Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Photo of the house interior

Here is a picture of the living room fireplace.
Update on our House

A lot has happened since our last post. The agreement to buy the house that I wrote about in July fell through. We were supposed to get possession and move in on September 1st but the tenants refused to move out. They just didn't want to go. In Canada, tenants have a lot of power. Even though the law says that if we own the house and want to live in it, we can, the people who are living there can refuse to move and it takes a long time and lots of effort to get them evicted. Our lawyer (who is also a friend) told us we had 3 options. We could take possession anyway and try to get the people to move ourselves or we could wait for 15 days and hope that the sellers could get them to move or we could walk away from the house. We could walk away without penalty because one of the conditions for us to buy the house was that it would be empty. We decided to walk away.

That left us with a problem. We didn't have a place to live and work and school were starting on the 2nd and 3rd of September. Arthur's parents generously encouraged us to continue living with them on the farm but it seemed like a lot of driving. Erik and Conrad were keen to start youth group and that would mean two late evenings a week. We really wanted to stay in Winnipeg. So, the first week, we stayed with Arthur's brother and sister-in-law in their basement.

Then something amazing worked out. My parents, who are going to Thailand for the 8th winter in a row, had arranged to let their friends from Winnipeg stay in their Chilliwack house. These friends have a big house in nice part of Winnipeg that was available for us to stay in! So we are living in luxury while we sort ourselves out.

If you remember, we were trying to buy this house with the money that we had so that we would not have a loan. Now that this house fell through, we decided to join most of the Canadian middle class and get a mortgage to help us buy a house. This was not hard to arrange. Banks and Credit Unions love lending money to people and I quickly had it arranged.

Then we started looking all over again but this time in better neighborhoods, looking at better houses. We spent a few days touring houses with our agent. Erik and Conrad came along with us a few times. Our favorite house was a big old one on a shady street. We decided to bid on it. What generally happens here is that more than one buyer wants to buy each house and they bid on it on a certain day. The person with the highest bid gets the house. This house would go quickly, we thought, so we kept our eyes open for other houses too. One house was taking bids on Monday, our favorite on Tuesday, and our third choice on Wednesday. We decided to bid on all 3 in a row. To make a long story short: we got the Monday house at a good price and have since forgotten that it wasn't our favorite!

It has hardwood floors and original woodworking with a fireplace and built-in glass door shelving. It has a sunroom and French doors with 3 bedrooms upstairs. We will finish the basement so we can use it too. It's not big but will be fine for our family. It's sitting on a double lot and has a great backyard with lots of room. It is close to a major street with good bus service and the boys can walk to their school. We are really pleased.