Monday, March 29, 2010

It's finally happening!

If you looked closely outside of your window today, you would have noticed little rays of sunshine floating by. Those were my happy thoughts, sent out into the wild blue yonder.

I can't believe that it is actually happening, that after two years of tromping through old dusty barns, and houses with peeling wallpaper, we will finally own a farm. A real farm, with barns and outbuildings, and a creek. A farm with meadows and forest, and a long winding driveway.

This is the lightswitch in the kitchen of our new home. It's kind of cute and country. We have decided to keep it, and put it somewhere in the new house we will build. A reminder of our roots on this new farm.

We move at the end of May, and between now and then there is so much to do! But I know between the two of us it will all get done.

Wheee!!! We bought ourselves a farm!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Show me the money!

So, one lender has come through for us with flying colours. Fantastic service, great communication throughout the entire process, with a smile. "We want your business".

The other lender has made me jump through hoops. Find out information myself via their website. Contact them to find out updates. In short? Terrible service!

The trouble? I used to work for the bank that is giving me the terrible service. I was a loyal customer for years.

I simply can't believe how badly they are botching this up?

So do I leave that bank, and start fresh? Or give them another chance?

Financing Fiasco?

Things I have learnt about buying a farm property in Ontario:

  • DO NOT allow your bank to put in the application as a residential mortgage. It will be declined. You must do it through the Small Business Banking section of the bank, and structure it as an Agricultural Mortgage. It's a real headache when you have to do this twice.
  • Leave time in your offer for an environmental assesment to be done - including time for water testing to come back from the lab.
  • Leave time for an appraisal to be done. Typically two to three weeks, and NEVER do it over the March Break. Trust me on that one.
  • When the bank tells you it will all be fine, don't believe them. Ask for it in writing.

We are still waiting to hear about financing on the farm. It amazes me that this is taking so long, I am so used to typical residential mortgage deals where the offer bounces back and forth - you sign off - and it's done. I had no idea that so many appraisals and assesments would be required for a farm. Thankfully, we allowed two weeks for the financing clause, but it has now taken us almost 3. We will see where we end up with it.

The seller is horrified that this is taking so long, and terribly concerned that we believe she is trying to sell us a farm for more than it's worth. This poor woman! She is in her late 80s, and this was her family home, I can't even begin to imagine how stressed she is feeling right now. In the words of her agent, he is amazed we are being so patient to see this through to the end.

Funny, he has no idea how patient we can be. Two years of looking for a farm we aren't likely to let this one disappear at this stage in the game!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

SOLD! with one new condition?

Well, it seems that these days dogs are definitely NOT a selling feature. The buyers got wind of the fact that we "may" have a dog.

I wasn't about to correct the agent in telling them that we have FOUR dogs. But I digress.

The buyer found a "toy" in the backyard, and was horrified. Regardless of the fact that the house is spotless, she is now concerned about dog damage in the form of hair and germs throughout the house.

So her new condition is that the home must be professionally cleaned before closing. Ironic really, as we planned to do that anyway. So we had no issue in signing the amendment. But it did make me realize how many factors are at work in the sale of a home.

Doggies are home now until we move, and while I live in fear of the home buyer driving by the house and seeing the pack of dogs heading out for a walk, it's done. She can't back out now!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sold for the second time

So once again, our suburban home is sold. Conditional to a home inspection that will take place at 4:30PM EST.

It's funny, I am worried for absolutely no apparent reason. We have already had the home inspected on our own by a qualified home inspector. He found nothing with the exception of one bathroom requiring a GFI plug. (Don't even get me started on why the buyers would not accept that home inspection and still want to do their own.)

And yet, my brain can't stop pondering over the "what if's?" I am completely certain that today's home inspector won't turn up nuclear waste in our basement, or serious fissures in the roof trusses. But still...I worry.

Worry is a bit like a rocking chair, you worry and worry, and get absolutely no where.

I have given up worrying about the appraisal on the farm, as I have no control over it whatsoever. Hmmm... and I have no control over the home inspection today either.

