A few weeks ago, my friend Kim came over for dinner. On her way in, she saw a realtor who was waiting for a client who had an appointment to look at a condo that was up for sale in my building. She came in and said, “Your exact apartment is for sale on the 10th floor. Why aren’t you buying it??” And then she told me the price. And the price seemed too good. My first thought was “omg, what’s wrong with my building? Why is this apartment so cheap?” I should note here that “cheap” is relative. Housing prices in Greater Vancouver are insane and though New Westminster, where I live, is cheaper than Vancouver (or even Burnaby), this price seemed quite good, even for New West. So I went and looked at it and though it was a little weird looking at an apartment that has the exact same layout as mine, there were a few things that made it nicer – better appliances2 and laminate floors3, for example – so I wasn’t looking at an *exact* copy of my place – but pretty close! And then I called a realtor to have her look into the building for me and I talked to a friend of a friend who is on strata4 in the building and everything checked out. And I crunched some numbers and found that mortgage, strata fees, and property tax will be significantly less than my rent. And I realized that I really like my apartment, I like my building, I like New West. And I don’t have plans on going anywhere else. So I put in an offer. And after some negotiation and some due diligence5 ,6 I am now about to be the proud owner of my very own condo – closing on June 23, possession on June 24.
Ok, technically I am going to be the proud owner of 25% of a condo, with the mortgage company7 owning the other 75% of the place but allowing me to live there in exchange for me paying them off for the next 22.27 years8 ).
In related news, Watson & Crick are over the moon with all the cardboard boxes that I’ve been bringing home. Moving is a kitty paradise. Until the actual day of moving, when they’ll be trapped in a room as movers make a bunch of noise in the other rooms. I suspect that will drive them crazy.
- Monopoly board posted by Andrea Allan on Flickr.
- Monopoly banker dude posted by Dave Rutt on Flickr.
- Dr. Crick in a box is my own photo.
- New West joke! [↩]
- My current place has the crappy appliances you put in an apartment for a renter [↩]
- Mine has crappy carpet that you put in an apartment for a renter [↩]
- For my non-BC readers “strata council” or just “strata” is what we call the condo board in BC. [↩]
- Home inspection, reading two years worth of strata minutes and strata bylaws and other such fun things. And I have to say, having done the MBA made reading all this stuff way easier, as I could understand all strata financial statements, which I wouldn’t have known how to do before. [↩]
- I really wanted to put in the contract that the offer was subject to the approval of my cats and then to bring the cats up to the unit and let them roam around and then say “Yes, they seem to approve. I’ll take it!” But I figured that might not be very professional. [↩]
- Hey, remember when the RBC mortgage calculator told me that I was only eligible for a mortgage of between $69-$71 dollars? [↩]
- It’s a 25 year amortization on my mortgage, but I’m doing accelerated bi-weekly payments, which immediately drops me down to 22.27 years (based on my current interest rate, anyway) (or less ((I’m planning on less. I paid my student loans off in record time by making lump sum payments any time I made a little extra money and raising my monthly payments every time I got a raise. I’m planning to do the same thing with my mortgage and my mortgage broker found me a mortgage with a great interest rate that has the flexibility to do that. [↩]