We’ve done it again. We are moving. We decided that it was time to leave Barrie.
I haven’t updated the blog for a few months because there was nothing much to write home about.
A normal December and January of bitterly cold temperatures where all I did was hibernate. Although I have been pretty good about getting on my bike in the spare room and working out. Because the tiny condo is tiny, we eventually broke down after Christmas and rented a storage room for the stuff.
After much consideration we decided that we needed to move, our tiny condo was too tiny. We have four bicycles and the only place to store them is a small second bedroom. We thought we could go small but without a garage to store the bikes it was too small. The housing market in Barrie is still very hot and we knew we couldn’t afford a house with a garage in Barrie. We looked further afield.
When we cycled across Canada there were a few Towns and Cities that we really enjoyed. Nelson B.C. was great with the art walk, close to the mountains and a great cycling community, but way too expensive. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan was a lot of fun, with the Al Capone history and the Snowbirds, Canada’s Air Force Display Team, but way too cold in the winter. Then we cycled through Brockville, Ontario. A small City (22,500) with lots of history and historic buildings, good cycling and close to some major cities (Ottawa, Kingston (one hour away) and Montreal (two hours away). But, we settled back into Barrie and have enjoyed the work we have been doing.
We looked back at our trip and decided that a move to Brockville would be a good move.
We went down for a visit in November 2017 to confirm that Brockville would be a nice place to live. Brockville has all the conveniences for shopping and it has a small Theatre for live show. Bonus, as we really enjoy going to see live theatre.
We looked at a few houses while we were there and realized that there were a few constraints. The major one being a highway (401) passing through the north end of the city. A lot of the new development is happening at the north end and you can hear a constant thrum from the highway if you open the windows in the houses or stand in the gardens. There is also a rail line that runs through the middle of the city. This is actually an advantage because there is a passenger train that runs regularly to Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. We like traveling by train and I don’t mind the sound of the train whistle.
We met a real estate agent in Brockville and we gave him a list of our wishes:
- Garage (for the bikes)
- Bungalow – we have always bought a bungalow.
- Two bedrooms – often we have had three bedrooms (one for the office and a spare bedroom for guests). The guest room was rarely used, a waste of space.
- Two bathrooms or at least 1 and a half bathroom
- Hardwood and ceramic flooring
- Finished basement for working out or as an extra living space.
- Quiet neighbourhood
- South of the rail tracks, preferably the west end of the city.
- Move in ready.
After our visit to Brockville in November, we waited to put the condo on the market. I painted the bedrooms and we put more stuff in storage.
AFTER: Ready to put the condo on the market.
We spoke to our real estate agent (Farida Jones) and discussed the best time to put the condo on the market considering we still wanted to go to Europe this summer.
Eventually we put the condo on the market on Tuesday February 6, 2018. OMG we got an offer on the same day. We were either going to be homeless by April or we would have to find a house. Ralf kept telling me he didn’t want to settle on a house, he wanted this to be our last home. He wanted to make sure we got what we wanted and not settle because we were going to be homeless. We went over our list of wants again. I spent a lot of time looking on Realtor.ca trying to find the “perfect house”.
The market in Brockville is very slow at the moment. We went to Brockville this past weekend (February 17 – 19, 2018) and viewed houses. Jon Labrash (real estate agent) showed us a couple of two-storey townhouses, along with three bungalows.
What did we get?
A garage with an attached three bedroom two-storey house, with a fireplace in a quiet neighbourhood!
There were two houses in the neighbourhood that were for sale. One house had been finished from top to bottom: new kitchen, hardwood, ceramics, new bathrooms and a finished basement. A very nice house. The garden looked over the back of other people’s gardens but was quiet. The other one was carpeted and vinyl flooring. The bathrooms were modern but not brand new. The basement was partially finished and the main floor open plan living room had a fireplace. The house had been recently painted from top to bottom. The garden looked over a small wooded area and the Brock Creek ran to the back of that. Over the Brock Creek is a multi-use trail.
Guess which one we bought!
We bought the carpeted and vinyl flooring house.
Why did we buy a two-storey? We walked into this house and it spoke to us, it said “You are home”. It was the nicest feeling.
We are going to rip out the carpet and vinyl on the main floor and put in hardwood in the living/dining area and ceramics in the kitchen and foyer. The rest is move in ready!! Of course we know we will update the bathrooms at some time in the future, it is what we do!
We have to do a home inspection in Brockville and we will be on the move again – early April 2018.
While we were in Brockville we went to the Theatre to see Willy Wonka presented by the Brockville Operatic Society. It was very good, a lot of the audience were family of the young actors it was a really nice community event. I got chatting to one of the volunteers and have already made a friend! We will get together for coffee when we have settled in and chat about volunteer opportunities etc.