Monday, May 13, 2013

You Asked, I'll Answer

Another weekend is behind us and we are that much closer to moving into our new place. While I run around today taking care of some last minute stuff, I wanted to share with you a little more about our decision to buy vs continuing to rent, and also a little more about the whole process.

Why buy now, instead of continuing to rent?

Well, we definitely considered renting. We even looked at a few places, but we always seemed to run into an issue. With our budget, it was hard to find a decent place in our desired location that would allow us to have the dogs with us. Obviously that left us in a tough spot. Some of the few places that would allow dogs were basement apartments, which are not suitable for us because of the small size of basements and of course, a lack of backyard for Halle and the dogs to play in. 

So, when finding a good rental was starting to appear hopeless, I hopped onto MLS just to take a look at what was available in the surrounding areas. We had a few options open to us to finance the purchase of the new place, so it just seemed like there was potential to go down this route. We found a fixer upper that was super cheap and contacted the listing agent to inquire about it. Of course, it turned out to not be the right house for us, but the realtor WAS. In the end, we are both confident we made the right choice and we are looking forward to many firsts in our new home with our little family.


How did you find the buying process compared to Toronto? Crazy, or much more realistic?

The process itself, wasn't all that different than what we experienced buying our first home in Toronto . We did lose one house that had two other offers put in on it. At first that was a little hard to take, but in the end it obviously worked out for the best, since we love the home we got, much more. The prices and taxes are a little higher out here, BUT our new house is also twice as large as our previous place and we have lots of outdoor entertaining space. 

On the other hand, we found shopping much more difficult this time. The first time we bought a house we were a young couple with one dog looking for a deal, in the city, on something we could add some sweat equity to.  This time, we are a young family, with two dogs looking for a liveable house that we could make some cosmetic changes to, in a family friend neighbourhood in the burbs. Our wish list for the interior was also longer. More bedrooms, more bathrooms, a good size yard, space for a play area for Halle, an attached garage etc. So of course, this hunt took a little longer, and it probably didn't help that we weren't used to the style of homes out here. The architecture is SO different from what we are used to on the East Coast. We saw A LOT of "level entry" and "split entry" homes that we weren't really digging and it made it difficult to find something in our price range that was going to work.


Are you in the same area you are in now, or discovering a new area?

We have picked a new area! As my previous answer explained, housing prices and property taxes are crazy high out here. If we had wanted to stay in our area, I would've had to go back to work, and neither of us saw the point of me going back to work just to pay for a higher mortgage and childcare (also incredibly expensive).

We are pretty excited about living somewhere new. For the most part, we aren't that much further from the friends that we have made, and though B's work commute is longer, it could NEVER be as long as it was/could be when we lived in Toronto. 

Does this mean you'll be selling your house in Toronto?

Nope, not even close. The house is still ours, so you can be sure that in the future you will more than likely see some more changes to that home before it does go on the market. For now though, no immediate plans of selling. 

Did you have to compromise on any of your wish list items?

Absolutely. There was no way we were going to find our dream house on this hunt - not in our budget. The first house we put an offer on had the perfect backyard. Nice and big, with a huge deck that backed onto a green park - perfect for Halle and the dogs, but the house didn't give us a ton of room to grow in and needed more fixing up. In the end our yard is a little smaller and less private, but the inside is excellent, with a great layout and tons of space for us to grow into. I think the yard was a harder compromise for B to make, but when we went to see it for a second time last week he realized it wasn't quite as bad as he remembered. 


And no.... NO, we don't get to keep the hot tub. They actually even took the washer and dryer, so we have new one's on the way. 

We'll be busy wrapping things up over the next few days, but I do have some stuff to share with you. So check back! If you have any other questions how our new house, or our home search here on the West Coast - ask away! 


  1. I'm so excited for you guys!! Honestly, after all the grief this house has caused, I TOTALLY get going with a newer, finished house. Bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, you probably have an ensuite AND closets! :-) I can't wait to see more of the new place!!

  2. I'm so happy for you! I'd love to hear more about real estate in Canada & how you like living on the West Coast vs. the, parks & weather etc :)

  3. Wow! Exciting news! I'm so out of the blog-loop! Can't wait to see you make this house hour own!

  4. so exciting...thanks for the insight to the process...and bummer you don't get to keep the hot tub - but those are just electricity suckers, and space wasters! Look at that yard you have! It looks like great space for the fam and the dogs.


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