If you happen to see me crying this week, it's not because anything bad happened - quite the opposite. Something so surprisingly wonderful happened that I'm overwhelmed with thankfulness, which occasionally causes me to well up.
We bought a house!
If you follow my columns on a regular basis, you might remember one I penned in December that highlighted statistics from Dr. Paul Kershaw's WTF? (Where's the Future) talk. In it I compared my mom's home ownership at my age (over 30 years ago) to my rental situation and noted owning my own home was a "dream that's far from being realized."
While able to afford monthly payments on a mortgage, my husband and I had zero money saved, which was one gigantic stumbling block.
After the WTF? event we started a savings plan and figured we'd have enough in about 10 years to make a down payment on an average three-bedroom Sechelt home. Of course, the prices could rise dramatically by then, but it was our best shot.
Fast forward to the beginning of this month when we got news that a family member who passed away years ago had left a sum of money to us. All of a sudden, doors were open. There were possibilities, and we started looking into them.
We linked up with Royal LePage realtor Nanette Walker who, true to her name, walked us through the entire process of first-time home buying.
It didn't take us long to find the house that felt like "the one," but we had to be sure.
Enter the line-up of amazing people ready to help.
The first call I made to our friend Bryan Rossiter of Immaculate Concepts to ask if he would come on a walkthrough with us was met with an enthusiastic "yes." I was concerned it might be a bother for the professional contractor who could get paid for his time elsewhere, but he was pleased to help us look over the home. He did a thorough inspection and pointed out some minor problems and things worth looking into, but gave it a thumbs up overall. So we put in an offer.
Of course a "real" inspection is needed, and after three people recommended the same inspector, we hired Urs Pfaeffli. His detailed report showed Bryan was right, but we were thankful to have the document specifying exactly what needed attention and when.
There was one more thing I wanted to be sure of before we moved in - that there was no asbestos in the home.
Local company Eagle West Restoration Ltd. came to the rescue, and within a couple days we knew the house was asbestos free.
On Jan. 30 we removed all the subjects and signed the final paper that officially makes us homeowners.
I feel overwhelmed with thankfulness for everyone who helped us through the process, and to the family member who gave us the incredible gift of home ownership. I'm also thankful for the many friends who have offered their help with moving when it's time. We don't have family out here, but our friends have filled that role.
We're looking forward, after 13 years of renting on the Coast, to paying our own mortgage instead of someone else's. We're also looking forward to putting down roots and staying put for a long time. We've moved three times since my nine-year-old was born and our current home has been for sale twice since we've moved in. It's been hard to get comfortable.
So if you see me driving by with tears rolling down my cheek or happen to find me welling up while in line at the grocery store, don't be concerned. They are just tears of thankfulness, and I'm not going to hide them.