Friday, September 28, 2007

Moved, moved in, renovated, and painted

Phuuu! Finally!

Finally we have made the decision to actually sell our place in South Vancouver and move back to downtown. Don't get me wrong, the Fraserview neighbourhood of Vancouver is quite charming, quite, and has a lot of very nice people living there. The problem is that is you have to drive anywhere and everywhere you want to do. Except for walking and going for a run along the Fraser River, nothing is within walking distance. On top of that pretty much all the things I do are in downtown: work, my running group, my favourite running loop (the False Creek loop), the gym, the YWCA where I like to go swimming or water running, the physio, chiropractor and massage therapist, and last but not least all the nice restaurants, pubs, bars and the like. So Esthi and I have been talking for eons about moving back to downtown again.

Then one day we received one of those realtor advertising cards from the local top-realtor guy (Temmy Ylagan) boasting about another suite he has sold in our neighbourhood. He really does sell pretty much everything in that area. As offered on the card we called him up for a completely non-binding evaluation of the value of our condo. So the following Sunday he shows up, looks around, makes the obligatory compliments, goes into detail of what has been sold where and for how much, and eventually tells us the number we are keen to hear: how much he thinks our place is going to sell for. Great! This is about what we have been hoping for.

Now the next questions is how much we can afford for a new place. As we have already thought about it and now factoring in what we believe we can achieve for our current condo, we have a budget.

Do we buy first and then sell? Or do we sell first and then buy. Temmy walks us through the pros and cons but is adamant that we should sell first to be on the save side. Of course I am getting right nervous! What if we don't find a place?? What if we need to move out and don't have a new place - will we be forced to make too many concessions? The thing is we like our apartment! We just don't like the location... Temmy assures us that he will find us something in time, what we are looking for, within our budget, and where we want it. Even under the thread that we will move into his basement if needed.

The deal is struck the very next day - Monday, June 18, 2007 - and the listing agreement is signed. We could have signed it already on Sunday - Temmy had all the forms with him. That same day in the evening Temmy's assistance Collette visits us to make sure we know what to do to stage the place. We then had three days for staging: get all the extra stuff that sort of collects over time out and into storage, clean, fix, tile, grout, paint, scrub, and decorate the place where required. On Friday Temmy's photographer comes to take the pictures for the website. For Saturday and Sunday Temmy and his cousin Dave had already set up some viewings. Saturday morning we gave the place the final touches and I bought cookies to put out for the potential buyers. Some new viewings and repeat viewing were set up for both Sunday and Monday.

Monday (June 25, 2007) evening we looked at the first potential new places for us. As we met with Temmy at a place on Homer Street in Yaletown, he tells us "I have good news - your place is sold." Holy Shit! But he would not give us the details until we had looked at the places he wanted to show us. So finally we are all done viewing and we sit down with Temmy at the Rosie's on Robson restaurant. He tells us about an offer that was substantially lower than our asking price and with loads of subjects to boot. Urgh, great... Then he tells us there is another offer for our full asking price and without any subjects! SOLD!

That same evening after some consideration Esthi and I put in an offer for the condo on 1318 Homer Street - with the usual subjects for financing, strata minutes, etc. Now we are supposed to get the minutes and other relevant documents right away but it takes the seller until Friday to get them to us. In the meantime we have discovered that it is a leaky building and that they are in the middle of law suits against the builders. Still, the place was so under-valued that it still seemed to make sense even if we had to pay for (what we assumed is) our share of the fix-ups. If the builder has to pay we would look even better. So for Saturday we booked a home inspector for the inside condo inspection. Since we have only received the documents we need to read through by late Friday, we did not even get to calculating our strata lot share until Saturday morning. Turns out that our share would have been significantly higher than we had originally assumed. This on top of the horror picture that emerged from the supplied engineering reports made us back out of that deal. We withdrew our offer and started to look again for a place.

Thankfully Temmy was very foresighted and set a closing date for the sale of our condo for July 25 and a move-out date for July 28. So we have some time. After looking at several places that were just not right for some reason or another, on July 5th our offer on a nice place at 819 Hamilton Street has been accepted. On July 20th we took possession and moved on Friday, July 27, 2007. A day before we handed the keys over to our old condo.

Finally! We are living in downtown again! In a great building and a great neighbourhood to boot! We are super happy.

Oh yea, we also had vacation planned since February of the year. My cousin was going to get married near Cologne and we are invited. Now we are away between August 16 and September 1. Now about that kitchen... of course that was one of those things we knew we had to change. So we started with some reno's before our vacation and ordered the new kitchen from IKEA.

Since we have been back there has been some form of renovation going on in our place. And as of tomorrow, Saturday, September 29 we will have it all completed. And-thank-the-lord-for-that!

Later today someone will come by to fix a deficiency with the new microwave and tomorrow Trail appliances will deliver the new fridge. Ed, one of Ardie's workers will be there tomorrow to happily take our old fridge away, hook up the new one to the water line, and finish some minor painting shortcomings. Ardie (Ardalan Fard, Archway Renovations) has been our most excellent contractor who has arranged for all the sub-trades we needed to get our new place in tip-top shape.

There will then be some final cleaning and putting all the kitchen stuff back into the cupboards and whatnot and we are done!

Oh! There is one more thing... We removed a sliding door between the the kitchen and the solarium and now we have a strip of tile missing there. It seems that this tile can not be found anywhere anymore and we will have to come up with an alternative. So that is still something to do later.

And of course we have to have a housewarming party! Whoohoo! Stand-by for more info on that shortly.


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