Has it really been two months since I posted last?  I apologize profusely to my adoring fans.  It’s funny how time flies.

Over the past two months I’ve been busy.  Can I use that as an excuse?  Probably not, because part of the reason for this exercise (starting a blog) was the discipline of writing on a schedule.  So, no excuses, just apologies and moving on.

The biggest, most exciting news right now, and a large part of why I’ve been feeling too tired to write, is that we’ve decided to buy a house.  Apparently, in Marin County, there are no laws against ridiculous rent increases.  And so, when we got notice of the exorbitant new rental rate for our apartment, effective at the end of our lease term, we immediately started looking for a new home.  It turns out that things are happening in just the right order.  We got our green cards a few months ago, and so are able to get an FHA mortgage (small downpayment); our lease comes due mid-August; and we’re in a great buyer’s market right now.  All of this makes for some pretty ideal house-purchasing conditions for us, and is also working in our favour in terms of a mortgage.

So, my dear husband retained the services of a mortgage broker and a realtor, who have been patiently guiding us through this crazy process.  We were a go!  My Sweetie looked at a few houses while I was on a much awaited trip to BC, and I looked at a few more after I got back.  We short-listed two that we both liked and saw them together, made a decision, and made an offer.  It was so quick!  From the first outing to look at houses to an accepted offer in one week!

Then, my Sweetie hightailed it out of town and left me with all the inspections and paperwork to deal with!  Okay, I guess he couldn’t help that he was sent on a business trip to Singapore!  Still, taking care of the Bean alone, not to mention the dog and cat, on top of all the house stuff has been draining.  We’re a few days away from removing all contingencies, and then it’s just waiting to receive the keys!

It has been more than a little terrifying to be buying a house in the US.  We’re used to all the laws and regulations surrounding real estate in Canada – we’ve been through that mill twice already.  But here, there seem to be so many MORE rules!  So much of what goes on is municipal, and so rules that are in effect in one town may be totally different elsewhere.  Luckily, we have professionals we can trust working with us.  I also feel very lucky that my Sweetie has such an analytical mind and doesn’t take things for granted.  I’m such a trusting soul!

The flip side of this house purchase is that the sellers have been amazing!  They are so accomodating and sweet and considerate.  I feel like we’re making new friends during this process, and I hope we are able to keep in touch.  Even our realtor has commented several times that she’s never seen a transaction where both sides are so willing to go the extra mile.  Apparently, the sellers really like us, and it was important to them that the people who buy their house be someone they like.  They’ve been there for more than 30 years – I can see how it would be an emotional process, handing over a house they’ve worked so hard to maintain.

I am very excited to move out of this apartment.  It’s not a bad place to live, but I’m really tired of apartment living.  Oddly enough, one of the things I’m most looking forward to is having a garage!  Storage, baby, storage!  The one thing I will miss, though, (besides the pool) is our neighbours.  We’ve become really good friends with some of them in the short time we’ve been living in this complex.  While we will definitely still get together, it will take more of an effort.  Good friends are not parted for long, though.  So I have great hope that our new friendships will continue to strengthen despite a little more distance.

One month from now, we’ll be finalizing our packing and moving on, hopefully for the last time in a long time.  I’m looking forward to putting down roots in a community, getting involved in the Bean’s school, chatting over the fence with our new neighbours, and finally having some room to breathe.

Our new house in Novato (photo courtesy of MLS)