the betties are back! | The Life of K: the betties are back!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

the betties are back!

my volleyball team (the betties from the title) won last night after a 3-week non-winning streak. i'm not sure we played differently than the past two weeks yet we pulled it together and won in the 5th set. it was fun and my knee doesn't hurt. i was pretty worried about that.

as promised, some house pictures. we went out there after work yesterday to get our final price. they screwed up the paperwork so we haven't signed anything but we have a much better idea what we'll be paying (it's about time!) and now we know we have enough money saved up. can you say relief?

and now, some pictures. this is the front door:
November 27..  190_9023 (Medium)

and the view from the front door:
November 27..  190_9025 (Medium)

and that's all i'm going to post here. all the pictures - and believe me, there are lots - are up on my flickr page so go check it out! and the rest of the development will be under wraps. we have to keep a little mystery to our first new house. plus, this way, you'll have to come over and see the final product. am i mean? possibly.

i hope you enjoyed following along for the past 7 months (no, really. april 23 was the first picture and now it's the end of november. amazing.) the next two months will surely fly by, as the holiday season usually does, and then we'll be in the new house and we'll do a grand unveiling of the inside with all our options on display. fingers crossed everything matches!


  1. Wow - your house is really going up fast! Exciting! I really like the colour of the brick - it's different. Is your basement finished?

  2. they have 4 different bricks (i think at least) and i'm happy with the colour we got.

    we will have a half-finished basement. there's the finished room that will be our tv room, and then the unfinished part that will have a rough in for a bathroom, the washer and dryer and laundry tub, and a low ceiling storage area.

  3. Unbelievable pictures! It looks amazing. It ws so fun to go through your house pics. Your house is beautiful and all the windows are wonderful.

    How come you didn't know the final price of the house, is it because it depends on the design bits you choose and other variables like that? I kind of assumed that they gave you a design book and it was all included in whatever price. My imagined version of one-stop-shopping, I guess.

    Anyhoo, awesome stuff. Looking forward to the big unveiling...

  4. m, the price includes a lot of standard options, where, like you said, you go and pick from a showroom ("book") and everything is included in the price, but we added windows and we upgraded some of the options. the upgrades are always more expensive than the standard options so it was the windows and upgrades that we weren't sure on.

    did i ever answer you about what closing meant?

  5. I second marianne's statement about the unbelievable house photos. That's really exciting!

    And, I think it was my job to explain closing, except I never did. So - I'll make it as brief as possible.

    Closing on a house (this is for re-sale, new might be a bit different):

    The closing date is the date that ownership changes hands. In ontario, it's mostly the job of the lawyers to get stuff done. Basically it involves paying the lawyer, signing a bunch of papers and picking up your keys.

    There's a bunch of stuff that has to be done first, though (lawyer stuff), like:

    title search/title insurance:
    If you've got a mortgage (who doesn't?) the bank requires title insurance. This is so that if 10 years down the road someone phones up and says "I've got the original deed and I never sold the property to you" you don't lose your house. It happens! Say the previous owner had $75k of renovations done, never paid the contractor, and never told you. The contractor could place a lien against your property for the value of the repairs. You didn't know, but you owe buddy $75k. Ouch. Or imagine if these houses that they're trying to build on native land actually got built and then 5 years from now the native association won the right to the land... oops, they own your property.

    security checks:
    Again, with the mortgage the banks usually won't lend to you if you have a criminal conviction, so the lawyer does security checks too. This can be harder than it sounds if your name is John Smith and there are a bunch of John Smiths in the area, or if you've changed your name.

    insurance binder:
    once more with the mortgage, the bank won't give you money for your house unless they know they'll get the money back if the house burns to the ground. You have to prove you've got insurance by getting your insurance company (or broker) to send a binder letter. Basically, it guarantees that the insurance company will pay out a certain amount (at least the purchase price, usually, unless you paid way too much)

    Other things the lawyer does is order meter readings for your water, electricity and gas (if applicable) so that you don't pay for utilities that the P.O. used before they moved out. The lawyer also figures out how much tax you owe the P.O. because they've paid up until the end of the year. (This can be especially painful if you buy in the spring and the PO has paid their taxes in full)

    A few days before closing day you show up at the lawyer's office to sign a bazillion pages in triplicate. Most of these are just showing you how much you owe the lawyer and the bank. The others, are to give the lawyer authority to act on your behalf to get everything done. You also bring your big fat down payment cheque to this meeting and you never see it again. The lawyer then contacts the city and registers a land transfer to your name. They also notify the property tax people of the change.

    On the actual closing day, the lawyer calls the bank and gets the second bigger, fatter cheque: morgage funds from the bank. Then, once everything has been paid in full and the title has been changed, you get a call saying "come and pick up your keys" and the PO gets a call saying "come and pick up your wad of cash"

    Theoretically, this is the point that you frolic around your new empty house. In our case, when we pulled up to our new house we saw a moving van - the POs hadn't finished moving their stuff out so we had to wait an extra 5 hours (not happy!). Apparently this happens a lot.

    Then you order chinese food because you can't find the box with your kitchen stuff.

    The End.

  6. Awesome.

    Thank you SO much for the description, Alan, it's super helpful since I know NOTHING about the things (obviously). I read it twice to help it stick. There's so much to keep track of!

    Man, this is all so exciting. Thank you both for sharing your experiences, they are not only super fun to follow along, but also very helpful to inform the uninitiated. You guys are the best.

    On another note, any big holiday plans?


  7. WOW - I just learned the answer to every question I have ever had about the closing process.


  8. alan, that was the longest, most informative comment i've ever seen on this blog! you win! do you want a prize or something? a cookie? i'll have lots of those on sunday!

    on a new build, the process, i think, is easier since there are no previous owners. i'm not sure if there needs to be a title search or the transfer the same way as with a resale. either way, thankfully the lawyer takes care of most everything.

    as long as you pay the man!

    we also have to make sure we get the money out of our rrsp's in time and stuff like that, lining the ducks up on a row stuff.

  9. yeah, rrsps are another thing. You have to make sure you have time to get the money out (not sure how long that takes) but MOST importantly, the money has to be in there for at least 90 days before you can take it out and have it count toward the new home buyer program. So, no throwing 20k into an RRSP, getting the tax benefits, and then taking it out two weeks later and using it for a down payment. A lot of people get caught up in that one.

    p.s. I definitely want a cookie!