Friday, February 26, 2010
It was easy. We put down our deposit without a hitch. The lawyer, (Peter Shrimpton of mountain conveyancing) is fascinated by Stef’s accent and loves to chat with him. The title search is clean, though bizarrely the CBC has expressed interest in the land at some point, presumably because of a communications tower further up the hill. I had a small panic attack upon seeing a bit buried in the middle of the contract saying we had to build the house in 12 months, but an email to Lisa set me straight – there’s an amendment at the end of it all upping that to 18 (needed) months. Phew. So we laid down our $15,000, and they gave us a 'sold' sticker. :)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The bid for the blasting came in at about $30,000. So we downgraded our initial offer from 205,000 to 200,000 (it’s listed at 245,000) and signed the papers on 18 Feb. Last time we started at 205, they counter-offered 217, we shot back with 211 and they accepted. We’re expecting a similar dance this time around. But for some reason – the owners are on holiday in Hawaii, so they are in a good mood or can’t be bothered with bartering? The Olympics are on, so there’s goodwill in the air? They need the cash, because other development projects aren’t panning out? Or, more ominously, there’s something about the lot we don’t know? – they simply accept. Done! Stef calls to tell me (I’m in Vancouver for work) and I’m standing in front of my parents when he gives me the good news. ‘That’s great,’ I say in a subdued tone of voice… I call him back later to explain that on the inside I was jumping for joy, but on the outside I wanted to stay calm… I don’t want my parents to go on this emotional roller coaster with me again, if it turns out to be a roller coaster. But this time we’re more prepared than last – we have seen the boundary pegs, consulted proper official peoples and understand the extent of the undertaking (we think) so there’s nothing really to be done except a legal ‘title search’, whereby our lawyer checks to see that the person we’re buying from actually owns the lot and there’s no funny claims on it by anyone else. But that’s it. Should be easy!
Monday, February 8, 2010
It worked! Unexpectedly, the holiday has indeed refreshed us and put a fresh perspective on things. I am open to looking at new lots, without feeling ill with disappointment. Stef is getting an actual estimate from the blasting company as to how much the ‘scary’ lot would cost us. And we have arranged to meet with a geotechnical engineer (Phil Diamond) to look at the sites and check them out. He reassures me simply by not implying that we are crazy to think about buying this lot. We scratch at the gravel with our toes (you can now see the gravel, since the snow has melted), and speculate about what lies beneath… The lot is full of rocky debris, presumably the result of what happened when the next-door-neighbours blasted their own lot to build and needed somewhere to dump the fill. They have been using the resulting flat gravel field as a second yard – a place for their sons’ trampoline. Occasionally I think I catch a glimpse of a worried faces pressed up against the glass looking out at us, wondering what we are doing on their ‘yard’. Phil thinks we’ll have to dig all this rubble up (the development company, Sabre, confirms it is in fact just rubble rather than any kind of structurally stable ‘fill’). But that’s okay, he says, someone will pay us to take it away. Someone always wants rubble, he says. There, that guy walking his dog – I know him, he’ll buy your rubble. Really? Oh yeah, the council is always constructing stuff on the levees, and they always need rubble. Over coffee and cookies at the local bakery (where there is vodka on the baking shelves, apparently for the truffles but maybe also for the chef) I am convinced. We will put in an offer for this one! The view is astounding.