well what can we do...  We could put the deposit on the line of credit, but to get the house before it goes to a battle, we probably need to offer a quick close.   Well thanks to both sets of amazing parents we were able too borrow the money for the downpayment until our money frees up - which meant we could, technically, close whenever...

May as well at least try...  Put in a strong offer, although likely well under what they think they *might* get, but with a three-week close, no conditions, and a super-quick expiry.  The realtors went back and forth a bit and they wrote it back at a price we agreed to.  Ran a few things past the lawyer and by EOD Tues, the deal was done.

And then there's the whole moving thing...  So both of us are in school and C has a big exam mid-July...  Knowing what my schedule is like, my options are to move the wk of June 20th (with no stress - I'm off school that week), or July 15 (more stress - 2 papers hanging over my head but that's the longest break between papers), or mid Aug.   Really didn't want to wait till Aug if we bought the house in June soooo....

Of course we're doing the super-speed one.  Internet and fencing people are coming the day after we take possession (which I've booked off work to go deal w stuff).  Hopefully will hear from the movers tomorrow about if they can do the date we'd like for the actual move.

And if the world is good, this'll be the last move for a very long time.   A few more weeks of chaos followed by a couple more months of the painful school and work combo.  And then life becomes dramatically calmer.  Until I find the next thing ;)


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