Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Can Explain Everything

I know, I know. I've been quite absent lately. I haven't been reading what y'all are up to. I've even missed several weeks of PostSecret (*sob* I love that website). There is a reason behind it and it's come to a head today:

Eli and I will be homeowners somewhere around mid-September. Although having the RV to live in has been a life-saver, I'll be oh-so-glad to move on.

Our new home is a recently renovated (three years ago) three story townhome in Abbotsford. It has three bedrooms (all with good closets), one and a half bathrooms, a small backyard (15'x30' and it has gravel seven inches deep in it - that was a "WTF?" moment if I've ever had one), a decent kitchen (nice big pantry - see below for more info), dining room and living room. I even like the colour of paint they used (for the most part). The new laminate is blond, which isn't my favourite, but it's NEW and is used throughout the downstairs except for the kitchen and half bath (both have new vinyl). The laminate is also in the upstairs hallway and more new vinyl in the full bathroom. The stairs and bedrooms are carpeted in decent (not new) berber.

There are several things to do to make it perfect for us:

ASAP: a dishwasher (it'll have to be a portable for now), a clothes dryer (there is a washer but we're unsure if it works), new window blinds (there are blinds but they don't work well and the master bedroom doesn't have anything in the windows), replace bent shower curtain rod.

Semi ASAP: new living and dining room furniture (all we have is my old futon for a couch and an antique dining table that really doesn't work well).

LATER: we'll probably add another section of cabinets/counter tops in the breakfast nook area instead of using it as a breakfast nook, a deck and sod in the backyard, new faucets in both bathrooms, curtains to go over the blinds (I like tabbed curtains on wooden rods), repaint at least one of the second bedrooms (yellow and orange! the other one has dark blue on one wall which isn't bad), new bedroom furniture (my bed is fine but we need two dressers, a headboard, night tables), finish the basement.

I have the MLS photos but I'm reluctant to put them online. Should I anyway? As soon as I can see the property again (during the inspection) I'll take my own photographs.

For those of you who have been reading me a while know how much this means to me. For thems who haven't - I am simply bursting with joy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Time Flies

September Rain

While driving to my doctor's appointment yesterday I saw lots of yellow leaves on the ground, swirling about in the breeze made by passing cars. It was raining but that didn't seem to faze the leaves, they swirled in spite of the damp. Later in the day I was walking Kaylee and we stopped to watch a gaggle of geese fly overhead. They were heading north and honking like mad. I heard more honking in the early evening, also heading north. Kaylee was standing on the couch looking out the window and I watched her watch the geese go by. It got cold enough last night to want to snuggle under the comforter.

Winters have been pretty mild since I've lived up here. I wonder how it'll be this year.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Are We Home Yet?

Last weekend went okay, it was just way too hot and the Jeep's a/c doesn't work well. And we waited way too long between breakfast and our next meal and I had a pretty bad low blood sugar episode. Being overheated and dehydrated (didn't bring enough water) didn't help. Bleh.

Eli and I agree that Maple Ridge just won't do for us. Not because of the available homes, but the area is just so .. not us. It's boring, flat, not nearly enough trees, not old enough. Back to Abbotsford and Mission we go. We'll be checking out townhomes in Abbotsford this coming up weekend. We're going to pick five or six to look at with our Realtor. After checking out the townhomes we'll decide if we want to pursue the two single family homes we saw in Mission.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


My answer to Sera in the previous post's comments got a little long so I'm posting it here:

It really is a milestone, Sera. We both feel guilty for being so happy since it's due to Eli's father dying, but he would be thrilled that we're able to do this thanks to him. There's no telling if or when we'd be able to save enough on our own.

There are "first time buyer" concessions in Canada, but Eli has owned homes before so we don't qualify.

We did our first drive-bys today. We found that Abbotsford, which we thought would be okay, won't. The homes in our price range, while looking okay online, just really aren't good enough mostly due to location. BUT we did see two homes we both really liked in Mission that would be much better for Eli commute-wise (he can take the West Coast Express to work). We also saw a few more for sale that didn't come up in our MLS searches. We're going to see if they're in our price range. We're also going to look for Abbotsford townhomes.

There simply aren't any single family homes in our price range in the Greater Vancouver Area except in Abbotsford and Mission. So, tomorrow we're heading out to Maple Ridge to look at townhomes. Maple Ridge has lots of nice townhomes in our price range and would be great commute-wise (better than Abbotsford).

We haven't yet told my mum that this is going on. I'm not sure why I'm so reluctant to do so. Weird, eh?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Home Sweet Home

I've lived in this RV for six years, Eli for seven. Guess what? It was paid off the first week of July and we're pre-approved for a mortgage. I guess we've established enough credit since Eli's bankruptcy (timely payments on the RV and a new credit card about a year ago) that lenders don't think we're too much of a risk.

We're finding that we both want similar things in a home which will make choosing one much less of a headache. We both want a house rather than a condo or townhome (some of them are really nice but you have to live by other peoples rules) which means moving farther out into the Fraser Valley but that's not a hardship as neither of us are exactly city* people. We're looking for a three bedroom (that gives us each an office with my office also being the guest bedroom), two bathrooms and a decent size fenced yard. I've been doing research on MLS and have found a few homes for us to look at. We'll be doing that this weekend.

We have a Realtor (a long-time friend of Eli's) who we'll be going through. She recommended the mortgage broker who got us the pre-approval. I used to be a mortgage loan underwriter (the person who approved or denied loan applications) among other positions at a large savings & loan in the U.S. And due to that I don't have much use for mortgage brokers in general, but this guy seems to be a nice guy and got us a good rate. It's going to be interesting going through the home buying process from the buyer's side as well as being in a different country.

*Eli's lived in Vancouver and didn't particularly enjoy it. I would like the opportunity to live in a city at some point but I know I wouldn't want to stay there forever.

In other news Kaylee's spaying went well. It's been hard to keep her quiet but in spite of that she's healing well. Due to me being forgetful she hasn't had her pain drugs in the last couple days but you'd never know it. I'd love to have half of her energy.