The title says it all, readers. We’re currently running two households with very different needs, and one of them is in our name and belongs to us, and it feels weird. Overwhelming might be another word for it. Stressful comes to mind too. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Let’s start off with some happy:
This is Dan and I on the day we received out keys last week. Our new neighbours spotted us before we even went inside, and they snapped this picture for us (thanks Jim and Sonia!). I’m holding up our new key, in case it’s hard to see.
The process of the last few days before we took possession was very straightforward. We got a call from the lawyer the week before closing, confirming what we had to bring to our meeting, which we set up for the day before closing. They needed two pieces of ID (they suggested drivers’ license and SIN card or passport), a bank draft for our down payment, a void cheque for the mortgage folks, and an additional $83.35 in cash for miscellaneous costs that could have been part of our down payment amount, but we already had the bank draft completed when they told us this. Most of that extra cost came from the hot water heater rental company, for some kind of postponement paperwork. We weren’t really clear on this, so we asked the lawyer and she explained it as a fee that moves the hot water heater company to second in line behind the bank for who has first rights to our house. I don’t get it either.
On the day before closing, we went to a sketchy part of town that I didn’t know even existed, to an almost unmarked office for our lawyer. There was a desk in a reception area with nothing on it – no pictures in frames, no papers, no files, no computer, nothing – and a girl met us and asked for our pieces of ID. She photocopied our IDs and told us to take a seat a wait for our clerk. Up until this point, everything seemed like a weird fake business, but I had faith that this would all turn out OK. I had been dealing with one person for all of our pre-paperwork stuff through email, but this was not the person who met with us. The gal we met with was friendly and explained things in a way that made sense to us, and we signed a stack of papers 8″ high, two copies of everything. We also handed over all the money we had been saving for the last 3-10 years (3 years for Dan, 10 years for me). The lawyers would take care of passing everything on to the right people, and receiving all of the important things from the previous owners to pass on to us. We drove home and that was it. I’ve still never met or spoken with the lawyer whose name is on all of our important documents, but I guess simple home buying is small potatoes for him, and he’s saving all of his lawyering for someone with more bucks than us.
I got a call from the lawyer’s office around lunch time the next day, telling me the keys were ready and everything was done. Dan zipped off to pick up the keys. Except it was only one key. Just one key. Hmm. There’s no way that a normal couple would have only one key to their house, but we thought maybe they just didn’t hand over all the keys they had? Before I came home from work, Dan went to get copies of the key made, so we had the original plus four more on hand when we rolled up to the new house. When we got inside, we found the rest of the keys on the countertop waiting for us (along with all of the instruction manuals for things bolted to the house, like the thermostat, and a lovely letter from the old owners). D’oh. In the days after, we also got another copy of the key when the selling real estate agent took away the lockbox on the door and left that key in our mailbox (in a very nice “welcome to your new home” card). D’oh again. We have lots of keys now, and we’ve already handed them out to all the important people.
We’ve had our house for about a week now, and a few unexpected things have come up, along with our regular list of to-do’s before we move in. Stay tuned for more updates, we’ve been doing a lot this last week.