Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New House: A Few Highlights

One of the best things about this new house deal is how SOON we are moving! It is only 6 weeks away! I need to wrap my head around this (and everything that needs doing before then!) since my last two house purchases had long closing dates - about 5 or so months. It's so exciting moving into a new place, and even better when the wait is short. 

I thought I would post a few photos of the new place that I took with my iPhone during our home inspection. I don't want to show TOO much since the house is obviously still filled with someone else's stuff, which seems wrong to post for some reason. I will just show a few things that I am excited about. 

1. The Outside: The outside is lovely. I love that the gardens are really low-maintenance. When I used to landscape for my summer job, I swore I would never live in a home with hedges or shrubs that needed pruning. Well... I remembered why when I moved into our current place. Shrubs/hedges galore! Needless to say, I'm excited to live somewhere where I will have little use for my pruning shears.

The backyard is quite nice, and bigger than it looks in this picture. It has a gas fire-pit, which I am so excited about. Our campfire pit at our first house is the one of the things I miss the most. Many great times will be had here.

2. The front porch: Ah-mazing. 

3. The kitchen: When I read on the listing that the kitchen was updated (before seeing the place), I was a bit worried. I am very particular in what I like in a kitchen, and have seen some pretty low-quality "upgraded" kitchens during previous house tours. I was relieved and excited to find that the cabinets are shaker-style, and a quality maple. I love it. It is in a cherry stain. While I have always loved a white kitchen, the stain looks nice and will likely stay. 

4. The original details: There are quite a few original details in the house, including stained-glass windows, beautiful wood floors throughout, and even a pocket door!

5. The upstairs bathroom: Again, I have seen a few 'updated' bathrooms before that were not at all my style. Everything about this bathroom, however, is my dream bathroom - glass shower, beautiful tile floors and walls, heated floors, a low-flow toilet, storage... heaven. I wish I had a better photo, but you get the idea.

Of course, the biggest highlight is this house's location. It is a short walk to almost everything for us. I will be giving a more detailed tour in 6 weeks or so when we move in! I can't wait! For now I guess I should go and prune the hedges...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Downtown, Here We Come!

Great News!
In a crazy whirlwind of events, Joe and I bought this gem!

(Sorry about the bad quality photo... I borrowed it from the listing.)
Just a few days ago I was posting about how we were likely going to need to live in an apartment for a while during our search for a home. I wasn't really excited about this, but as I have said before, we were NOT willing to settle on just any home. It had to be perfect, or at least almost perfect (with potential to become perfect). So, I had spent some time searching for available 2 bedroom rentals near where we want to live.

Then, two days after the "Sold" sign was up on our house, we got an excited call from our realtor in the evening. A house was coming up right in our dream neighborhood, on one of our preferred streets. And, in a price range that showed us it was likely not a dump. We quickly drove by to take a look, and from the outside it looked perfect. I almost wanted to put the offer in then and there! But alas, we had to see it first. The next day we went to see it. It is a home with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms that was built in 1920. It is completely updated. It has a detached garage and a lovely yard. It even has a partially finished basement and a finished attic. Amazing.

When a house like that goes up downtown, we have learned, there are usually multiple offers. And they usually sell for over asking price. We knew we had to act fast! Our realtor wrote up an offer that same night and we signed it. Then the waiting game began. There was a 24 hour window where someone else could have put in an offer and started a bidding war. I don't think I slept.

The next afternoon, we got a call from our realtor. They had accepted our offer! And the closing date is even the same as the sale of our home! Too good to be true. But it IS true! I am still having a hard time believing we have had such luck.

We did the home inspection and, of course, there are a few things that need some work (I mean... it IS almost 100 years old!) We decided we are okay with that since we plan on spending many years here, and can fix as we go.

I will definitely follow up with more about the house soon.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

2 Years

Today is our 2-year wedding anniversary! It is also 3 years from the day that we met. (In case you didn't know... we got married 1 year from the day we met.)

We have been the real-life example of the old childhood chant; "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!" Yep, that describes our 3 years together pretty much.

It is amazing how much we have accomplished in these 2 years of marriage.

- We have sold and purchased 2 houses! (Whoa...crazy! More to come on that...)
- We gave our entire home a face-lift
- We have travelled in 7 different countries (Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, France, Belgium, Germany, and of course, Canada)
- We had a baby!
- We both found our dream jobs at great schools where we plan on staying.
- We became committed to eating a plant-based diet.
- I'm sure I've missed something. Needless to say, we have been busy!

I have felt so happy and so lucky since meeting Joe. I still sometimes have to do a reality check that he is really my husband, and that we really have a baby, and that life is really this good. I don't know what I did to deserve this life, but I sure am happy in it :) I look forward to many, many more years together.
I love you, Joe!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On the move

It seems that a few of the home/decor blogs I follow are also in the midst of buying and selling their homes. I find it funny, since everything on their blogs is so relevant.

Three in particular are at different stages of the moving process.

Over at Making it Lovely, their are currently at the staging/selling stage.

At Little Green Notebook, they are in the "we've bought a house" stage.

And at Young House Love, they have just moved in to their new place! They also went over, in detail, the process of selling and searching for a new home.

I am definitely happy to be done the staging/selling stage, and looking forward to (hopefully) buying, and moving into a house! It is very exciting, and nerve-wracking, to be looking for a home. Regardless of what we find, we are moving in less than 7 weeks. Crazy!

Monday, June 17, 2013


I'm sure some of you have been wondering what is going on with our house. I mean... we listed it for sale about a month ago, and I have been pretty quiet about it since then.

The great news: Our house is sold!
The scary news: Our house is sold! And this is scary because the closing date is August 7th, and we still haven't found a new home.

Let me first tell you how things went down. We actually got the offer on this house shortly after listing. However, it was conditional on the buyers selling their house, which ended up taking a little while in this finicky market. We are happy because the buyers are really in love with the house and neighborhood, and we also got what we hoped to financially.

It is becoming a bigger and bigger possibility that Joe and I won't be able to find our downtown home before this house closes. We knew that this might happen when we decided to sell before buying. That being said, we hoped that the right house would come up. I know, there is still almost 2 months to find that home... but we are definitely not going to settle for any old house.

We decided going into this that we would wait for the *perfect* home - for us - and that settling for something else was not an option. We settled for the wrong house a year and a half ago when we bought our current home, and you know what happened there! Needless to say, we don't want to make that same mistake again.

The tricky thing is that in the month since we've listed... there have been NO houses of ANY interest in our desired location. And quite honestly, there have been very few of interest in the couple of years our eyes have been on that area.

We definitely need to make some decisions in the meantime about where we will be going if we ARE homeless on August 7th. We are fortunate enough to have had a few different offers of places to stay (with family). If we do have a place lined up and some overlap, we would consider this option.

However, being vagrant vegans with a young baby doesn't make us the easiest house guests, so we likely won't take this option without a definite timeline, or at least not for too long. That being said, we may be entering back into the renter's world for a little while. Although this is not ideal, we are definitely ok with that if need be! We have our eye on one apartment currently. It is strange to think about renting after owning for a few years. So it goes. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer in Ontario

Since Joe and I are both teachers, we have the luxury of having a long, scheduled time off together each summer. As many of you know, we  have taken full advantage of this the past 2 summers by going on amazing trips. Right now, the count-down is definitely on with only 2 more weeks of school before summer holidays.

Our first big trip together was two summers ago to South America. We travelled through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina over 6 weeks. It was amazing, and intense, and took up most of our summer. We saw Machu Picchu, the Bolivian Salt Flats, did a bunch of hiking and much more. It was incredible.

Last summer we headed to Europe (Joe had never been!). We spent some time in France, Belgium and Germany. We even stayed a few days with my host family from my year in France. It was the best! I was also in my first trimester of pregnancy at the time, so an easier trip was perfect... although it was hard to pass up the beer and wine!

This summer, we are not going on a big trip. A few factors made this decision. First, obviously, is that we have a baby. Don't get me wrong, we had dreams of one last trip while Henry is easily portable, but it just didn't make sense in the end. Secondly, with selling our home, it just didn't make financial sense this year. 

All of that being said, I am SO EXCITED to spend the summer in Ontario! Traveling is great, but there is almost nothing better than a summer spent here. I love the long days, patios, cottages, camping, barbeques, hiking, campfires, warm days and cool nights. We are going to attempt camping with Henry. I think we'll start with a 1-night trip and go from there, depending on how it goes. And it'll be nice to enjoy our pool for one last summer :)

What are you looking forward to this summer?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Henry at 4 months

Henry is 4 months old!

This has definitely been a big month for us. Henry is starting to do so many neat things!
Top of the list: Sleeping through the night! I know... we are so lucky. He still wakes up a couple of times a week, but most of the time he goes down at 8:30 and sleeps until almost 6:00. He just started doing it on his own. 

He has also started doing a lot of other fun stuff; rolling over, laughing, grabbing at things, sitting in his high chair, playing with toys, and actually enjoying walks in the stroller. It has been good. (If you watch the video below... feel free to stop watching after his first roll. Unless you want to watch the entire thing... but it is kind of repetitive. Ha.)

Of course, it isn't always easy... there are days that challenge me big time. But I am starting to feel like I'm getting the hang of things, and starting to trust myself a little more in this "Mum" role. 

Henry is getting cuter and cuter. I love my little guy!