Another Move, another Cliff

It’s funny to me that I wrote this post two years and one month ago. At the time, we were just about to close on our first home purchase, and were three weeks away from moving from Toronto to Ottawa.

Here I am again, two years later, just about to move from Ottawa to Edmonton. I don’t think I would have predicted that two years ago.

A lot has changed in the last two years. First and foremost, we welcomed our daughter into the world in December. She’s been an amazing child, and has warmed my life in ways I literally could not have imagined before her. Second, I started working remotely full time.

The combination really made us start to question our life in Ottawa. We love parts of Ottawa: Our house, our friends, the canal — it’s a lovely city. However, with a baby you really do start to think a lot more about family connection. With work no longer acting as an anchor to Ottawa, the question of moving really started to bubble up at the beginning of this year.

In May, we made a trip to Edmonton, and stayed in an AirBnB for a week with my parents. By the end of that week had decided: It’s worth it to move back to Edmonton. Last time when we moved from Toronto to Ottawa, we moved very quickly — from the day we decided to move, to the day we took possession of the new house was only about three months.

This move has been similarly paced. After deciding to move mid-May, we had our house on the market about two weeks after we got home. We then had a house-hunting week in Edmonton in mid-June.

We’re fortunate in a sense, moving from Ottawa to Edmonton: the housing markets are largely opposites. Where Ottawa is seeing strong price growth, Edmonton has seen prices falling. Despite having this arbitrage opportunity, the house hunting trip was irksome. One of the first houses we saw, we liked. However, by waiting until the next morning, we missed it. Crazily, despite having been on the market for over a month, it sold after two offers came in the day we saw it. After that, we had a couple of rough unsuccessful days. We didn’t see much we liked, and we learned a lot about our what we are willing to compromise on, and what we weren’t (turns out, I’m way more sensitive to road noise than I thought). On the last possible day of house hunting, at least for that trip, we found something we both really liked. It was a clear winner, despite some hemming and hawing on our part.

Irksomely, we ended up having competition on our offer for that house. Fortunately, we put in the winning offer.

Our own house sold on its eighth day on the market, while we were in the middle of the house hunt. That was nice.

So here we are again. Sitting on the cliff of change. We’re slowly putting the final pieces together on our move. We’ve held our goodbye party, and are just waiting to see how Edmonton treats us.

I hope it goes swimmingly.