Buying a New House

Well, I, like Darren not that long ago, took one step closer to becoming an adult.

I bought a house.

In theory anyway. We have a verbally accepted offer from the seller for our offer which means that in theory the other five realtors (including… Mindy McPherson.. shudder) can’t get in on the deal. And it was a deal by all accounts. More story below….

Firefly found this last night and contacted our realtor (actually not our realtor, who was being a knob lately, but his father in law in the same office, who we’ve used before as well… but anyway). So I met up with Firelfy and FireflyMom after the gym and we headed up to see it. It’s up in Mission, not that far from Cat5, just a bit down the hill. The house itself is a little two floor tutor style with the english style black and white front. It had pretty much all the things I was looking for. Nice area, nice looking (not the stucco and glass that has marked most of the stuff we’ve looked at so far), with green things (some call them treess) around, giving privacy, but not completely overshadowing the area. A small yard, big enough to mow but not big enough to take two days to mow. It’s right beside a small gurgling creek (moving, so hopefully mosquitoes will be minimul) to provide a nice audio while hanging out in the backyard. Room for a little deck and bbq in the back, and a plum tree and good stuff like that.

It’s an ex-grow op but the renters who were in there were living there so it’s not trashed, but the place isn’t groomed by any means. Basically the yard needs TLC in the form or clippers and rake, and possibly a chainsaw 🙂

The inside of the house, other than having that sweet sweet smell of pot (like I said, it’s an ex-grow op) is not bad. It’s been lived in but the floors are bare and it needs a coat of paint and some finishing in the interior. The basement, encompassing half of the 1800 square feet, is unfinished, but looked like it had room for a good sized LAN party area 🙂

I would have preferred a bit less to do to be able to move in. I know Firefly loves doing work on houses (well, “loves” is probably the wrong word, but it’s not my complete aversion to housework). There is work that has to be done before it’s livable though, the floors are bare like I said which basically means that we don’t have to rip up someone elses idea of a nice carpet or hardwood flooring to replace it with our own. Walls need paint, moldings would look nice, some work on the stucco of the master bedroom ceiling isn’t all that nice, so It Would Be Nice™ to fix that if we’re doing everything else….

So anyway, after walking through it and finding that my stomach didn’t churn with the thought of buying it, and that it was less than most of the other ones we’d looked at, and I liked it more, we talked it over and wrote up an offer right there. The selling realtor was there with us and he took it away and contacted the seller, and I got a message by the time we’d had a bite to eat and gone home that it’d been accepted! Damn fast.

Now the fun stuff happens. Deal with the mortgage broker, come up with the downpayment and the money they want to put in escrow, get paperwork from work, get whatever paperwork needs to be done to actually finalize the deal, deal with home inspection, etc etc etc….

Then the fun of arranging to move out, giving notice, hoping we can not pay all the costs of a new house plus another month of rent here (maybe they’ll be nice and let us go with only half a month payment if we’re out by the 15th? Moving phone, internet, mailing address… oh joy.

And that’s not even thinking about the fun of choosing colors, door/floor styles, etc.

Anyway, very exciting, very scary, will let you know how it goes.

21 Comments on “Buying a New House”

  1. Congrats dude…. been there still doing it….work never stops on a new home….
    Now for my question what is an “ex-grow up”?

  2. Awesome! Fellow neurobasher Gary just bought one, too. I am happy to be moving into a 1BR apartment, but then again I spent a number of years doing the rock-star thing so I’m still catching up on this whole “grown up” groove.
    Can I crash at your place when I’m in canadia? 😛

  3. Congrats… a couple of tips:
    1) A good home inspection should take a long time. Don’t take the realtor’s suggestion for a home inspector – do some research and get your own.
    2) Remember, home improvements consistently take $500 more and 3x as long as you think they will. But still, do it yourself – it’s worth it. Feel free to bug K and I for tips on how to do stuff.
    3) For flooring, go to End of the Roll. Quite often, you can get really decent floor coverings for a lower price.
    4) Get a house alarm, since it’s an ex grow-op (wb: home in which they had set up hydroponics to grow marijuana).
    5) The finanacial company may want to look at your tax records for the last 2-3 years, since you have spent a significant amount of that time self-employed. Get your records ready.

