Category Archives: Househunting

The move

The move went very smoothly – we got the keys at lunchtime on  Monday and moved most of our stuff (including a bed frame, which traveled on the roof of our car) on Monday afternoon and evening.

We were in the house by 8am yesterday ready for Rogers to come to connect the Internet and phone and for our bed and a lazy-boy type sofa (for our media/family room) to be delivered. The piles of packaging grew and grew . . .

dscn6494-medium What a lot of empty boxes!

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Then it was off to the Mall, spending courageously as my mother used to put it!

Paul had an event to go to in the evening, so I was forced into driving as he picked up the subway on the way home – it wasn’t far and I felt about ready to start getting over my nervousness at adjusting to controls on the opposite side and city driving all at the same time!  This also meant I could go off to the supermarket to frighten myself at the cost of stocking up with all the essential staples, toiletries etc. –  it”s easy to forget the initial outlay of starting from scratch with food, cleaning materials etc!

After two long and busy days, I really feel for Paul trying to find the energy and concentration to get back to his Tyco work. There are still a thousand and one small things to do, which he has to let go in working hours, as well as some re-design of badly sited switches and lighting (we have an electrician working on a quote) to be sorted before our furniture arrives from the UK around 15 December (it’s due to reach port in Montreal on 11th). We also discovered that the house has been plumbed for a central vacuum cleaner and anticipate getting this fitted as soon as possible.

Update on Our House

The closing (completion) date for our house purchase has now been set for Monday 30 November, so by the start of December we will be living in our own home!

Below are a few more photos of the house.

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We may have bought a house (3) – the location

Below is the Google street-view of the house we are hopefully buying (ignore the house numbers as they are only approximate and may not represent our address!) – you can move around the locality and see the immediate surroundings.

The house is about five minutes from the GO station (Danforth) and just a couple more from the subway. There is a small Mall just up the road on Danforth, as well as a variety of shops along Danforth itself. And Loblaws, one of the key supermarkets, is a five minute walk (they also sell petrol).

We can walk down Beach’s leafy streets to Queen St – if we walk the most direct route we come out at the bottom of Beech Ave, on the corner of which is our current ‘local’, Quigley’s, with the Remarkable Bean close by and the shore a further five minutes or so’s walk.

View Larger Map

We may have bought a house (2) – the house

The house we have made an offer on is not what we expected to buy but, the moment we agreed to make an offer, my energy changed so positively and the creative thoughts started whirling for both of us to such an extent that I am very happy that it is the right decision.

We will be about 15 minutes walk from Queen St and 20 from the shore, at the top end of the Beach neighbourhood (not really Beach, though increasingly running under the moniker of Upper Beach). However, we will also be just minutes from the Danforth GO station (Greater Ontario trains) and Main Street Subway station (top speed link into and across the city).

Rather than an old home, we have gone for an end of row town house, only a few years old, with masses of room, lots of light and which fronts onto green space.  The house is three storeys plus a currently unfinished but huge (and high) basement, with a back yard just the right size for us and a garage with back lane access.

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The ground floor is open plan and encompasses a lounge, kitchen (with new stainless steel appliances) and dining area, as well as what is described in Canada as a 2 piece washroom (loo and basin). Stairs lead from the lounge area upwards, with a door to the basement from the kitchen.

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On the middle floor are two bedrooms, a full bathroom and a wonderful family room/ media room with a balcony into a full height void over the front hall area.

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On the top floor is a single master bedroom with en-suite bathroom (corner bath and large separate shower), leading off a small landing which also leads out onto a high level deck/balcony. This looks along the street behind us, which is lined with sugar maples, currently aflame even after dark as the house and streetlights fall on them.

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The laundry, as is common in Canada, is in the basement (Miele front loading washing machine and tumble drier, with a sink), alongside the furnace (boiler) and hot water tank (rented – this seems to be the standard pattern here and means that it is the suppliers’ responsibility to replace it when necessary). The basement has a hugely high ceiling and is a really good space. We hope we may be able to get permission for an external door and conversion to an apartment but with access retained to the furnace and tank and a shared laundry area,

36-william-hancox-iThe back yard (garden) has just the right amount of space to create a deck and some visual interest – it benefits from being the corner plot, continuing round the edge of the garage, which has been given a mock facade along the side.  This is pretty much a blank canvas still.

This is a house that we can move into and not have to do anything, as far as we can currently see. But there is enough potential that we can hopefully both enjoy developing its character and add to its long-term value.

Our fingers are crossed for a smooth passage to Canadian home ownership!

The realtor photos of the interior of the house really do not do it justice! But at least they give you an idea.

FOOTNOTE: We removed the conditions yesterday (Wednesday), having had our mortgage approved and following a very helpful home inspection – this is equivalent to exchanging contracts in the UK.