Ready for more tedious house stuff? I sure hope so because that’s what’s on the blog menu for today. If you missed part one of our home buying process last week, you can catch up here. Like I said in that post, there really isn’t anything “minimalist” about the home buying process. It’s a pretty big financial (and emotional) deal. That being said, I’d like to think we approached the process with a minimalist attitude. And, that’s got to count for something, right? This week, I’m sharing Steps 5-10 of our home-buying journey. Enjoy!
Step Six: Moving Money Around
Welcome to the age of the internet, where online banking is super handy every other time, except for when you need to gather your downpayment.
Mr. TA and I have separate accounts with separate banks, so money had to be withdrawn from investments, RRSPs, savings, etc. and all funnelled into our joint house account. We are very lucky to have been able to put down 20% of the purchase price of our home as a downpayment.
In Canada, that means we didn’t have to get mortgage insurance through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. We thought about putting less down, thanks to some awesome work by Alyssa over at Zolo, but it wouldn’t have made a difference in our interest rate, so we went for the full 20%.
Step Seven: Home Inspection
When we had our home inspection, I nearly walked out and wanted to back away from the whole thing. It seemed like there were hundreds and hundreds of things wrong with the house. Of course, that wasn’t actually true. There is nothing seriously wrong with the house (like the foundation), that needs immediate repair before we could move in. It’s just small things here and there. But, hearing the home inspector point them all out to me was NOT great for my anxious mind.
In the end, I realized it was the inspector’s job to see every little thing that could possibly need fixing so we could prioritize based on what was important for the house, and for us.
Step Eight: Wait
At this point, we satisfied all of the conditions on our offer and so began the waiting game.
We are first-time home-buyers which means we didn’t have a house to sell that would be contingent on our offer. The sellers were buying another house, and the sellers of that house were also buying another house. We were at the front of a long line of dominoes, waiting and hoping that everything would fall into place on the timeline we had agreed upon.
Thankfully, everything did work out, but it was right down to the very last minute to find out if everything would go according to plan.
Step Nine: Lawyers
I don’t know if this is the case everywhere, but in Ontario at least, lawyers are a required part of the home-buying process to hold the money between the buyers and sellers to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Aka, if we had walked in the day before our deal closed and the basement was flooded or there were massive holes in the walls, we would have withheld some money until the seller fixed the problem.
In our city, the lawyers also run a title search on the property and make sure that the water utility is transferred properly (don’t ask me why they don’t do the other utilities, I have no idea).
Thanks to the awesome personal finance community that I find myself a part of, I was fully prepared for the costs of the lawyer and had built it into our budget. In fact, I was prepared for it to cost anywhere between $2000 and $3000. So, when the final bill came out at $1600, I was pleased as a peach.
I should also point out that since we are first-time home-buyers, we didn’t have to pay any land transfer tax. It’ll get us next time though.
Step 10: Keys, Close and Move
When all is said and done, we were back to waiting. This time, we were waiting for the money to change hands and for the lawyers to call us and say we could come to pick up our keys.
Our moving day was really cut up because of this. We got our moving truck at 8 am on a Monday and didn’t get the keys to our new house until after 4 pm. I actually didn’t mind the waiting though because it meant we had lots of time between packing up our apartment and moving into the house to eat lunch and relax.
I’ll take a waiting but relaxed move over a fast and furious one any day.
So that’s it. The good, the bad and the ugly that led us to the new homeowners we are today. All things considered, I would say it was a pretty painless process. I’ve never signed more documents in my life (and handed over more money). But, other than the anxious waiting, everything went according to plan. As a first-time home buyer, I am especially grateful that we didn’t have any last minute disasters. That would have been enough to send me over the edge and back into renting.
This brings us, more or less, to where we’re at now. As of the date of this post, we’ve been in the new house for just under a month. Which is straight up bananas. It feels like we’ve been in the house for a hot second, but also an eternity. We’re all moved into the new house and are slowing getting things to where we want them. Current milestones include hanging up curtains and buying a tiny lawnmower for a backyard. (This is what home ownership wins look like).
There are a couple more things on the ‘to-purchase’ list that I’m going to share in a future post. We’re not going to go overboard with buying new ‘stuff’ for the space, but there are a couple of things we’ve been living without for the last couple of years that I am more than ready to reintroduce back into our lives.
Do you own a house? How was your home buying process? Let me know in the comments!
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions