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Okay, so the house:

We’ve been looking at houses since shortly after Christmas. We wanted, well, pretty much the same things anyone working in a city wants—to be outside the city but not out in the sticks, to feel like a community and not just be part of a faceless burb, to be near public transit, and to get a good house that wouldn’t take sixty years to pay off. With all this in mind, we decided to look exclusively in Blackburn Hamlet—a small community that is part of Gloucester, just before Orleans. It’s about half an hour away from downtown by bus, it’s a bit like Georgetown—and it’s surrounded by a greenbelt and grandfathered in so it can’t go all obese and nasty with overdevelopment.

Our agent came well recommended and she was just amazing throughout. She had a great eye for detail, and she was available any time we needed her. It was a slow process, but mostly because only sixty or so houses come on the market in Blackburn a year. It’s filled with a lot of people who love it and who have lived there most of their lives. For almost every house we looked at, the owner was either getting relocating because of work or downsizing after a partner had passed away. We looked somewhat indiscriminately at first, but then limited the viewings to exactly what we wanted: detached, four bedrooms, not on a major street. Of the places we saw, quite a few were poorly maintained, some had a terrible location, and one or two were just off the charts price-wise. About five houses in, we found a decent place and we decided to put in a bid—but so did two other couples, and we weren’t about to get mired in a bidding war so that one passed us by. After that place, we saw a whole lot of crap.

Over the last few weeks, things were beginning to look grim. Blackburn was starting to heat up and houses were selling for over their true value. I was starting to think we’d either end up settling, or we’d get hosed and end up paying an extra twenty grand. But then something new came up, a house our agent was very excited about. We got an appointment for Thursday after work, and we were the eighth viewing that day. The owner was an eight-five year old woman, sharp as a knife, who’d lost her husband several years ago and had finally decided to downsize. She was the original owner, having moved in 1967. The décor, largely, was also from 1967, but unbelievably well maintained, as was the entire house. (And trust me—a house not updated in forty years is in every way preferable to house updated in the eighties.) The roof was brand new, the windows were all brand new, the furnace and AC were getting into their golden years, but still good for a while longer. It was huge, beautiful, and backed onto parkland.

We knew that if we didn’t act that night, it would be gone. So a few hours later we put our offer in, and it got accepted. Totally surreal, but just good times all over. Making it all the more weird was the fact that we bought it on Thursday night, worked a crazy-busy day on Friday until four, and then we jumped in the car with Sarah’s parents and headed off to Vermont to shop and eat and shop some more. We seriously ate at Friendly eighty-seven times. But that’s another story.


Beth said…
4 bedrooms, eh? Is one of those a guest bedroom for when Vancouverites are in O-town? Because I will be there, you know I will!

P.S. Go Sens!
Isha said…
Actually, one of those bedrooms belongs to me. I'm there enough as it is, I might as well have my own room. I am, however, willing to share with one or more cats.

Congrats, guys! I'm sad to see you leave downtown (goodbye 10-minute bike rides home; and who's gonna walk me home after date night?) but at least there will be tons o'space for the next movie marathon!
Anonymous said…
Congrats bud.
Let me know if you need a hand.

Just don't expect me to help until after September.


I'll fill you in on that when we chat.

And come on, people.
4 Bedrooms?

You know they either want kids, or several differently-themed sex-rooms.
Anonymous said…
Congratulations! That is so awesome for you two, and you're very lucky to get something that doesn't need a lot of updating!

I know how you're feeling right now - it's surreal and it hasn't sunk in yet that you're now officially Home Owners. Then you're going to start doing the "We're Home Owners!" Dance, and won't be able to stop grinning :)
Anonymous said…
WOW guys! That sounds awesome! SOoo happy for you! Now hit us with some pictures?! MLS listing number?

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