Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tick tock

So, in the last couple of weeks, Cathy's internal clock, which started ticking last year, began to become much louder. Now, at first I was content to ignore it, figuring it might be just a phase she was going through.

But it didn't. It just kept building and then, once we came back from Australia, it pretty much exploded. So yeah, I guess we're just going to have to deal with it.

Cathy wants a house.

What? You were thinking kids? Nooooooo....we have too many other things in our lives that we want to do right now. There are still too many countries we want to visit and places to see and things to do. It's not impossible to do those things when you have kids. Our friends Chris and Lisa brought their little girl, Kitty, to Australia this summer and had a grand time. But I think we're going to hold off on the children front for another few years.

But the house? Oh, the house is looming large for Cathy right now. She first started thinking about one when the walls in our old apartment started to feel like they were closing in on her. The new place, and the increase in space, decreased the urges for a bit. However, as I said, they started to grow again.

But what really got her going was when two of her co-workers bought houses in the last month or so. And that at least one of them has mortgage payments lower than what we're paying in rent. So that was that, really. We're looking at staying up here for the foreseeable future, we're wasting money on rent and Cathy would like a place that has more space. A place where she can have walls a colour other than white. A place that has two, perhaps even three bedrooms so that we might be able to invite friends and family up for a trip if they want.

I confess, there is some appeal to it. It would be nice to have some extra space. And yeah, I guess at some point you have to stop renting apartments and actually settle into a place. Cathy's working on me slowly on this issue, knowing that it takes me awhile to come around.

The two things holding me back from taking the plunge? Well, the first is obvious...I don't have a job. I think most banks are going to frown a little bit about that sort of thing when you're going to to get a pre-approved mortgage. So even though we have a fair amount of money saved, until I land something full-time, getting a house isn't going to happen.

I also have to do a ton of research because honestly, I don't know the first thing about buying a house. Considering I can spend weeks researching what computer or camera to buy, you can imagine the research that's going to go into a $350,000 or so purchase.

Finally...I kind of like the place we're in right now. Silly, I know. It's not perfect by any stretch. But it's a secure building, in downtown Iqaluit, near the stores and it has a simply amazing view. I love the view. I love being able to watch planes swing down, fly over the bay and land at the airport. I like watching the barges carry cargo from ships floating in the bay to the beach, or snowmobiles come back into town on the sea ice after a day out on the land.

Yes, a new house may offer all these things. We can certainly hope. I just like this apartment right now. It's the best place we've had since we left our Bond Street house back in 2004.

Anyway, I imagine we'll end up buying a place up here in the next year. Cathy would prefer next week, but I'm sure we'll figure something out. Besides, if we wait until next summer, she can go to Ottawa, have a little IKEA shopping spree and ship all the furniture up on next year's sealift. That should hold her off for a few months at least.

Last Five
1. Man burning - Josh Ritter*
2. 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
3. Fleeting trust - The Trews
4. Goodnight goodnight - Maroon 5
5. A day in the life - The Beatles


tanker belle said...

As someone who has looked for a home more times than she can count, and in a few different countries....

You need a good inspector. It's more important than even having a good real estate agent.

How do you find either of these? Ask around your friends for their experiences. Most estate agents are de facto working for the other team. Tthey get paid by the seller and a % of the cost of the house, so there is little incentive to work for *You* and get the price down, unless you just have someone who is really good and ethical.

Understand your local market. I would expect Nunavut would be quite different to anywhere else in the country, but all regions will have their quirks (Vancouver - leaky condos; Spain - corruption one normally associates with an underdeveloped country).

Oh, and make sure the kitchen has two sinks, I seem to recall that being on Cathy's wishlist.

I'm just sitting pretty in a *large* 2 bedroom we don't pay a cent for. Still don't know where to settle, getting to the point of wondering if either of us is capable of settling.

Aida said...

good luck! we are looking for one too, the other fell through and i am still bitter about it. the place we are in right now is ok except for the stupid neighbours. i agree with a good inspector, we found one but not cheap. I didnt find John particularly helpful since he is probably making a killing being the only RE agent in iqaluit anyways, so he couldnt care less.