I never quite know what to say when I’ve been away from the blog for a little while… an apology seems a little presumptuous, but no acknowledgement seems rude! So I’m sorry if you missed me and you’ll be happy to know that we should be back on track now 🙂 If you didn’t notice, thanks for stopping by today… hope you enjoy what you read!
When I started this blog a little over two years ago, my intention was to write at once or twice a week… then I found that I really loved it, so I started writing more often, and now, I usually average 4-5 posts a week. I also decided that I wanted to keep the blog focused on the positive, and while I touch on some of the frustrations of being a working mom, I always like to look for the silver lining. It may sound corny, but all I really want is for my words to make someone, even just one person, smile when they’ve finished reading a post.
This last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to stay positive, but honestly I’ve been a little stressed and it’s made writing hard. I would sit in front of the computer and start to type… only to delete it all and start over. After several failed attempts, the screen would still be blank and I’d give up and go to sleep. All the thoughts that were running through my head, I didn’t feel like I could share. I couldn’t see a silver lining.
I know I mentioned that we sold our home about a month ago… but now I’m ready to share the whole story.
For the last couple of years, we’ve been talking about buying an acreage out in the Maple Ridge area with my parents. We’ve looked online and I even went out to look at a few possibilities. The difficulty was trying to merge the needs/wants of several different people into a list that was comprehensive and easy to find! We figured if we waited another year or so and kept talking about it, we’d be able to figure it out.
Then at the end of August, on a bit of a whim, we decided to go to a couple of open houses in Maple Ridge. We had to deliver to a client in Port Coquitlam, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. We made a day of it; went out the Golden Ears Park with the kids for a picnic, drove past a few properties to get a sense of neighbourhoods and stopped at the opens. What we didn’t expect, was to fall in love with one of the properties.
We talked about it the whole way home. We called my parents to see if they could meet for a chat that night. It was a tiny house but on just over 1/4 of an acre it had the most amazing backyard. We could see endless possibilities for the kids, our studio and a new life… but it would mean that the plan for a property with my parents wouldn’t happen.
After a lot more discussion, we decided that the best thing to do was get in touch with our realtor and see if we could go out and see the property again, along with a few others and also discuss putting our place on the market. So we got the ball rolling… and then we got the news that the property had an accepted offer on it… which meant that unless the deal fell through for some reason, it would never be ours. It made us pause for a few moments… did this change wanting to put our place on the market? Were we really ready to move? It came down to a simple fact, that this property wasn’t meant to be, but moving was, so we kept on going.
We were a little surprised at how quickly our place sold. We had two offers 12 days after our listing went public on MLS. The week that followed as we waited for subjects to be removed was a bit nerve racking, but we felt like we were in a good place. We knew that the buyers really loved our place and that it wasn’t likely that they would walk away. We’d also found a place that we really liked, so it seemed like everything was falling into place. The day subjects were removed from our place, we wrote an offer on the place we liked.
Over the following week, there just seemed to be more and more hoops that we had to jump through to get the place. There was a LOT of back and forth on the offer and it took two days before it was finally accepted. The mortgage lender didn’t like that the description said “needs TLC”, so they requested an appraisal. There were a lot of questions that I couldn’t answer for the insurance, because we hadn’t had the inspection yet. It was like we were being told to run away before we even got to the inspection. However, we kept plugging away at it and getting things done… it was all falling into place, even if it wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped it to be. Then came the inspection… it was early morning on the 6th and I woke feeling very cynical. I don’t know why, but I didn’t have a good feeling. I put it down to being nervous, tired, and a little overwhelmed. It had been a frustrating week and add to that, Tehya hadn’t slept well, which meant neither had I, and we had a busy day with a session planned for immediately after the inspection and then some time with Eric’s family who were in town. I think I just wanted the day/week to be over, so that I could sleep. I tried to shrug off the grumpiness, put on a happy face, and started hoping that we’d have something to celebrate that afternoon.
We started the inspection outside and there just a few minor things that would need to be taken care, so I started to feel a little hopeful. Just before we headed inside, the inspector was pointing out something to Eric by the hydro meter and he noticed a stray wire… to the inspector, that said “grow op”, but he’d see what he found once we were in the house. My heart sank a little. As he went through the inside of the house, more and more things started to point in that direction, albeit one that hadn’t caused a lot of damage to the structure of the house. The final conclusion, despite it being a solid house in need of some upgrades and love, which was something we knew we could provide, it had most likely been a grow op. We were discouraged and left without signing our subject removal form. We’d decided that we needed to investigate further, so we were going to ask for an extention. We thought that maybe we were wrong in our findings.
After we left, our realtor talked to a couple of neighbours… they confirmed our suspicions. The house had never been busted, but they suspected that it had been one before the current owners moved in. This was not the news that we wanted to hear. We spent a LOT of time that afternoon discussing what we should do. We still liked the house, BUT did we really want the stigma of a grow op to follow us forevermore?
The following day, Eric and I decided that we’d go and take a look at some open houses to see what else was out there. In the month that we’d been looking, this place had been the best that we’d found, did we really want to walk away from it and risk not having a place to move to at the end of November?? We went to 8 opens… and drove home feeling even more discouraged. The one house that seemed really nice and a good possibility… also a former grow op. At least this realtor had had the decency to be upfront about it!
It did however solidify for us that we didn’t want a place that had once been a grow op… because it doesn’t matter how long ago it was, once a grow op, always a grow op. On Sunday night, we called our realtor and told him that we were going to walk away, no matter how much we still liked it.
We spent the next day scouring listings on MLS. We changed some parameters, we reconsidered listings that we’d previously passed by, we came up with a list of 25 properties that were possibilities. We sent those to our realtor and asked if he could get me into as many of them as possible on Thursday.
So on the 11th, I dropped the girls with my mom at 9am and headed out to Maple Ridge. I looked at 16 properties that day. My brain felt like it had melted a little. It was exhausting, but it needed to be done. In the end, I narrowed it down to 4 for Eric to see with me on the 13th. I had a favourite, and I just hoped he could agree with me. It was slightly over what we’d been planning to spend, but it met every single other need/want on our list.
Our realtor must have known that Eric would love it too, as he had papers ready for us to sign after the viewing. That night we got a call that they had countered our offer, but it was looking promising. The following morning, we countered back with one small change and that afternoon our offer was accepted. I was excited!
This time, everything fell into place so smoothly, like it was meant to be. No problems with the mortgage. Questions that came up from the property disclosure form were answered quickly and easily. I held my breath the morning we were driving out for the inspection, hoping they wouldn’t find anything major. I was relieved that it only turned up a few small things… but overall it was a solid house. I did a little happy dance this past Friday when we removed our last subject and the sale became firm. We weren’t going to be homeless… and we’d be in our new home before Christmas!
These last two weeks have reminded me that sometimes when life is throwing up road blocks, it’s time to question why. It’s time to take a moment and re-examine whether or not you’re trying to make something work that is just not meant to be. Obviously, looking back, the first house was simply not meant to be. There were several things on our needs/wants list that it did not meet. At every turn, there was one more thing that was telling us to run away, but we were willing to settle, because we didn’t want to be homeless. (Not truly homeless… we had back up plans… I just didn’t want to move twice if I could avoid it!) It has reminded me that sometimes, if you have a little trust, everything works out for the best, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
Our new home…
If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading, I know it was a long one!
Happy Monday 🙂