So, I bought a house and left the downtown of a major city to live 30 min away in the suburbs (aka a different “city” here in the Lower Mainland) and see if I can survive. My partner was very skeptical he would like it… but decided to come too.
With the cost of property in Vancouver, and in order to have space, people are being forced out of the city and into neighboring places, such as Port Coquitlam, which I now call home. Having lived in Yaletown (VERY downtown Vancouver) for the last 13 years I was worried that being out here would be lonely, boring and un-walkable. My favorite part of being downtown was being able to walk anywhere for anything and everything is within reach. You want sushi at 2am on a Tuesday? No problem! Leaving that behind was a pretty stressful and anxiety filled experience. There is also something comforting about hearing the world around you all the time. I moved there when I was still in university and for a young lady it was perfect. Out with friends, always something happening and getting home from a night “on the town” was easy, no cabs involved! As I got older though, I wanted to sleep at a normal time and had to get up for work the next day. Having sirens and yelling at all hours was not helpful with either of those tasks. For some people this works, but I needed to get away from it.
Which brings us to a big decision! We moved away.
Meet my new (old) house. She was built in the 70’s and although has been kept very well, by the elderly lady who lived here since the 80’s (before I was born, actually), she shows her age in many ways. All the furniture below in the images is the old owners stuff and they took most of it with them. You may also notice the rainbow of wall colours and various types of flooring that add to the uniqueness of this home (or something like that).
There were a couple of things that really sold me on this home:
- It is detached. Even out here my budget limited what I could afford, and I was looking into townhomes rather than houses. This offers more space than an apartment, but you’re still crammed into a complex with close neighbors. To find something that isn’t sharing walls was a real win!
- It has a yard. I really wanted a garden, and this was one of the top things on my list. Most townhomes with a yard do not have very much room, but something was better than nothing. I couldn’t believe when I saw the yard here. It was massive and I was almost sold on it right there.
- Not overly renovated. OK, I know what you’re thinking but hear me out. When you’re buying a home that has a ton of renovations you pay a premium for (commonly) not the best quality of work. You usually have things they have done that you do not like then you must pay more to change it. With this house we get to put our own stamp on it and make it what we want. The kitchen was BRAND new which is a budget saver also. Kitchen usually take a huge chunk out of renovation cash.
- SPACE!!! For the two of us and plethora of pets, we landed in 2,300sqft. Part of the deal with getting my partner out here was that he got to have a room to make his own space (did I mention he is a total nerd? Yeah, nerd stuff needs space to live that I can’t see it). We have 3 bedrooms including a huge master, 1 and a half bathrooms and 3 large storage spaces.
Tip! This home was a bit out of our budget, but we loved it and could really see ourselves living here and making it our home. I wrote a letter to accompany our offer, explaining it and introducing ourselves. The realtor offered to do this for us, but I wanted it to be personal. This little touch landed us the house at a price we could afford.
Where does this leave us now? We have a big home with 5 different colours of random paint, mix and match flooring throughout and a yard in desperate need of TLC.
Follow along as we make this house a home!