Give Me Back My Five Bucks

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Realizing my dream of home ownership

As you know, I’ve been going to open houses and viewing appointments for the past three weeks. Well, earlier this week, my Realtor and I went to view a super cute 1-bedroom townhouse in a great neighbourhood. In fact, I’ve been admiring that building complex for years because it’s right down the road from my gym. After seeing a few other places and waiting a couple of days, we decided to go see it again. And this time I really analyzed it. I considered the location and space based on where I see myself over the next few years, my budget, and of course it’s value.

The next day, I had a friend at my old job (real estate office) pull some reports on the property. And after meeting with my Realtor to discuss comparables and numbers that we were comfortable with, we put in an offer. Then came two stressful evenings of negotiations before we finally agreed on a final price last night.

Which means: I AM A HOME OWNER! :D

As I’m sure most of you can tell, I am a ¬†level-headed person who does not make spontaneous financial decisions. This achievement represents the last 5 years of hard work, hustle, and determination. I can also say with absolute certainty that I was very practical in staying within this price range. The mortgage is a comfortable amount based on only my full-time income. It does not consider my PT job, freelance, or blogging income.

This entire process, from start to finish, was done with just my Realtor. I never thought I’d have to make such an important decision on my own, so I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have found someone so great to work with. I also think for first-time home buyers, having an amazing Realtor is absolutely key in the buying process. He went above and beyond, and I really credit him with making sure I was comfortable every step of the way. I felt like he understood where I was coming from, and he made what could have been an overwhelming process, into something fun and exciting. I trusted his opinions and negotiation tactics, but most importantly, I never felt pressured.

When it was all said and done – I feel like we got the best price possible we could have gotten for the townhouse. And, the biggest bonus to this entire transaction is that I will be able to move in before the end of the month. Which makes everything just about a million times easier for me logistically, and will save me a lot of time and money.

It’s such an overwhelming situation to have your life change so drastically in the course of just a few weeks. But I am so happy with the place, and even though it will be weird to be on my own, I am excited to start new and shake things up.

So, now comes examining the strata minutes, hiring a home inspector, and getting my finances in order.

Life changes, and moving on

Many of you saw a mysterious tweet of mine a few days ago, talking about big changes happening in my life. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I can share the news with you.

I broke up with BF.
This has come as a shock to a lot of people. We have been together for 3.5 years, and never really let on that anything was wrong. Even though for me personally, this has been a long time coming, it is still incredibly difficult to deal with as you can imagine. Of course, because mutual friends and loved ones read this blog, I’m not going to go into the details about why this has happened. The decision came after a lot of serious thought about where I see myself in the future, and has nothing to do with anything that he has done. He is an amazing person, and I truly wish the best for him.

Moving forward, I will be okay. I’d like to think that I’m independent and resourceful. I have a great job, I have friends and family that care about me, and I have hobbies that will keep me busy. Still, I can’t help but be heartbroken and saddened that I’ve lost my best friend.

I am going to buy a place on my own.
The property search will continue. For the longest time, I thought I’d never be able to buy a place on my own. It scared me. But over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that I can do this by myself. While it’s not the most important thing in my life, it’s been my #1 goal since I started the process of getting out of debt. And now that I am finally in a position to buy a place, I can’t believe I’m doing it in Vancouver – where I never thought I’d end up (I’m an island girl at heart). But it’s the right place for me to be, and I’m very excited.

There you have it. Life changes sometimes, and it’s hard, and scary, and overwhelming. But I firmly believe that how you deal and react to these kinds of situations really sets the tone for the future and shapes you as a person. You learn from everything you do, and you just have to move forward knowing that you’re stronger because of it.

And now, a little “Chin Up, Cheer Up” by Ryan Adams.

Learning about mortgage pre-approvals

After speaking with a mortgage broker, I’m left a little deflated. Apparently when they look at income, they want to average out the income over the last 2 or 3 years (I thought it was just a year). So because I’ve only been at my PT job for about 7 months, and I only just started bringing in decent freelancing income over the past 18 months, none of that matters when it comes to qualifying. They will basically only look at my FT income. And because my PT and freelancing income makes up a huge portion of my overall income (about 30%), that works against me. Whereas, in terms of financial security, it works for me to not have all my eggs in one basket.

One huge detail I might have left out and not told you is that I will be taking on the mortgage myself. BF will not qualify because he is a student and hasn’t been working for over a year. So, while he will be contributing in every way to the household expenses, his name will not be on the title of the home or on the mortgage papers – which is why I mentioned in a previous post that we will need a lawyer to iron out all of the details to make sure that we are both protected.

We are still in the ballpark figure of where we thought our purchase price would be. Just at the lower end of the scale, about $30,000 less than I had initially thought. And that’s fine. We will just make sure not to see anything that isn’t in our new price range. And I had planned on doing that anyway. I am going to be level-headed about the property search and I’m not going to rush it. Buying a home will be the single most expensive thing I do in my life, and it’s not a decision I take lightly!

The good thing is that, even though I don’t qualify for the amount I thought I’d qualify for based on my income, it doesn’t change the fact that we will be very comfortable with the mortgage payments. Even without a penny of freelancing income, I will be able to easily pay for the mortgage without taking a hit to my other savings goals. We aren’t stretching ourselves by any means, and that’s the most important thing.

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