Friday, April 30, 2010

We found a house

It wasn't easy, but we found a house.

Sadly, the house we had put at the top of our list sold the day before we arrived in Ottawa, so we never got a chance to even look inside it. Ah well. It was a split-level house, which I'm not terribly fond of, but it was in a great neighbourhood, and had gorgeous landscaping and a beautiful pool already.

After looking at some 15 houses all over the city, we finally settled on a classic 4-bedroom, two-storey house in the west end, near where Carling and Richmond intersect. It's in an older neighbourhood where modest bungalows are sprinkled in with larger homes all nestled amongst mature trees. Right across from our house there is an entrance to a forested park - yeah! It has easy access to transit and to bike paths (for Steve).

The house is in very good condition, but needs some work in the kitchen. We want to put in a pool (yippee!), and do something with the landscaping out front. We also had a scare when the inspector noted vermiculite insulation in the attic. (Vermiculite is noted for a risk of asbestos.) Fortunately, the vendor had test results that showed the vermiculite is asbestos-free. We still plan to either get rid of it or seal it permanently as it could be an issue if/when we decide to sell the house.

So, come mid-July, you will find us in Ottawa!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting excited!

We leave on our week-long house-hunting trip this Saturday! Yeah!

So far, we have about a dozen houses on our list. The less expensive ones are mostly fixer-uppers or a little further away from downtown. The really inexpensive ones are both. Then there are the pricier ones in the nicer neighbourhoods. Those ones tend to be on the small side.

I got a little anxious a couple of weeks ago because houses were selling so quickly. In fact, we sold our little house in only 5 days, and got $5,000 over asking. That was nice for us as sellers; now the shoe is on the other foot.

Oh, incidentally, we decided to sell the small house and buy something that (mostly) fits our current needs. We don't mind doing some renovations, but don't want the headache of a major reconstruction or build-from-scratch.

While we're gone, our friends Joe and Mary will be house-, kid-, and cat-sitting. They need your prayers.


I don't know how to prepare them for the general chaos that three kids bring, even when (or especially because?) all three are teenagers. Plus, I've been a bad mommy and haven't prepared a week's worth of casseroles for them. Just not that organized. Heck, I consider it an achievement that all the kids are up on their prescriptions. Would it be horrible if I just left them a week's worth of pizza/Chinese/Greek takeout money? Yes. It probably would.

But we will leave them some funds for at least one of those. Maybe two: one takeout, one eat out.

So wish us all luck!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Colour-coding Bad-driving Habits

I was driving to work the other day, observing some bad drivers and thought, "Wouldn't it be great if cars were colour-coded according to the bad habits of their drivers?" That way, the other drivers would be able to know what kind of defensive driving was called for.

Imagine: purple cars for tailgaters. Pink for drivers who don't know how to merge. Red for brake-tappers. I'd need a green car for my tendency to stop short (because I panic and over-react - amber lights are the bane of my driving existence). Steve would need a yellow car for his habit of stopping at the last minute (because he's too busy looking at the scenery). Our van would have to be, oh, black (as in "black hole") because it has a gigantic blind spot, big enough to consume a double tractor-trailer.

Okay, that last one is about the car, not the driver, but still, I wish I could warn other drivers on the road.

Maybe changing the entire car colour isn't practical (what would happen if we swap cars for the day?). How about antenna flags?

What do you think? What colour should your car be?

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