Since so many people told me on my last post to do a damn budget, fine. Today I downloaded Quicken, imported all our bank transactions for the last 13 months, and spent an hour or less categorizing the transactions of the last three months. It took a while to figure out the budgeting thing but it looks like we really can afford that house (except with less wine, fewer parking tickets and library fines and tows -- oh? I didn't tell you about the towing? Well, apparently if you park on the street [we now have use of two cars but a driveway that can only just fit one -- part of the motivation for checking out other houses] and don't drive your car for more than 48 hours, my fine city considers it abandoned and tows it. If you happen to experience two blizzards in the time that you don't drive it because your husband's out of town, the two feet of snow on top of it and four feet surrounding it are kind of a giveaway -- and slightly less take-out and dining out -- the transaction analysis showed that a certain restaurant was among the top named payees, although keep in mind that the mortgage payments and childcare cheques were not named). We also checked out a house for private sale this morning, which only solidified my love for Saturday's house, then went for a second viewing at my True Love. It didn't disappoint.
So, just like that, we're going to put in an offer. They're holding off offers for another week, so it's likely to go to a bidding war, but it also gives us a chance to get all our ducks in a row so that we may be able to remove some conditions. This week we're going to focus on either getting our house on the market by the weekend (ack!) or almost on the market to make our offer that much stronger.
I'm terrified: terrified that we won't get it and terrified that we will. (I remember feeling this exact way, except way way WAY more intensely, when I was in labour: terrified that he wouldn't survive and terrified that he would.) But it seems telling to me that I've spent the last 48 hours mentally moving our belongings into the built-in cabinetry and placing our art on the walls, AND Sugar D hasn't once resisted. He's usually so change averse that he would start out saying no for two days before he'd come around to the idea of moving. But he's as enthusiastic as I've ever seen him about a major life change (which, of course, to outsiders looks more like grim resignation, but I know better).
It's so strange that only six months ago (was it really six whole months ago?!?) I was mourning the possibility of leaving our home. I was devastated to leave all my native plants behind and risk someone else not liking them and removing them. It seems, however, that going through the emotional process of moving even if we didn't actually go through the physical process, changed something inside me permanently. When I found out we wouldn't have to move to Toronto after all, I didn't go around kissing my native plants hello again, although I did enjoy resituating ourselves in our newly red dining room. Mostly though, I've spent the last several months contemplating major renovations, things like additions that would require us to move many of those native plants or destroy them entirely, and I wasn't really bothered one way or the other.
The thing is we are not fixer-upper people. We are not handy in the slightest. And now that we have a young child we'd really rather not going through all the disruption of renovating our only bathroom, or, for that matter, our kitchen, both of which need renovation badly. And I think I've mentioned I'm not that in love with our local school and Swee'pea isn't THAT far off school age. Academics aside, it has no green space at all surrounding it, and the school by the new house (fingers crossed!) has a fairly large amount of green space around it. It's a stone's throw from the house, down and across the street a bit, down a path between the houses and down a set of steps into the grounds. On top of that, the house is GORGEOUS! Even Bea can vouch for that.
It's so bizarre that a week ago I was only just beginning to consider moving. In fact it was exactly a week ago that I asked my coworker how she came to move, and she told me that one day she was home from work when her then two-year-old son was sick, and she started playing around on mls. One of the houses caught her fancy and since they couldn't go anywhere fun for kids on account of his illness, she took a drive with him to check it out. They liked it but decided to look around some more and eventually ended up buying that first house she'd loved. Last Tuesday, I was home with a sick Swee'pea and playing around on the mls, saw a house that looked nice and decided to take a drive-by. I had to check out a map to find out how to get there and as I drove around and Swee'pea fell asleep in his car seat, I thought, I could live in this neighbourhood, I so totally could.
With lots of luck, maybe we will.
(not THE house... it's Sugar D's dad's place in Cape Town from last January)
Weekend Reading: The Trying to Rally Edition
2 days ago