Tag Archives: house

A Change of Plans

Last week, I posted about the sale of our house, and the start of our housing search in Toronto’s Annex area.

Well.

It didn’t quite work out the way we’d been planning. After an exhausting week in which we traipsed into the city almost daily and viewed several houses, a condo unit popped up in the Yorkville area.

We’d already decided we were going to rent a house, but decided to take a look at the condo anyway.

That’s when it happened.

A Change of Plans

We changed our minds.

You see, we’d spent a week looking at all manner of apartments in houses with all manner of charming imperfections. Nothing felt quite right. Nothing made us say, “This is it! This is the place!”

Then we went to see the condo, and afterward, we both realized something.

We’ve been living for fifteen years with a whole number of charming imperfections. The house we just sold is all about these charming little imperfections.

Frankly, we’re both a little tired of charming imperfections. And there was something very appealing about living with a bit of chrome and glass for a while.

Waterfront, Here We Come

Toronto skyline

If condo life beckoned, the next thing we had to look at was area. The Annex isn’t exactly well-known for its condos.

So we took a look over the past fifteen years of suburban living, and realized that all our trips into the city were almost always for entertainment: live theatre and the symphony were high on the list.

And one of our reasons for moving into the city was to be able to do more of this, and to be able to take advantage of the lower cost subscriptions for matinee seatings.

Once we realized this, everything started to come together. Toronto’s waterfront area is filled with condos, and is within walking distance to a lot of entertainment venues.

Synchronicity!

A friend of ours who lives outside the country recently flew in and purchased a condo for investment purposes. In the waterfront area. Which she wants to lease out.

The condo was bought from plans, but is almost all completed. The occupancy date is in mid-October.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

So now, we have a place! It’s not finalized yet – my friend wants us to go to the pre-delivery inspection first and see the unit (we’ve just been going by the floor plan) to make sure we’ll like it.

But we’re pretty sure. After our week of rental search experiences, which included a number of interesting characters who didn’t strike us as being particularly suitable landlord types, yes, we’re pretty sure. The unit is large for a condo, the layout makes great use of the available space, and there are, as my friend says, oodles of amenities.

Packing …

It feels so good to be able to focus on packing now. Ward leaves for Japan in a few days, and we’d really wanted to have a place settled before he leaves.

And now, we do!

Photo credit

The Adventure Begins …

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks around here. We finalized the sale on our house earlier this week – the closing date is the end of November. Yay!

Ward and I are being somewhat daring. After 15 years of home ownership, we’ve decided to lease a place in the city rather than buying another place.

I must admit, the thought of not owning our home feels a little funny. But renting gives us a lot more options and flexibility. With the two older kids in university now, it’s a great time for a big lifestyle change. So out of the suburbs we go, adventuring into city life!

image An "Annex Style" house

We’ve already looked at one place, a darling gem of a house situated on the upper edges of the Annex, the neighbourhood that’s at the top of our list. (It was a more modern style house than the one in the picture above, but still very beautiful.)

Unfortunately, the landlord had already accepted an offer when we looked at the house – he was encountering a few problems finalizing the offer so was continuing to show the place. We both loved it – it backed onto a ravine, so although the backyard was a mere sliver compared to our current big beautiful property, we’d still have loads of greenery.

We were also very impressed by the obvious love the landlord had for his little house; it was a place that had definitely received lots of loving care.

We actually put in an “offer in waiting” and there were some delicious moments, when the landlord was having some problems finalizing the offer he had, when we thought there might be a chance we’d actually get the place!

Not a bad start to our new adventure, right? Keep your fingers crossed for us! We’re being as flexible as possible, so in addition to houses (or rather, flats in houses, which is about all you can rent in the areas of Toronto we’re looking at), we’re also looking at condos in other parts of the city.

It will be very interesting move indeed; for one thing, we’ll be moving from a 3000 sq ft home to one that will, based on the listings we’ve looked at so far, not be much more than 1200 sq ft, and likely less than that. It’ll definitely be a big change!

It might get quite hectic over the next month or so; in the meantime, we’re also packing our things, deciding what should go into storage, and also playing with the idea of purchasing a small investment property in the area where we’re currently living, just to keep our hand in the real estate market. And Ward leaves for ten days of martial arts training in Japan in two weeks.

But it will be fun, I know. I just hope the next few months won’t be too exhausting!

What’s Up Saturday – June 6

I can’t believe we’re already a week into June. It’s shaping up to be a very busy month for me, as I’ve shifted several deadlines from July to June so that I can actually take off for a few weeks for a holiday. One thing about being a freelancer is that a real vacation can be tricky if you don’t plan well for it; I’ve learned my lesson after several “holidays” turned into working vacations. Not exactly what I’m aiming for!

The Strain, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

After reading this review of The Strain at Debbie’s World of Books, and then coming across this interview with The Strain co-author Chuck Hogan at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind I realized The Strain is definitely one book I want to read while I’m away on holidays. We’ve rented a beach house in Nova Scotia, and it seems like it will be a perfect, eerie read for those foggy nights, and out along Nova Scotia’s South Shore, there are many foggy nights.

So I picked up my own copy of The Strain yesterday, and now I have two must-reads on my vacation list: The Strain and The Language of Bees, by Laurie King (which I’ve already started, but I’m deliberately setting aside so I can enjoy it while I’m on holiday). Another tentative addition to my holiday reads list is Holly’s Inbox, by Holly Denham.

Ideally, I’d like to take six “must reads” with me on holidays, so I’m keeping my eyes open. I’d love to hear your recommendations, too!

It’s Dumpster Time

Seven years ago when we began our (still ongoing … sigh) renovations, my husband and I packed up a lot of things in boxes and stuffed the boxes into our crawl space in order to get them out of the way. Seven years later, we’ve just added more stuff to the places where we used to store these things before we packed them up and put them in the crawl space – and we haven’t taken anything OUT of the crawl space, either.

So we recently decided it was time to really do something about all this clutter. We’ve been in a process of de-cluttering for the past two months now, and while we’ve made a small dent in things, we still have a lot of stuff that simply must go. The problem is, no-one else wants them, either (don’t blame them).

Sometimes you just get to a point where you know you’ve got to do something about things. We’ve reached it. We’re renting a dumpster and we’re going to be going through everything over the next few weeks, and sorting them into the following categories: to dump, to recycle, to give away. Hopefully we’ll have an uncluttered house again. Sure, it still needs things like drywall and doors but at least it will be uncluttered! And I was happy and encouraged to read that the rent-a-dumpster route worked exceedingly well for author Holly Lisle.

This Week’s Picture

peony

I was absolutely thrilled to find that the peony I planted last year is filled with buds. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing it in full bloom!