A lot has happened in the last week, so buckle your seatbelts and hang on.
For some time now, Sandy and I have been talking about selling the house and moving to an apartment where we would not have to worry about mowing, snowblowing, maintenance and all those other chores that property ownership entails. In an apartment, we would also be able to just lock the door and go out on the road whenever we wanted.
We had also considered moving south to be closer to family and were only staying in Sudbury because her mother Jan was in a nursing home here.
On Saturday September 26th, after releasing Jan's ashes, and notwithstanding Sandy's cousins as well as decades of very good friends here, we were free to explore both ideas about new living circumstances. We were thinking maybe sometime in the spring because nobody wants to move in the winter. I had a conversation with son-in-law Mike about this and he said his real estate guy in the Kitchener/Waterloo area also dealt with rentals. On Monday the 28th, he sent me the contact info for TrilliumWest Real Estate Brokerage so I sent them an Email and arranged to talk to Alex (Alexandra) Bunker the next morning. Now hang on because it is going to get hectic.
Tuesday September 29, 2020
We spoke to Alex at 9:00 AM and told her what we were looking for. Something in an upscale apartment or leased condo with reasonable space, two bedrooms, an exercise room and preferably underground parking. She said she would look around and get back to us. She sent a list of five possibilities a little later in the day and we agreed to come down to look at them Friday morning.
Seeing that there seemed to be a lot of interesting places, I also called Darren Leblanc of Kat & Darren - The Leblanc Group. He was the agent who sold Jan's house a couple of years ago. He was also a former STOP Officer and I had worked with his father Marcel for over twenty-five years. We had asked him over a while back to see what we should do to make the house saleable and he said that we should pretty much leave it the way it was.
Now, faced with the question of a possible sale, Darren asked if we wanted to be done before the snow flew. If we listed, we could probably get more if there were competing offers but it could also take longer. Plus there was the issue I was concerned about with our unorthodox sump system. He said he had a potential buyer if we were happy to get the asking price rather than taking our chance on an auction. It would also reduce the realtor commission. I told him to consider it.
Wednesday September 30, 2020
Nothing special happened today. We planned our trip to Kitchener/Waterloo. Traveling overnight in a pandemic was new to us.
Thursday October 1, 2020
We drove down to Waterloo leaving about 11:30. We stopped on the Hockley Road to take a picture of the building used as the Rosebud Motel in TV comedy series Schitt's Creek.
We checked into the Best Western Waterloo, formerly known as the Destination Inn, about 5:30. Then we went out and drove around looking at some things before picking up Subway sandwiches and returning to our room.
Friday October 2, 2020
We were given bags of breakfast to go from the hotel and stopped at a Tim's for a bit more on our way to meet Alex at 9:00 AM.
The first complex was Blackstone, a brand new complex on Northfield Road. Excellent location but only one of four buildings was complete, the three available units were small (under 900 sq. ft.) and the underground parking wasn't ready yet. Then we went downtown to the Caroline Residences. Upscale building (24 hour concierge, brand new) with two underground parking spaces and a spectacular view from the 11th floor. But it was also small and the second bedroom was laid out oddly so it would be almost impossible to get a bed into. I think it was really a study. The third building was the Bauer Lofts, a larger 2nd floor unit overlooking the famous Vincenzo's Market. But it was a little rough and we didn't really feel comfortable.
A little sadly, we realized we hadn't found our perfect new home yet. I loosened up our terms a little bit and Alex said she would look for some other listings. After meeting Heather for lunch at the Daily Grill on Northfield and giving her some special Sudbury beer we had brought down at Tom's request, we headed home via the back roads to avoid the Friday Toronto rush.
It was a beautiful fall day to travel. We hit a bit of a traffic bottleneck near Barrie but once we got past that, it was clear sailing. As we headed home, Darren called with a couple of questions because he was showing the house to the prospective buyer.
We pulled into our driveway a little after 6:00 PM, not sure just where we stood.
Saturday October 3, 2020
Darren let us know that his buyer was submitting an offer for our asking price plus a little extra if we left certain furniture. That was fine with us since we didn't plan on taking much with us.
Then Alex sent us a list of 54 places that she had found. It was late in the afternoon so I set it aside to review in the morning.
Sunday October 4, 2020
I prepared a spreadsheet with columns for each of the key factors in the prospective rental units. Then I went through the list and excluded any unit under 1,000 sq. ft. That left six for which I proceeded to list all the details I had columns for. Square footage, bedrooms, in suite laundry, exercise room, utilities included, parking, etc.
There were a few nice ones but one unit stood out. It was a condo lease in Waterpark Place in Waterloo, It was a 15th floor two bedroom unit with 1,441 square feet, two bedroom, two baths, a large walk-in closet, a dining room, living room, breakfast room and Florida balcony. The complex had an exercise room, party room, library, craft room and a pool. Plus there were two underground parking spots. It was a little more than the smaller places but looked like it was worth it. It had only been listed a couple of days so called Alex and told her we were interested and did not want someone else to scoop it up on us.
Alex checked and said it was still available. The current tenant was leaving at the end of the month to move to Vancouver to be closer to family. They were not showing the unit but Alex said she would be allowed in the next day to allow us a Skype tour.
Monday October 5, 2020
We accepted the offer on the house conditional upon the home inspection and financing. The closing date was December 15. Then we saw the Skype tour of the condo and submitted a lease application.
An interesting side note on the lease application. I have never needed to know my credit score before but it was requested for the application. As I pondered how I should do this, I picked up an envelope in the mailbox from Desjardins Financial. I had a Desjardins credit card because, a few years ago, I had bought furniture from Leon's on a zero interest deal and they handled the payments. Earlier this year, Desjardins suffered a data breach and offered all their clients five years of premium Equifax membership worth somewhere more than $20 per month. Last month, I had found the letter, good until the end of the year, and sent away for the code I needed to enroll in the Equifax plan. And now, the very day I needed to know my credit rating, the means to find it out appeared right out of the blue in my mailbox. Sometimes the universe just reaches out to you.
Oh yes, my credit rating was fine.
Tuesday October 6, 2020
Alex called in the morning and told us we were successful with the lease. We would take over tenancy of the condo on November 1st.
So there you have it. In almost exactly one week, we sold a house and leased a condo. I can often procrastinate but when I do decide to move, things can go very quickly. Now all we have to do is wait for the conditions on the house sale to be lifted and figure what to do with 36 years worth of "stuff" in the house.
Let the fun begin!!!!