House Hunting 2016: The Search Is Over!

Our search has ended! Last Monday, we turned in a big fat cheque to secure our first home – new build townhouse that checks all the boxes for us.

Three beds? Check.
Two-plus baths? Check.
Fenced backyard for Lucas J. Dog? Check.
Open concept main floor with the kitchen in the middle? Check.
Opportunity to do karate in the garage? Check.

We had been waiting for the development to open up as we have heard great things about the builder, but didn’t expect to be able to get the layout that we liked best. This is a symptom of searching and coming up empty for extended periods of time: you set yourself up for disappointment because the world is too cruel to allow you to have exactly what you want.

Having set a price cap for ourselves, we anticipated hearing that the center kitchen, Bateman design would be the middle of the three price ranges and therefore out of our reach. The other 3/2 layout – the Yale – would have worked, but it would have been a compromise because it has an L-shaped kitchen and a main floor entry, something that isn’t all that appealing to us.

So you can imagine our surprise when the sales agent informed us that the Bateman model was the lowest priced of the lot and an end unit in the first quartet of homes was available.

Not wanting to be rash, we said we were interested, but needed to talk it over, got all super-giddy and excited in the car and got home to a message: the end unit was gone, but there was still an interior unit available.

It had been years since I actually had the wind knocked out of me (by my grade school nemesis, Jeff Arthur), but this was close. We loved the idea of the end unit – one less shared wall, more windows, slightly better westerly view out the front windows – and while the interior unit had the same layout we loved, it was an interior unit and it didn’t quite feel as exciting.

But we took it anyway, writing in a condition that if the end unit came available, we wanted first dibs. Yes, we actually put a “first dibs clause” in our contract. I’m proud to say that I didn’t actively hope the people who grabbed the end unit out from under us (not really) didn’t get their financing because we came around on the interior unit (my wife made some very good points, largely revolving around saving money), but when the email came through that said, “Unit #1 is available,” I had to keep myself from screaming with excitement – I was doing an interview and I’m pretty sure the fighter I was talking to would have been freaked out if I broke his train of thought by shouting out of nowhere.

We talked it over, told the agent we wanted the end unit, signed up some paperwork and bought ourselves a house.

It’s one of those major items on the “you’re all grown up now” checklist and to cross it off is crazy, but it doesn’t mean our adventure is over.

Our future home won’t be ready until the end of June at the earliest and between now and then, we have a lot to do, all of which I will continue chronicling here because (a) you guys thankfully seem to enjoy this series and (b) I think I can provide some fun insights about some of the annoying, tedious parts that are on the horizon, like packing.

But the biggest part is done.

No more MLS searches, open houses at over-priced properties or wondering if we’re every going to find a place.

We found one and it’s going to be perfect because it’s going to be our home.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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