As you’re reading this, I’m knee deep in boxes trying to remember where my blender is and which box my yoga mat is in.
I’m also trying to remember why I signed up to move for the second time in 10 months.
This time is different from all the other moves I’ve made over the course of my life. Today, I’m moving into my own house!
Yep, you read that right. Mr. TA and I officially closed on our very first home yesterday and today is moving day.
At this point, I’m sure you have so many questions. How did this happen? I thought you wanted a tiny house? Does this mean you aren’t a minimalist anymore?
Ok, calm down. Nothing THAT dramatic has changed. I just happen to be paying a bank now for the privilege of housing, as opposed to a landlord.
Let’s back up.
Let’s go back all the way to the middle of May (I know that was only a month and a half ago, but honestly it feels like a decade ago).
Everything I was finding had one of three problems.
- They were in a part of town I wouldn’t feel safe living in.
- The rent was too expensive (like double what we were already paying).
- The units didn’t allow pets (the fuzz wouldn’t have been too happy about that).
So, out of curiosity, coupled with my life-long obsession with HGTV shows, I decided to start looking at listings for houses for sale in our area.
I shouldn’t have been surprised but what I found were adorable, mostly small (sub 1000sqft) homes that were reasonably priced (sub 250k) that wouldn’t require any major renovations. In fact, many of them had already been updated to the modern and minimalist aesthetic that has become so trendy lately.
At this point, if you’re seething because everything in your city is a tear down selling for close to a million – I should clarify something. I don’t live in a high cost of living city. I live in Northern Ontario. Compared to houses in the GTA or Vancouver or New York or Chicago, the houses here are much cheaper (some would go as for as to say, dirt cheap). In fact, my city was just named the best city in Ontario in terms of home affordability.
(For the record, I’m not saying anyone should move to Northern Ontario just so they can buy a house. But, we could use the people up here and, if you’re thinking about it, I promise to be friends with you).
So, here we were, staring at some houses that we could actually see ourselves living in.
Are we really doing this? Is this something we want?
If we still lived in southern Ontario, there’s no way home ownership would have been on the table. For one, we would have had to spend way more than we did, to get the house we wanted.
For another, in a lot of cases, it makes more financial sense to rent in southern Ontario than to buy. The opposite is true in our situation. I’ve run the numbers a dozen times and all of our home-related expenses (mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, internet, etc), are going to be less expensive than our current rent. (I know that it might not always be that way, but that’s where we’re at now).
I know that’s not the case in most places in North America. But, that’s how the math shook out here.
So what made us even consider buying a home here?
Well, other than cost, size played a major factor in my comfort level of buying a home.
I had never seen so many small homes before moving to northern Ontario. It’s the norm here to have a small century home that hovers under 1000 square feet. (I actually fell in love in one that was 614 square feet. It sold in three days).
Our house is a palatial 743 square feet. For context, that’s less than half the size of our current apartment, and the perfect size for us at this stage. Every room will be utilized. Nothing will go to waste.
I don’t think it would surprise anyone to know that I didn’t even consider looking at houses over 1000 square feet. I’m a small space lover, through and through. Any bigger than that and all I see is overwhelm, more to clean and more expensive utility bills.
Is the tiny dream dead?
To be honest, I was so excited about the whole home buying experience. We saw two houses, and absolutely loved one of them.
We put an offer in and it was accepted two hours later.
And then the panic set in.
I went full tilt regret, oh my god what have I done mode.
What did this mean for the tiny house dream?
To be even more honest, the first thing I thought was ‘how am I going to explain this to the blog family?”.
That’s when I knew I wasn’t actually upset about putting my tiny house fund toward the downpayment on our house. I was worried about being judged.
The tiny house dream is not dead. It’s just paused for right now. Frankly, we were never going to build one up here. I knew that was never going to be in the cards. Geography, weather and provincial policy towards tiny houses would have made it extremely difficult.
So, no. I’m not moving into The Tiny House. But, I’d still like to think I’m moving into A Tiny House.
I’m excited to share this news with you, the blog fam. Most of my extended family doesn’t even know (what can I say, you’re easier to talk to).
So, that’s the big news – we bought a house!
I’m going to share our house numbers in another post (so be ready, personal finance nerds).
In the meantime, I need to get back to unpacking.
Where did I put the cat again? I definitely brought her with us, right?
Feel free to leave any questions about our home-buying decision in the comments below! I’ll answer them in this week’s episode of Tiny Bites.
Listen to last week’s episode of Tiny Bites – 31: Shopping Q & A.
Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions