Thursday, December 4, 2008

House buying update; Xmas turns from 'ho ho ho' to 'meh'

Many thanks to the family, friends and strangers who've been sending congratulations! More details will definitely come, but I don't want to jinx it. The deal isn't 100% done yet. I don't want bad internet karma spoiling the deal. We learned a bit about the sellers through online resources (*coughfacebook*), so I assume they can find us just as easily. So, I'm going to keep any commentary off the site 'til it's all locked in.

The offer/counter/deal process is done. We've lined up insurance, a mortgage, a lawyer and the rest of the team (thanks largely to Amanda's heroic efforts on the phone).

Tomorrow (Friday) is the home inspection. Once we get the report and settle any issues arising from it, as far as I understand, we're locked in and counting down to the closing date, December 31. Then it's a matter of packing and moving.

We've been cornered into keeping the apartment for an extra month, which is not so bad, since it'll give us time to clean and repair a house that's empty, plus take our time packing. And from what I read, moving mid-month, mid-week in the middle of winter ought to get us the best deal from a moving company.

With all this going on, I confess I'm totally not into the Christmas spirit this year. And I'm hearing the same thing from so many other people. I don't know if the recession talk is creeping into peoples' brains (turn off the news and watch something fun for a change!) or if it's the weather or just growing up... but it's just not a jingle-bells year like some years past. I've made low-low-budget xmas-giving pacts with some people this year...well, pretty much everyone I've discussed the matter with. If I haven't talked with you about it yet -- hey, don't spend any big bucks on me. And I probably won't be spending big bucks either. I'm not being deliberately grinchy or scroogey ... just realizing that sometimes I get too caught up in buying people just the right things and feeling guilty if I don't put in a huge effort. This year I'm not feelin' it, and the bank account isn't inspiring me to push myself. Nobody's getting coal, but ... yeah, I think I've made my point.

Lots of love to all, especially those of you who I haven't been in touch with nearly enough -- you know who you are!


  1. i dont know if a lack of ho ho ho necessarily translates into "meh", but you're right, this year things seem a little different. i still hang about the window excitedly when it snows and shout a little, but that's about it.

    i'm busily at work making presents for friends and family...santa's going low-budget and high-labour this year, although some people may still get a goat or something similar :) i don't see this shift in thinking as a bad thing or something to feel guilty about, it seems more like a sign that we're figuring out xmas isn't about big shiny toys and credit card debt.

    good luck with the house inspection..if you're on site for it, ask questions! this may be your house, if anything's up with it you should know.

    meh meh meh!

  2. 1. Keeping apartment for 1 month so you can take it slow - G O O D.

    2. Not commenting about previous homeowners - G O O D.

    3. For the first year, my advice and take it for what it is, don't spend a dime on cosmetic unless it's absolutely driving you crazy. In the first year, all the warts of the house will expose themselves and may cost $$$ to repair.

    Every house, even new construction, holds at least a dozen surprises that may put a strain on your pocketbook as every seller I have learned hides, covers up or neglects to mention "something" about the house.

    True story ... our powder room in the old house had a wallpapered ceiling. Initally, we thought, well that's different. We learned two years later when renovating the powder room, the wallpaper was put up to hide several grapefruit sized holes that had been punched into the ceiling.

    These "cover ups" that sellers do are not unusual behaviour. My sister, who just became a first time homeowner in September, has spent $10,000 so far in fixing other people's mistakes and her house was considered a full and complete renovation "top to bottom" and "nothing to do but move in and enjoy" according to listing.

  3. Yeah, I'm not so much not just commenting about the homeowners... no need to do so, really, and I don't want the neighbours thinking they're fair game for commenting... this isn't a place to gossip about people. (That'd violate the buddhist precepts about right speech, after all.) I'm also not commenting about the home 'til the whole thing is done. Neither raving nor complaining. I will say that we had the home inspection today ... and in addition to the things we knew or suspected weren't quite right, the inspector found s'more stuff that needs addressing. I'm sure we'll get it all sorted out this weekend.