Wednesday, June 22, 2016

we're homeowners!

in early march, we got an email from our landlord letting us know that she was selling our unit. i promptly forwarded that email to dylan wherein i exclaimed, "WORST NEWS EVER!" 

see, very shortly after we moved in here, we knew we loved this place - the unit, the location, the building itself, etc. we even said "imagine we could buy this place from her?!" but figured that would never come up.

i say "worst news ever" because based on a few units in our building that had recently sold/were currently for sale, i figured it would be way above our price range. and did i mention that buying a home was never our current priority? therefore, we had no down payment saved. on a sunday, our landlord's realtor came over to talk to us about showings and how they would go. i figured i might as well ask what it would be listed for and was shocked when she told us. was it possibly within our budget??! of course we also had to take into account the monthly maintenance fees. she said it would be listed the coming wednesday and that was that.

we talked to my parents afterwards and they knew how much we loved this place and were heartbroken to have to leave. they asked the price and we talked a bit more. an hour or two later, my parents facetimed us back. they held up a piece of paper with a dollar amount on it and asked if that would help us get this place. we couldn't believe it and were super thankful.

that night we crunched some numbers and made sure everything was doable and decided that we were going to put an offer in on wednesday when it went on the market. we called our tax guy (who is also a broker) first thing on monday morning asking how long it would take to be pre-approved for a mortgage, explained our situation, and asked if it could be done in like, 3 days! we got employment letters, pay stubs together, tax forms, bank statements and everything gathered as quickly as we could.

i then emailed our landlord and told her were actually interested in making an offer, that we were in the middle of getting our financing together, and asked if she could hold off on putting it on the market for one week to give us some more time. 

to not turn this into a novel, the place did not go on the market that wednesday, but not because we had asked. the landlord had fallen off the earth and we were getting no replies to our emails. even her agent couldn't get ahold of her. weeks passed and nothing. we figured maybe we should start looking at other places. we knew if it went on the open market, that we would definitely lose in a bidding war. we looked at about 10 other units for sale and nothing really drew us in. we felt that ours had the best layout of everything we saw, the location was better, and it was actually bigger than everything we looked at! we actually did put an offer on one place, got into a bidding war, and were outbid.

we then realized that we were just out of budget of what we really liked and wanted so we made the decision to start looking at rentals instead of jumping into buying because we felt like we had to. another year of renting wouldn't be a big deal and we figured we could save more money. I looked at plenty of listings on my lunch time over a week or two and even the rental market is terrible! there's nothing out there. finally, dylan sent me to 3 in one day (2 in one building and another in a building I've loved forever). i didn't want to like the last unit because it was way more than we wanted to pay on rent but what do you know? it was the only unit i liked in the dozen or so i looked at. i didn't want to make a decision without dylan, so we booked an appointment again later that night so he could see it after work. we were walking home from our appointment thinking we were going to fill out the paperwork and take this place and we got a call from our realtor that our place was definitely going on the market tomorrow morning. after almost two months of nobody being able to get in touch with our landlord (including her realtor), she was finally ready to list it! now that it was back in the realm of possibility, we walked home in silence thinking about what we wanted to do. we talked about it in bed and knew that we had to try to get this place but that we would likely be outbid. the next morning it went on the market and we were getting showing request after showing request, which was making us nervous that there was so much interest in the place within the first few hours. luckily, because tenants receive 24 hours before a showing, we had a leg up on people to get our offer in. we met with our realtor that night, put in an offer, she countered, and we accepted! unfortunately, we still had to accept all showings until we waived both the financial condition and condo status condition (which took about 10 days). we had people going through our place for almost two weeks which was a little awkward because we knew it was already ours. 

once we waived both of the conditions, we just had to sit and wait until closing day. that day has now come and passed (one week today!) and we're officially homeowners in a place we love. we really  lucked out and even our realtor said that she lost out on about $30-$50k by taking our offer just below asking because she could have gotten a lot more judging by the market and all of the interest. 

now that this baby is all ours, we cannot wait to renovate from the bottom up. in about a year or two, we'll be tearing this place up and making it all sparkly and new. until then, we can live with it as is and save some money do our dream renos. 
 but in the meantime, we're homeowners in toronto! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

ICELAND - around reykjavic and our video...

so now that we've been back almost 3 months, i guess i should finish my last post! we woke up back in reykjavic for our last day. our flight wasn't until 5pm, giving us a good portion of the day to walk around and explore. the city is spotless (literally no garbage) and so colorful and cute.

it feels like a lifetime ago since we were here. it's truly a magical and beautiful place and i only wish we had more time to explore more of the country. but that's just an excuse to back eventually, right?

and lastly - a video of our trip! (it looks best to change the quality to 1080p in hd). 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

ICELAND - the secret pool - seljavallalaug...

the part of the trip i think i was most excited for was trying to find this secret pool i had read about online - seljavallalaug. it's one of the oldest pools in iceland and it was built in 1923. you have to park your car just off the highway, walk about 15 minutes, and cross a few streams. you literally are walking between these huge mountains and i was totally worried that we wouldn't find it, but all of a sudden it just appears. it was so nice to relax in this warm pool after our glacier hike. truly an amazing experience.

 we were kind of following the people in front of us and hoping they knew where they were going.

heading back to the car.

the change rooms are less than desirable, but honestly, you're there for the views and the pool itself. close your eyes, change quickly, and get in that pool! it's surprisingly warm (not as warm as the blue lagoon), but it was so nice to just swim around and take in the surroundings. it was definitely one of my favourite parts of the trip.

Friday, May 13, 2016

ICELAND - glacier hike and skogafoss...

after checking out the black sand beach, we headed on our for our glacier hike on solheimajokull glacier. i thought i would  be totally fine because i walk everywhere in toronto, but guys, i was dying walking those inclines. i was slowing down to a snail's pace and just wanted to crash on a couch! but! we made it and it was a pretty neat experience and now we can say that we've hiked on a glacier. 

it's about a 20 minute walk from the base camp to the actual glacier and that's because it's receded so much over the years. pretty sad when you think about it.

where the incline started getting to me.

 see all that black in the distance? that used to all be glacier.

our next stop was skogafoss. there was a beautiful rainbow over the waterfall and the sun was shining. there just seems to be waterfalls at every turn in this country.

beauty, i tell ya.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

ICELAND - black sand beach...

sunday was another day to finish seeing what we missed on saturday and drive around as we please. the only thing we had planned was a glacier hike in the afternoon. after breakfast we started driving towards the black sand beach and, of course, stopped at a million places in between to take pictures.
 where we rested our heads saturday night - fosshotel nupar.

 waterfall on the side of the road.

 i had read online to fill up whenever you pass a gas station (even if you've only used 1/4 tank) because you never know when you'll pass a gas station again.

 moss covered lava fields.

 i kind of forget what the story is here. there used to be a farmer here or something and everyone that passed the land to get to his house is supposed to place a rock on a pile for good luck? maybe?

 blue skies and black sand.

 the waves here are ridiculous! extremely high and powerful.

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