We filled out the mortgage forms ... did the final walk-through ... sifted through a pile of paperwork ... and wrote a big-ass cheque ... and now we're home owners! Now that it's a done deal, I can start spilling the beans.
We looked at about 13 houses in person, either with our agents or at open house events. Amanda dug up dozens (hundreds?) more through MLS. It was a lot of hunting packed into an action-packed few weeks.
Amanda happened upon a split-level in Timberlea and went out with the agent one evening while I was still at work. She thought it was fantastic, and the listing looked good to me on paper. We went out for a second look, and I liked it too.
It's a split-level, three bedroom home with two bathrooms. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, the kitchen, living room and dining room are upstairs. Downstairs is another bedroom, another bathroom (with jet tub!), a 'family room' with wiring installed for surround sound, a laundry room, and the 'den' -- a decent-sized room with coffered ceiling (and walls), and a propane fireplace.
Asking price was $214,900 -- we got it for $200k. The inspection turned up some problems we weren't expecting. We went back at the sellers for $2500 but settled at $1000.
Our mortgage broker kept plugging at getting us a good deal, eventually scoring us a five-year fixed mortgage for 4.99%. Now our principal and interest payments will be just a little more than we were paying for rent in downtown Halifax.
Well, not really "were" -- are. We went in looking for a Jan. 15 closing, but the sellers were firm on December 31. That worked alright, too, since it'd give us time to get in and fix and clean, plus arrange a good moving date.
The home is not without its flaws. Based on some pics we found on facebook, we can see some of the changes the most recent owners made in preparation for sale.
They pulled out the carpet and put down laminate flooring in several of the rooms. At least three different kinds of laminate flooring, though. Amanda thinks it's ugly -- I don't really care. It's new flooring, so let's leave it.
They put up crown moulding in the kitchen and elsewhere -- poorly. I mean, like, really poorly.
Some of the other finishing work is poorly done.
As reported earlier, the dishwasher, washing machine and upstairs toilet were non-functional inspection.
Bla bla bla, enough complaining. We got a wicked deal on a bigger house than we could've expected to get, with a good mortgage, in what I'm told is a great neighbourhood.
Seriously, everyone's saying we did well for our first time out. Now it's on to paying off the mortgage, paying back the $20k I withdrew from my RRSP via the Home Buyers Plan, making repairs, decorating, cleaning, moving ...... wow, this isn't the end, or the beginning of the end --- this is just the end of the beginning.
Happy New Year, friends, family and readers! Love and peace to all!
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