  4. wbilancio – “ex-grow op” as in the previous owner had renters who had a little busines to bring in extra cash…. in this case, growing pot. In some cases this is bad because the house ends up trashed as they don’t live there and don’t care. In this case they were living there at the time so that the house is still in decent (though not perfect) shape.
    They poked a hole through the floor (nicely cut out) for an exaust vent out through the dining room window is about all. Of course, there is a lovely sweet smell when you first go in 🙂
    Darren – 1 – yup, 2 – oh yea, and I realize I’ll never have time or money again, 3 – I’m more liking hardwood floors lately, fireflymom has some left over stuff, ideas on where to get it cheap elsewise? 4 – already has one in there 🙂 5 – yup, have a stack of papers here that I’ll be faxing out today.
    Fred – nothing “official”, but if you were to poke around in gallery.a.n you will find some uncut and raw from my run around last night. Nothing of the backyard though :\

  5. That’s awesome! Congrats on the house! We’ve debated also living in Mission, but for Sean it would be too far of a drive having to go to the other side of Surrey….but for me it would be nice since I work down on North Railway Ave ( across from the train station ). And as much as people say..Mission…who would want to live in Mission? It’s not that bad of a place…its somewhat still a small town feel to it, it hasn’t been completely developed yet, though they’re working on fixing that.
    Good luck with everything on the house! If you need any help feel free to give a shout!

  6. Congrats Alan! You’ve got yourself more that a handful of sanding and refinishing fun!
    The people demand better pictures! I only saw one bathroom and I need a better perspective on the kitchen. BTW my mom and dad used “Pillar and Post” for thier home inspection and were impressed with them. As for floors, hardwood is the best, but pricey, and if I’ved learned anything from Mike Holmes, its that you want it installed right, so get a pro 😉

  7. Scoobyd – yea, that was my reaction at first, but the trip to work is about the same, and it’s a bit closer than abby to my and firefly’s folks (though if that’s good or bad is left for now 🙂 Cheaper than abby as well, and well, it’s not going to be home forever, and I’m sure I can survive.
    Circe – P&P were the ones recommended as well, good to have confirmation of that. Getting a pro for sure, luckily I have semi-pro in-laws, who work cheap. Not perfect, but if I had the $$ to do everything professionally I’d not be buying something that I have to do work on 🙂 As for pics more will come soon, I want to confirm the buy first though, I still have a couple of pieces of paper to sign. As soon as the deal is complete I’ll be a bit less stressed and a bit more stressed at the same time, and will get in there and take some better pics, and let people gasp as to what I (a non-handyman computer geek) am getting myself into 🙂

  8. Gregg – of course, when you’re oot and aboot up here crash away. Course, it’ll be miles from the center of anything 🙂
    Darren – yea, if I can find the 10% (RRSPs baby) I can get that, otherwise I’m stuck at 5.05% or so, which probably isn’t horribly bad, but 3% is better 🙂 Have to make sure I can suck the money out of RRSPs first though.

  9. jeeez ALL my friends are growing up and buying houses!! Congrats Alan, I think you’ll adore being a home owner. Not that I am one and can say that from personal experience, but everyone else I know who R one, loves it 😉
    Congrats on becoming a grown-up 😉 (your form wouldn’t let me use the a-word!!! Wow.)

  10. Also, go for a variable rate m-word (feel free to remove that word from your blacklist…) that you can convert to a fixed-rate later… it will save you a couple of percent interest (which works out to a surprising amount of money).

  11. Yea, I blacklisted mortgage from all the comment spam. Removed now though.
    Darren – yea, I can get 3.5% for variable now I think, which is better than the 5.2% you get for fixed. Since they don’t change all that drastically and you just have to keep an ear out for changes, not a huge deal. 2% of a lot is still a lot!

  12. We’re getting about 3.25% right now, which is just fine with me. Are you going to go biweekly accelerated, or monthly? My suggestion is to go biweekly and have it set up to withdraw the day after payday, as you’ll end up paying the principle off faster.

  13. Wow. Way to go!!
    I like the tutor architectural style – it’s timeless. Looked great 500 years ago, looked great 50 years ago, looks fine today.

  14. I was chatting away with the ol’ Mom and Dad last night; thier neighborhood has actually had at least 6 gro-ops in it :)(Congrats from them) Their word of advice is get the plumbing and electrical checked thoroughly (they are expensive beyond reason to fix)– those are the two invisible culprits for former grow ops– electrical can get fried easily -so make sure you mention that the P&P reps 🙂
    Mayhaps call my bro too– he might be able to give you advice on what to look for which might be hidden from the unsuspecting eye 🙂
    /me shakes her head that she can even make those statments.

  15. Al,
    Prime (3.75%) – 0.6 = 3.15% at ING direct. A little late to tell you this, but prime – 0.6 is pretty standard for a five year variable.
    I got 1.99% for 3 months and prime – 0.4 for the rest (5 year term).
    Also, make sure you get a good penalty clause, ours is 2 months interest, and fully open (zero penalty) after 3 years. Some mortgages charge you the interest for the rest of the mortgage term for a penalty. I know you’re unlikely to pay out your mortgage, but you may end up wanting to move it to another institution (say a year from now you can get 3.8% for 5 years or something stupid).

  16. Jason – bit late now, but thanks. Got prime – .75 (= 3) from TD. Pretty sure that the other stuff (open, no huge penalty, etc) are all ok as well.

  17. Prime – 0.75.. sounds like you did really well. Congrats! Looking forward to the LAN party.