Wow, it's been over a year since I last posted....I can't believe it. It's been a busy, busy year, full of change for me. First and foremost was the big move. Last August, as time was running out on our rented house and the demolitian date in September loomed closer, I went into panic mode realizing that if I didn't find a suitable house to buy within two weeks, we'd be back in the renting game. The thought of renting another house was something I absolutely could NOT stomach and by the looks of housing in BC, we could not afford to buy in the place I loved SO much. On a whim, we decided to drive out to Alberta, to Medicine Hat and see what there was to offer. We had found a place online that looked promising and although in need of alot of updating, was in our price range, had ample space and tons of potential. After dinner one Tuesday evening, we packed the kids in the car and drove all night to get to Medicine Hat. After making arrangements to meet with a realtor, we slept for a few hours and then got up to start looking at houses. There were a few disasters of course, houses that were in such horrible shape due to neglect or foreclosure, that it almost put me off buying. But then all of a sudden there were some beautiful places, houses completely renovated, beautiful tile and hardwood floors, fireplaces, and everything I could almost want. With one exception...Most of the houses we were looking at had detached garages. I didn't want that. I knew the winters in Alberta could be brutal and I did NOT want to have to trudge through the snow and cold to reach my vehicle. I wanted an attached garage, where I could step out of the warmth of my house, into the dry shelter of the garage to start my vehicle and warm it up before I had to go anywhere. At long last we arrived at the house we had found online. I was captured by the cute alcove off the front door, secluded and partially covered with a stone tile patio. It would be perfect for summer evenings under the stars. I could imagine sitting out there with a few friends and some cold drinks laughing the evening away as we talked....
Once we got into the house it was a different story. In need of updating was an understatement. Orange shag carpet, a minuscule kitchen, beige-pink toilet and tub....ick. But the downstairs was truly hideous. The carpeting looked like it had been stolen from a dive in Vegas. It was red and gold and black and hideous beyond imagination. Everything was wallpapered and in the room we were considering to be Georgia's, someone had made a patchwork carpet out of six inch squares of random shag and had GLUED them to the floor. I was beyond disappointed. As we trudged back upstairs with the realtor, my heart was heavy. But then, she turned to us and said, I've been saving the best for last, come with me. She led us out into the backyard. The yard was overgrown, the grass was patchy and weedy, the deck seemed a little shaky but beyond two overgrown cedars she gestured us to follow. She opened our back gate and we stepped into a lush green park. There were jungle gyms and swings, walking trails and beautiful trees. You'll never have anyone move in behind you she said, this view will always be yours. And it was spectacular. I could picture the kids playing in the park and us walking down the paved trails during sunny spring days. I knew this would be our home. I suddenly loved this house, with it's gross carpets and outdated appliances and peeling wallpaper. I knew that even if I couldn't afford to do all the work on it at once, that I would make it my own and that underneath all the garish cosmetics was a foundation of hopes and dreams and stability. I started looking at the positives. TWO laundry rooms, one up and one down, a double attached garage, the cute alcove off the front door, SEVEN bedrooms, and two and a half baths. But best of all was the park. It brought me such a feeling of serenity standing out there in all that green that I knew I was going to make an offer on this house. The following day I made the offer. Within the hour it was countered and I made a second offer. To my delight it was accepted. OMG, I had just purchased my first home. That afternoon, we signed the papers, made arrangements to transfer the money from my mom's estate and the owners who lived out of town agreed to let us take possession in a weeks time. It was the fastest real estate deal in ReMax Medicine Hat's history. We had a week to pack up, tie up loose ends, and say good-bye before we moved almost two provinces away. My elation was cut short with the realization I would be leaving Calvin behind and a lump formed in my throat. I didn't know if I could do it....To Be Continued
Winter Escape, and Some Good Books
3 weeks ago