Friday, August 31, 2007


Because I live in a fairly small apartment alone I've never felt the need to set up a wireless connection or network. However, now that we (not just me) will have 2 whole floors of space, I would like to go wireless. I've got my eye on the Apple Airport Express. It's small, cute and sounds like exactly what we need. I hope to buy one before we move to check it out and make sure I can make it work. I'm not as geeky as I used to be.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


After more telephone tag we have our home insurance set up. It was fairly cheap - under $400.00 for the year. I'm not sure what I was expecting but it seems cheap. I think because it's a townhouse and we do have strata/building insurance it's not as expensive as detached house insurance. That's just a guess.

I didn't start packing on Monday as I wanted to. Too busy and still fighting a cold that is sucking my energy. Oops, I've lost 2 days already. I will start before the end of the week. I promise.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moment of panic

We had a moment of panic the night before last when we got an email from our realtor saying we needed to get home insurance effective IMMEDIATELY. Ummm ok. It's 11pm on a Sunday night and we close Monday morning at 9am. Not a whole lot of time to set up insurance. We are in a unique situation with our closing and possession dates so insurance plans have been a bit convoluted. After a few phone calls however I (think) we are covered for what we need. Remember to check what is covered by the building insurance and work your personal contents insurance around that. It can make a difference. I think it's sort of funny that I have never had contents insurance when I rented yet I now suddenly feel my stuff is worthy of insurance. Ironic as I will probably have less money to buy "stuff" now than I did before.

I'm going to start packing tonight.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I mentioned a few posts ago that closing costs add a big bill onto an already scary big mortgage bill. We pay the final costs on Monday morning and then it's official. More official than it is now. Then I will start packing. I've resisted the urge to start packing but the boxes I've already started hoarding at my desk at work will definitely make their way home next week. Less than a month to pack! A lifetime for some....just the right amount of time for me. When I pack, even though I have very little to pack, I inevitably discover something I forgot I had or start flipping through old books or photos. I can't help it. It happens every time I move. I bet it happens to most people. So....plan for walking down memory lane when you pack and you will have lots of time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


We're trying to be as green as possible in planning our renovations. It's amazing to learn how something you thought was entirely environmentally friendly can be harmful to people due to toxic glues or other materials used in the construction. Like bamboo flooring for example. You have to specifically seek out non toxic bamboo flooring. I didn't know that but I'm learning a lot more as we go along.

One thing I'm really digging is concrete counter tops. They are non-toxic, very green, very durable and look great. And the bonus is that they aren't over the top expensive. We went to Greenworks Building Supply on W. 8th last weekend and saw some interesting samples of countertops and other materials, like PaperStone and IceStone.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Planning

Even though we don't close for a few days I've already started planning a few things. Actually, we have already started shopping for hardwood floors, appliances and paint colours. We also started using an online room planner. Ikea has one as well but it doesn't work on a Mac. One strike against the Swedes. The one we are using is so far fine but for some strange reason I can't seem to find a bathroom section. Weird...

Anyway, I put together a few excel spreadsheets to keep track of our closing costs, create a moving checklist and create a new home to-do list. First up on the list: we need to replace the outlets in both bathrooms to GFCI outlets. I had no idea what that meant a week ago. Buying a home has made me smrt. Of course, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms will be the first things we do. And have the downstairs carpet cleaned. I found Green Maids Canada online but I still want to shop around. Does anyone know of any enviro friendly, non chemical carpet cleaning companies in Vancouver? I've seen trucks driving around with oranges on them but I'm not sure what the name of the company is.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome Home

It's been a long(ish) haul. After about 4 months of looking at properties, being outbid twice, being turned down once, we finally had an offer accepted on a townhouse.

We removed 3 pages of subjects on August 17, 2007. We signed the "removal document," visited the bank the next day to sign off on our mortgage details and hired a notary public to handle the rest. Closing date is August 27. The inspection was done on August 15. Home inspection that is. Yep, I'm buying a home. There is no turning back now. I've already begun to frown at price tags and walked away from things "because I have a mortgage now." I hope that ends soon. I don't want to live my life house poor. I hope to never utter the following statements:

"Sorry, I can't do that because I have a morgage."
"Sorry, I can't eat there, I have a mortgage."
"Umm sorry, but are you not aware that I have a mortgage?"

I recommend that people heed the warning that closing costs are surprisingly high. The Property Transfer Tax (PTT)* alone is a killer.

It feels good to be in the market. In Vancouver and in a home we both love.

*NOTE: If you are a first time home buyer and your property is under 375,000 the government waives this tax. Unfortunately, I didn't qualify.