Buying the Canadian Dream

Sometimes, when you’re young, you do something that goes in a direction you’re not expecting. Like when you’re explaining how you’re going to ride this tray down the stairs, and you just put your foot on it, to show it slides and…WHOOOSH! You’re rocketing down the stairs, nearly balanced on one foot and suddenly very concerned about how you’re going to stop. That, in metaphorical terms, was this weekend.

It was always going to be busy. Tiniest Weasel was turning six, and we had a party planned. That was scheduled for Sunday, the day of her birthday (and, coincidentally, Valentine’s Day). Saturday was going to consist of light shopping, healthy walks and generally recovering from watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony the night before. So the first part of Saturday went well, with slow starts for everyone, phone calls made and Mrs Dim and Eldest Weasel hitting the shops before lunch. But then things started to slide a little, because we decided to visit a couple of houses. We’re in the market for a new house, after all, so when we saw these two properties were available for viewing, it made sense. Loading up the weasels and Moose, we zipped over to the first one, planning to catch the second one immediately after and then go for a walk on the Mountain. The first house was a bust, being too small and too expensive, although it was in a nice location. The second one was further away, but much more reasonably priced. It was old too, by Canadian standards, maybe as old as seventy years. The refurbishing had done a great job of the entrace floor and the upstairs, but the basement was still bveing worked on. That, and the odd visible sign that woodwork outside needed replacing, seemed to put off a lot of the viewers. I liked it, and Mrs Dim was looking thoughtful The layout inside is odd, but that’s the way the current owners did things, it doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way. So we talked it over as we drove on to the Mountain.

Releasing balloons on Burnaby mountain

Me, weasels and Moose releasing balloons. Mrs Dim is behind the camera

We were there to release a balloon for our friend Candy’s daughter Tali, a beautiful girl who had sadly died just a few days before. Candy and her friends were releasing their balloons in the UK on THEIR Saturday, and though we couldn’t be there, we wanted to take part in spirit. Middle Weasel also wanted to release a balloon for Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Luge Competitior who died on Friday. As we released the balloons, she said she hoped Tali would be happy in heaven and that Nodar could continue his career. Sometimes kids can give you some much-needed perspective on the important things in life, even when they’re tiny weasels the rest of the time.

When we got back we called our Realtor, Frank. We haven’t been a lot of use to him, setting such vague parameters for our ideal house that it was difficult for him to pin anything down. Now we had a solid prospect for him, he became a dynamo. Within minutes, we were agreeing to arrange a building survey for the following morning. I changed into my tux, because we were going out to a Murder Mystery Evening across the street, and Mrs Dim made phone calls. We arrived a bit late, and I had to make a few more calls during the evening (missing at least one vital clue. I accused Mrs Dim of the murder anyway. She seems the type. Trained killer, you know.) By the time we got back to our own house, we were on for a busy Sunday.

Tiny Weasel came with me in my car to collect a couple of friends on the way to the party, while Mrs Dim took the other weasels direct to the party location to install the cake and check the arrangements (because I made them, and could therefore have booked the wrong place, the wrong month or for eighty kids instead of eight. These are, so it seems, important details to get right.) Once I’d delivered my set of partygoers and made sure the other parents were happy to stay with Mrs Dim, I hopped back in the car and zipped over to the Prospective House (trying not to think of it as the New House yet…) to meet the Building Inspector and Frank. The news was pretty good, at least in the verbal report, with a lot of work that COULD be done, but nothing so pressing it would prevent anyone living in the place while they did the jobs. I brought Frank back to the Rental House and we met Mrs Dim and the Weasels, then talked House-y business for a while. First time I’ve made lunch for a Realtor… By the time Frank left, we’d decided to put an offer in on the house. We’d signed papers. Putting an offer in on a house we hadn’t even seen 36 hours before. Crazy? Not as crazy as the speed of real estate over here. Before the weasels were in their pyjamas we’d heard back from the owners. We were the only people making an offer. Did we want to change our offer at all? We did, and minutes later we had the verbal assurance that we had the house. In under forty eight hours we had gone from viewing to owning.

Now, don’t ask me about completion, title deeds, mortgage arrangements and so on. That’s all by-the-by. Important, oh yes, but by-the-by for now. We have a great house, a new hobby (fixing stuff, mending stuff, painting stuff…) and a packed schedule for at least the next three months. In the next post I’ll talk about the Elephants Theory of Time Management, but for now, I have to go, my head is spinning again.

One response to “Buying the Canadian Dream

  1. WOW! you guys never fail to amaze me!!!

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