Our house sold in five days. It will be the first home for the young couple who bought it, as it was ours.

During the summer of 1995, my husband (then boyfriend) Shane and I decided that we were finished with paying rent.  Vacancy rates were less than one percent in our city and rents were skyrocketing.  We realized that we could be paying for a mortgage instead of paying rent.

Owning a house was our goal – we were finished with beige walls, frigid air conditioning and funky smells in the hallway.

The World of Real Estate

Front Yard 1995Tentatively, we started looking around the neighbourhood close to our apartment – little did we know that buying and renting are two different worlds.  A semi-detached house caught our eye and I copied down the realtor information.  We called when we returned home.  Mrs. Judy Reid was a lovely lady who helped us navigate this new world of real estate.

Quickly realizing that there was no way we could afford to purchase in the same area we were renting, we expanded our search.

The houses we visited were just ok – nothing grabbed us.  We were starting to feel discouraged.  People had told us that we would “know it when we saw it” – that the house that would be our first home would feel different.  We didn’t understand until it happened.

We Knew

Backyard 1995

Backyard 1995

When we opened the door to the house on Colson Avenue, we knew.

The space was empty – we didn’t have to look past other peoples’ lives to see ourselves in this space.  We were young and eager – the wallpaper in the kitchen and bathrooms didn’t scare us. The prospect of painting the walls was exciting.  We looked beyond the green curtains with white pom-poms hanging in the kitchen window…

We called our parents that night to tell them about the house, told them that we were going to make an offer.  Our first home.  The prospect of taking on that much debt was intimidating, but this house was different.

Dads Visit

Unbeknownst to me, as we waited for our financing and the inspection to happen, my Dad drove the half hour from his house to “ours”.  He looked around the property and took a few photos.  A man of few words, his actions spoke loudly.  He wanted to check out the house and make sure we were making a solid decision.  His interest meant a lot to me then, and even more now as we prepare to move from our home.

For sale 1995

For Sale Sign, 1995

Fast forward almost twenty-five years, and the sale of our house is final.  Shane was outside the weekend after we accepted the offer, and a car stopped at the end of the driveway.  The male driver rolled down his window.  “Can I help you?” Shane asked.  “Would it be ok if we took a picture of the sold sign?   My daughter just bought your house.”