Time to kick back and have a cup of earl grey. Nothing to do but wait.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Up! Down.Up! Down.

I have realized that I could never be an agent. The stress is killing me, and I am only a participant in this mad scenario.

Our offer on the farm is conditional to financing. In order to receive financing, we need an appraisal of the property. The company that does the appraisal apparently has ONE person who is required to sign off on the final documents. That one person has gone on vacation.

Given the nature of the industry, I am completely surprised that they manage to stay in business. However, as I have said before our agent (my MIL) is phenomenal. She extended the condition of financing, crisis averted. But it means that our farm ownership remains just slightly out of reach.

Our suburban home sold earlier this week, we had two offers and we chose the highest offer. It was conditional to financing and the buyers had three days to arrange this. We were elated! I was walking on cloud nine, relieved that our home had sold. One more worry lifted from my shoulders!

Last night we had a call at 11PM, to advise us that the buyers could not arrange financing. It seems that they are self-employed and haven't been claiming their income. We were crushed.

So now we are back on the market. How utterly frustrating.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Clean House Hell

I swear my house has never been so completely spotless and devoid of personality. It has been staged, and primped. Cleaned and polished. It somewhat resembles a high end hotel, with it's generic art and neutral colours.

I am afraid to touch anything. Using a tap means water spots on the chrome. Walking around too much may make lint on the floors. And god forbid you eat anything in the house and get crumbs on the counter.

So mostly I sit in front of the computer, it's a safe zone. Provided I don't forget to turn it off. Apparently computer screens in the on position are offensive to buyers.

Dear lord I hope this house sells soon. I am not enjoying being in purgatory.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Please send me a buyer universe

The wait is killing me. We have had showing after showing, repeat showings, positive feedback, fantastic open houses...and still no sale. All I need is one buyer to be interested enough in our wee suburban house to make an offer.

In the meantime, we stress over what to do. Bring the dogs home? Struggle with the mess for each and every showing? Leave the dogs at the kennel for one more weekend?

We simply want life to return to normal, or as near as normal can be.

Sell wee house - sell.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Showing the House

I don't think there is a single part of my body that doesn't ache in some way. The day started out so well, with a plan in place, and somewhere around noon it all went to hell in a hand basket!

I was on my way back from the paint store, laden down with quarts of paint to touch up areas that needed to be repaired. We spent last night patching areas that had dings and dents, and my walls looked like they had white chicken pox.

My cell rang as I stepped in the door at about noon. What's that you say?? A showing at 7pm? TODAY????

I sprang into action. Like a mad woman. I prayed that they wouldn't notice the clothes I shoved into the dryer, and that they wouldn't peek under beds and see all of the things I stashed in my mad dash to get the house in order. I scrubbed walls, I painted walls. I cleaned, I packed, I prepped. I ran up and down the stairs so many times my calves began to scream for mercy.

And as 6:35 rolled around, I breathed a sigh of relief. If they didn't look too closely, and if I lit candles instead of turning on the lights, this could actually be a good showing.

They showed up early, and stayed for 11 minutes. ELEVEN minutes. My body did not feel that this was a fair trade off. Their eleven minutes for my 6 hours of sheer torture.

And now I am sitting in an super tidy house, with not a thing to do. Time for bed, if I can remember where I stashed my toothbrush.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who would have thunk it?

Well, it's not 100 acres, and there is no Victorian Farm house...but it looks like we finally have our little piece of country!

The woman who was selling the property decided that she didn't want to quibble with us over price, on one condition. That we visit her in her seniors home so that she could meet the young couple who was buying her farm.

Our closing date is May 28th, and between now and then we will have our work cut out for us. We still have a house in the suburbs that needs to be sold, and packed up.

But it's real. It's happening. It really is happening. Our move to the farm!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's the waiting that kills me!

They have 24 hours to sign it back.

Why is it that 24 hours seems to stretch on endlessly??? It's really not a lot of time. We made our counter offer, and sent it back hours ago. Surely they know whether or not they can accept our counter offer.

My mind is racing and creating a million different scenerios.

Is it ours yet? Is it ours??? How about now. Is it ours now?