Sitting on the Cliff of Change

 ... waiting for the appointed time to jump. Perhaps the best way of describing how Andrea and I feel right now. We have made some big decisions over the last three months.

After another unsuccessful round of house hunting in Toronto, we were feeling beaten. Another period of record growth has outpaced our savings yet again, meaning that relative to our position a year prior, in a very real sense, we had gone backward in terms of what we could afford.

Sitting on the floor, all I could do was lament that this whole process would be so much less painful in other cities. I found myself feeling a good chunk of jealousy for the team we have in Ottawa, when I thought to myself... "Why can't I work in Ottawa?" I couldn't really come up with a good answer. A couple of minutes of research suggested to me the Ottawa real estate market was markedly different than the Toronto one. So, I wandered over to Andrea and casually asked "Would you move to Ottawa? "

After a couple seconds she asked me "Could we afford a house there?". After I answered, that it looked like we could, she said "Sure". I am not sure how serious either of us were at that point.

Yet, here I am, only three months later: a week away from closing on a house, two and a half weeks away from moving to Ottawa.

In only a few days, I had the answer from IBM that there wouldn't be a huge amount of trouble to transfer.

At this point we started the bargaining phase. We started to reason that if we were willing to relocate all the way to Ottawa, surely some suburb of the GTA should also be investigated. We had been pretty against the idea of suburban living, but in the face of an even more dramatic change we thought we had to at least consider it. So, after some research we started looking seriously at Oshawa, which seemed more reasonable price wise. That weekend we took a car and drove out to Oshawa to see the city. Despite it being better than Toronto, it... didn't really feel right.

So, we planned out first house hunting trip to Ottawa. We got connected though a colleague of mine to a fantastic realtor, and we booked train tickets and an AirBnB.

Early May we headed to Ottawa for a weekend. We saw ten houses on Saturday, and in the late afternoon, we saw a lovely older home. A small bungalow, built onto a hill with a massive front yard, the house charmed us both with the immense love of the home you could feel. It had been beautifully maintained its entire life, and every inch radiated with care. After the day of looking, we decided that we needed to see it again, and Sunday morning, sitting in the basement we started sketching out our offer.

By that afternoon, we found out a second offer was inbound. So, our offer was increased to compete, and we were told we would find out after a 7pm offer presentation. Unfortunately, our train back to Toronto left at 5pm.

On the train, after an enormous quantity of refreshes of our inboxes, we had the news: we had been sniped by a couple coming from Toronto, who had made an offer with no conditions for almost the same amount. We hadn't gotten the house.

So, we returned to Toronto, to lick our wounds, and to prepare for our wedding at the end of the month.

After the wedding, we returned for anothertrip, lessons learned, and ready for round two.

One of the earliest houses we saw that Saturday stood out. Brightly light, and flowing, the house was the embodiment of a singular vision. As we kept seeing other properties it nagged at the back of the mind. The fear of getting sniped again was real. That afternoon we put together an offer.

This time we succeeded.

And so, here we are: One week from possession, two and a half from the move, filled with a desire to just jump into our completely changed life.

Soon we will be

  • In a house
  • With our car
  • Living in a suburb
  • Finding our way in Ottawa

I can't wait.