Posts Tagged ‘home buying’


I actually had a blog-related nightmare last night.  I dreamt I was checking my stats, and I was down to the “five people a day” level of traffic.  Five people being the SPIKES.  I can’t say it was much of a nightmare, because my reaction was, “Huh.  Guess I should post more…” and here I am.

As always I have an excuse.  In addition to riding my bicycle to 20 hours worth of lessons per week, I am very tired from dealing with house-related things.  Words like “parging” and “lawyer” and “variable rate mortgage” have entered my daily vocabulary.  I now know the difference between “comprehensive” and “broad” insurance coverage.  I have dealt with the electricity, gas, and phone companies, been put on hold many times and listened to more smooth easy-listening jazz than one would imagine was sufficient for a lifetime.  I have gone through five years worth of bills and thrown out everything from before January 2008.  I have written checks for amounts that dwarf the amount of money I made my first year out of school.

But whatever.  That’s life.  In the end I get to live in my own house, and that’s worth two weeks of chicken-with-its-head-cut-off-like running around.

In other news, the Torture Memos CD went to the producers today.  We’ll be doing the official release end of November/beginning of December.  I suggested “Give the gift of Torture!” as a marketing slogan (a perfect gift idea for the ACLU member on your list), but I don’t think Ben bought it.  The record sounds amazing and the packaging looks great, so what more can you ask for?

Also we bought a new printer.  If anyone wants the old one – a semi-functional Samsung colour laser printer with no toner – you are welcome to it.  It’ll cost you about $200 to fill with toner, but it IS free and I will fully explain exactly what voodoo rites you have to perform to get it to print anything.

What else?  Oh, don’t EVER shop for novelty/promotional USB drives online, or you will get more spam email than you would think possible.  A few months ago I researched getting some for the band – we were thinking of releasing the Torture Memos on novelty USBs, but it turned out to be too expensive – and I asked for a bunch of quotes from different suppliers.  BIG MISTAKE.  It’s cooled off a bit now, but for a while I was getting 10-20 Viagra/penis enlargement/get-rich-quick spam messages a day.

And I voted.  Our riding had a by-election today, and I managed to squeeze in voting between being put on hold by the phone company and doing the laundry so we don’t have to move dirty clothes.  I always vote.  Even if it seems pointless, you gotta do it for the sufragettes.

I think that’s enough random rambling for today.  That and I don’t have enough positive categories on this blog.  I need categories like, “Puppies and rainbows” or “Things I whole-heartedly and unreservedly like”.


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…the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation came through, and we are going to be homeowners!

To do, in this order:

– Reorganize work schedule;
– Change phone and hydro address;
– Reserve moving truck;
– Arrange for home insurance;
– Decide what furniture to get rid of;
– Change dogs’ microchip addresses;
– Get new dog tags made;
– Figure out what repairs are needed and triage according to need;
– Pack;
– Move.

Then the real fun begins…I forsee this becoming a home reno blog very soon.

But on the whole, very good news, and very little to complain about!

Except I have a rash over the strawberry mark on my tailbone.  In the shape of Australia.  I think it’s from wearing jeans that are too big while biking.

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So in case you didn’t listen to my podcast, or you got bored halfway through my trawl through Wikipedia’s pages on chromosomal disorders, this is the big secret I was supposed to have confirmation by 8 PM yesterday: We are buying a house.

The saga began this August when I realized that, against all odds, we had assembled a decent down payment.  At least in a down market.  So we told the landlady (who is also a realtor) that we wanted to start looking at houses.

It took a while to get the mortgage organized – look, we are both self-employed, and Ben has *no* credit history – but by the beginning of September we had it in process and started looking.

Our landlady’s husband, Lorenzo, took us around to a bunch of houses.  Most of them were basically one bedroom apartments in house form – an open living area, a bedroom, a kitchen, a loft.  Many didn’t even have basements.   None of them had enough space for us to both live and work in, though we considered one that had an electrified shed.  (“Ben, you can write in there!” I said.  “That’s what Mahler did!”)  But finally we saw one that was just right.

When I say “just right” I don’t mean that it’s perfectly maintained or well decorated or has nice floors or a granite countertop.  It has none of those things.  It is a very narrow semi-detached house with many small rooms, currently stuffed full of Buddha statues and fake flowers by the elderly Vietnamese couple who live there.

Most people would not want this house.  It’s old but not historic, it needs work, and it lacks all those nice little amenities that people like.  But for us it’s perfect – lots of rooms so we can each have a private workspace, a separate entrance for the studio space, a fully fenced backyard for the dogs, and all the Buddhas you could ever possibly need.  And it’s really cheap.*

So we put in an offer, haggled a bit, and they accepted.  We got the inspection done (some old wiring, an old furnace, and a couple of missing roof shingles).  We impressed upon the bank the necessity of getting the mortgage finalized before the deal fell through.  “OK,” our mortgage person – Lisa – said, “It should all be done by Friday.”

That was yesterday.  As it stands, the bank has approved us, but the Canadian Mortgage and Home Corporation has yet to approve the house.  (That’s the mortgage insurer.)  I think they are trying to kill me.

Anyway, it has to be done by Monday or else the damn thing falls through.  Lisa has assured me that she’ll make it happen, and she’s good at her job, so keep your fingers crossed for me.  I want that goddamn house.  If the CMHC keeps jerking us around and the approval comes on Tuesday I will have to seriously consider a letter bomb.**

I’m tempted to go buy a bottle of Scotch and drink it now, but I think I’ll try to do something productive, like go through the books and decide which ones to throw away, or make a dog coat or something.  Then Scotch.

*As in, a vacant lot across the street sold for $50,000 more than we’re paying for this house.

**Kidding!  Honestly, just kidding.  Don’t send the Canadian version of Homeland Security after me.

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Here it is.

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