A couple of years ago, I lived in a one bedroom condo in Toronto. When D moved in, there just wasn't enough room for both of us and all our pets. A lot of things frustrated me about the city, and I found myself hating it and yearning to pack up my things and get out.
I still can't believe all of my stuff fit in that place...
I started house hunting the easy way... online through realtor websites. I had no idea where I wanted to live, all I knew is that I did not want to live in a busy city ever again. I'm a country girl, born and raised, so it was time to get back to my roots.
I searched for a while for something that spoke to me. Honestly, it just wasn't happening. All of these homes I was looking at had already been lived in, had memories created in them, and didn't fit me.
It wasn't until I started looking into new home developments that I really became serious about the whole house hunting ordeal. A brand new home, that allowed ME to choose the layout, yard, finishes.... Everything!?!? It was a dream come true!
Once I had that idea set in my mind, I began scoping out areas that were creating new developments. I have to admit here, I solely chose my location because I loved the style of the homes (being by the beach didn't hurt either though!). They were the type of homes I would dream about living in when I was a little one. Yes, I actually did this. I would make my parents take me for walks to the new developments and wander through the half-built houses imagining what it would be like to live there. I always had a thing for big grey stone houses with turrets, like a mini-castle! I just never thought that I would be able to actually own that very dream.
The first time I visited the development, I knew this was the place. They were in Phase 3 of the builds, which meant that there had already been two phases completed and people had been living in homes there for a couple of years. The lots they had available were all large but I just KNEW that I needed one of the "premium" lots that backed onto the lovely forest I post so much about. Obviously this lot was more expensive than the others, but when have I ever been one to settle for something that wasn't my top choice? Pretty much never.
Our new home... isn't it lovely?
There were a bunch of different models to choose from. I pondered over all of the floor plans and styles for weeks until I decided on the model I liked best. However, in true Dana fashion I wanted to add my own flair to it. I wanted the entire front of it to be done in grey stone (in comes the childhood fantasy...), and I wanted a different front entrance and porch put on it. The builders said this was all possible so I was ecstatic! I signed on the dotted line and paid the deposit.
Buying a new home first meant that I needed to sell my condo (I knew I had purchased it for a reason ;)!) and get a new mortgage. Getting a new mortgage was a pain in the butt for a couple of reasons. The first was because my new place was going to cost double the amount of my condo, which meant I had to apply for a pretty large mortgage. I crossed my fingers that it would be given to me! Then there was the fact that I was self employed. I absolutely hate dealing with banks, being a self employed person. They make you take ten extra steps just to prove your income and it is a hassle. At one point, it didn't look like I was going to even get the mortgage because of it. I didn't know what I was going to do. The new place already had the deposit down and after all of that searching for the right home, I just couldn't even think about having to do it over again. Thankfully my mortgage man pulled through and I was set. By the way, in case you're wondering... D doesn't own this house, it's all mine, which is probably why it took a while to get the mortgage because I was going at it solo without a co-signer.
I had a wonderful realtor who was really into making promotional content, like full colour brochures, micro websites all about my condo, and stuff like that. Right up my alley! Selling the condo was a huge annoyance because I worked from home. That meant that when people were coming and going for showings, I would have to grab my dog and leave the place at random times. I remember sitting in the lobby for hours once just waiting for the showings to be through. Luckily, that only lasted a week because my condo sold! Yippee!
My new home wasn't going to be ready until March 2010, so this was one of the stipulations of my condo sale contract. The new buyers would have to wait a little while to move in, which gave me some time to get all of my stuff together and sorted out. We agreed on letting them move into the place in February, so D and I actually had to move twice. We lived at my mom's for a month before we moved into the new place.
Seeing the house being built was so much fun! I remember driving up to this place and seeing a hole filled with concrete. I remember being SO antsy and feeling like it was taking forever to complete! But when that day came... Oh my gosh, was I excited!
Moving day was my mother's birthday, and I felt so bad because I didn't want her to spend the day helping us move! I was also mysteriously ill the entire week of the move and was pretty much only able to give 50% of my effort the day we unloaded the boxes.
While we lived here, the builders still had work to finish. When you purchase a home in a new development, you'd better expect that the job isn't 100% done the day you move in. It never is. For about 6 months after the move, we still had people doing stuff to our house... from painting exterior doors, to doing seasonal ground work. We STILL have no grass on one side of our house. Can you believe that? I guess it's a small price to pay to get the home of your dreams.
Living here has been awesome. I love the neighborhood, our neighbors, the town. It really does feel like home. After all of the waiting, it was totally worth it.
As a 'thanks for reading' treat, I've partnered with BMO to give one lucky person 100 AIR MILES reward miles!
To Enter to win 100 AIR MILES reward miles:
- You must be a follower of Wonder Forest using Google Friend Connect to win (click Join This Site button in the right sidebar)
- In a comment on this post, just tell me you want to be entered to win!
You can also enter their Great House Hunter Contest to win 10000 AIR MILES reward miles! Details below:
There is no purchase requirement to enter into The Great House Hunter Contest for BMO SmartSteps® for Homeowners (the “Contest”). The Contest is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who (at the time of entry): (i) have reached the age of majority in their province/territory of residence; and (ii) have an AIR MILES®* Collector Card. To enter, send an email to House.Hunter@bmo.com that contains (among other things) a story that discusses your “house hunting” experience and one (1) optional photograph to accompany your story. Prizes: Eight (8) Finalist Prizes (1,500 AIR MILES reward miles each); one (1) Grand Prize (10,000 AIR MILES reward miles); and two hundred and fifty (250) Entry Prizes (100 AIR MILES reward miles). Approximate retail value of the Prizes varies by travel service and date selected – example: from Montreal to New York return air travel for one passenger for October departure is 1,250 reward miles, which is approximately $342.00 CDN. Odds depend on the number, caliber and timing of eligible entries received. Skill-testing question required to be correctly answered to win. Full rules at: www.bmo.com/greathousehuntercontestrulesandregs