Monthly Archives: December 2013

First Time Home Buyers

First Time Home Buyers

As first time home buyers you could definitely categorize us as being clueless. Sure we knew we wanted a house, we knew we needed money, and we knew it would take a lot of work. But neither of us had been “planning” to buy a house, only thinking. If there is one piece of advice I can give young people is to save, save, save. And get into the market asap. Hubby and I are in our 30’s, and we weren’t ready financially to jump from our rental to a purchase. We both had bills to pay from school and truck payments, we enjoyed expensive dinners out. and road trips. And for our 1 year anniversary we planned on heading over to a very very pricey restaurant that neither of us had been to before and we planned to eat and drink and be merry! The night before our reservations was the night when we both sat on the edge of our bed realizing that the honeymoon was over…. we were now married 1 year, and the best anniversary present we could give ourselves was not a 6 course meal and 3 bottles of wine, but a baby. Needless to say we cancelled our anniversary dinner reservations that night and started to save every penny.

We started to sell everything that we didn’t need, we stopped going out to restaurants, and even extra trips out with the car were negotiated and combined with other trips just to save a few dollars on gas. We budgeted, had bank meetings, and we looked for spare change in our couch cushions for bus fare to work. We finally worked the budget and it revealed that on our thrifty life course we could be ready in 5 months. We could be homeowners before the baby arrived.

Hubby and I had always been “house-looking”. We ventured through open houses, dreamed about gardens and mancaves, and we generally agreed on most things when it came to a future house. But when the real “house-hunting” began, there were a few arguments for sure. What each of us would consider “deal breakers” and how much work did we want to put into a “fixer upper” were a few of the main ones. We fought about where to live, when to move, how to search, and what our budget was. It was stressful to know that we both wanted to find a house before the baby was born, there was now so much pressure. We probably went through 20 houses during our serious house-hunting days, and to this day, nothing holds a candle to the house down the gravel road, our dream house. But there was in deed a good reason why it didn’t come up on our online house search. It was way more than our budgeted amount. It was indeed a stretch, but, we soon found out that it had been on the market for a while, and when we searched the house, both alone and later with our agent, we could find no real flaw that would impede it’s sale. So… was the house waiting for us? We’re not very lucky people, but we thought we ought to put in an offer. We threw caution to the wind and made an offer, one that we could afford. I remember sitting in that house (it was unoccupied) with Hubby and our agents and signing those papers, and I remember crying. Mostly tears of fear. Would we get it? Would they counter? Was this the right house? Was it too far? Would we regret it?

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Good Friends in the Country

Good Friends in the Country

Hubby and I just got back from dinner with our good friends whom we see only every month or so when we plan for a dinner at one of our houses. Right now, they live close to a 45 minute drive out in the country. They have a houseful of kids, cats and dogs, and we always have an entertaining night, as one toddler or another does things that probably only childless people find amusing. We laugh non-stop at their facial expressions when a particular explosive toddler fart happens and giggle profusely when one decides to lick their dinner off the table instead of being anything close to civilized. One of their cats seems particularly fond of digging its nails into my legs from under the table and will continue to stalk me most of the night, making me quite jumpy to the amusement of our hosts. Now that we are expecting I think they take great pleasure in telling us horrible baby stories about puke, sleepless nights and the incredible colours and textures that poop can come in. We take it in stride, pretend to be completely disgusted and laugh along as it won’t be long before we’ll have our own kid, licking his dinner from the table. We enjoy glasses of wine (not for me since I’m preggers) and home cooked meals and exchange banter on hobbies, kids, and any juicy gossip we have. It was especially touching to see both of their toddlers clinging to Hubby and joyfully climbing up his legs begging to be picked up, tossed around or bounced high in the air. There was a time that Hubby was shy about holding kids, and since neither of us have many friends or family with kids we see often, we usually find ourselves awkward around them. But tonight Hubby tickled, tossed, bounced, and played with those kids. Perhaps it was the fact he knows we have our own kid on the way, or maybe it’s just the fact that these kids seem like the most adorable things on earth and they utterly demanded his attention, but it was beautiful to see. The drive home from their house is always filled with conversation about family, good friends and positive thoughts on the future. It’s great to have such great friends, and we hope that when we move to the country our kids will share backyard camp outs and perhaps I can snag their recipe for delicious flaky pie crusts.

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House Hunting

House Hunting

City or country? Both had its perks and we had a few late night quibbles trying to decide what would be best for us, our dogs, and the new one on the way. The conveniences of city life drew us in with its comforting ways. As a 1 car household, the luxury of the city bus at a door step is reassuring, and easy access to box stores full of electronics and superstores full of food would be hard to let go. House prices were high, yards were small, but it would be so easy. And then we started to discuss how we wanted our child to be brought up. Will they have a cell phone by age 7? Will they demand a tv in their bedroom by age 6? Is having our child play outside and being covered in mud important to us? Over the years our patience for dangerous drivers, filled-to-the-brim parking lots and long lines of oblivious robot-like people made us lean towards the simple life one could undoubtedly find in the countryside.

This life would give our child the benefit of capturing some of the lost arts of childhood. Perhaps they would learn to to have an imagination, love to play, and burn calories catching frogs. We’d be giving up a lot. We’d have to sacrifice conveniences, learn to plan ahead, and get up early to shovel our car out of snowdrifts. But the houses were cheaper, yards were huge, and the people, well…. they would be “quality over quantity”. We began the house hunt, we argued over tiny houses, city access, missing shingles and whose in-laws we would be living closer to. Both of our families added in their 2 cents, which compounded our rising frustration in finding the perfect dwelling. “Too far”, “too small”, “price is too high” ,“do you want to have to deal with (insert inconvenient item here)” were comments we had to bear, and we had to think about, mull over, and decide on. There were many houses we liked, many where we could see ourselves living, but none of them screamed “pick me”.

Then one day on an already argument-filled house hunting excursion, we stumbled upon an open house, down a gravel road in the country. It was around the corner from a tiny little house we were heading to see. But we followed the open house signs and there we sat in our truck at the end of the driveway… once again arguing if we should bother going through. I mean, there must have been a good reason it didn’t pop up on my house search, it was probably out of our league. But we couldn’t deny it was beautiful, and the yard was huge. We had extra time to kill, so in we went, up the wooden stairs on the porch and into… the house of our dreams. As we walked through that house, from room to room, we fell hard for it, and we stumbled further with each room we explored, and we finally looked at each other and knew, this house was saying… “for the love of God, PICK ME!!!”

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City Meets Country

City vs. Country

My husband and I are complete opposites who have come to a comfortable compromise. My man grew up in suburbia, loves the city, and thrives on nightlife, meanwhile I grew up rural, feeding the neighbors cows fresh cut grass from my mother’s yard, and going to bed by 8pm. We met, we fell in love and we battled over our two personalities. We finally found common ground, as my husband is a chef and I loved local food and had a respect for farmers. Together we started to adventure to farmers markets, cheese factories and local gems that neither had known existed. We merged our families (my husband and his french bulldog, and myself and my weimaraner) into a townhouse in Nepean where we lived together, along with various roommates over many years. The townhouse itself will have it’s own blog post, which I’ll save for another day, but it has certainly served its purpose up to this point.

Hubby and I, after being married for almost 1 year to the day, found out we were expecting (we had only started trying and we thought it would take months), so we sat dumbfounded on the edge of our bed happily thinking “the fire… she be lit”. We had always planned on moving out of our tiny block of a house and we were saving, slowly, but nothing prepares you like that pee stick in hand, the countdown had begun.

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Welcome To The Rural Rationale

Welcome To The Rural Rationale

This blog is where you’ll find interesting stories, quirky ponderings, and a slice of rural life through my eyes. In between blog posts I’ll be chasing our dogs around the property, attempting to regain my green thumb, and wrestling the last bits of cloying city life from my soul.

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