On The Brink of Buying a First Home; Are You Willing to Say “Yes”?

Whoop Whoop ALL ABOARD!!” Shauna said as I unlocked the doors to the Tacoma and hopped up into the TRD Sport. Punching in the ignition button we sat awaiting for the truck to warm the inside a bit and heat up our seats as it was still a bit chilly outside even though I was sitting in sneakers, shorts and a winter jacket.

What do you think the package will look like?” was her next question as I yielded to oncoming traffic then turned right out of the complex. Looking over at her then passed her into the park where a couple of kids were chucking snowballs at each other. “It sounds like its going to be substantial as there are two separate packages of paperwork. First the package from Landmark Homes specifically about the build, design, and pricing. Then there is that Edmonton First Place Program information. I’m guessing it will take us a couple of hours to sift through it all. And of course there will be a question and answer session with them over anything we do not understand. And as you already know, I have to read contracts as part of my job and the number one thing about contracts is the devil’s in the details.

Pulling right we looped the Tacoma around the cloverleaf and onto the Anthony Hendey we sped off to the West.

Twenty-seven minutes later we were standing inside Rockin’ Robyn’s awaiting our table.

Sitting down at the table Shauna ordered a coffee stating something about needing to warm up, and I ordered a strawberry milkshake. Then the waitress recognized I was sitting in a pair of shorts and sneakers, “jeez’ what is it summer out there? Isn’t like -11C (12F) today? You’d think you’d be the one ordering a warm beverage!”

Whilst we awaited our lunch meals to be prepared we idly discussed all of the possibilities and what buying a new townhome would mean to us. “First we have to inform Jan about when we will need to move out? And if we will be breaking our contract at all? And what that might cost us to do so?” Shauna started then said, “We will have to discuss how we want to move? What we are going to use to move? How much that’s going to cost? and…” before she could say something else her coffee and my milkshake arrived.

Looking at her, I dug a large scoop out of the secondary tin with a heaping of fresh strawberries within the milkshake and sucked it off the spoon. Deeelicious! came to mind. Then I went about answering her plethora of questions:

  • Correct. We will need to let her know but first let’s settle on a price and learn the move-in date as they will have to finish the interior to make it move-in ready!
  • True, there may be a penalty for moving out early. Except we’ve been really great tenants for many years now. I doubt she will ding us for moving out. Especially since we let her know a couple years back that we were looking for a new home to buy.
  • With our arms and legs? Or do you mean like hiring a Moving Company or getting a few friends together to assist with the move?

“Okay, a few questions for you. What do you think a fair asking price on this home would be? Per the Landmark Homes website this one is listed at $278,500.00 but there are a couple others in the next building down that are priced slightly lower. Bet we could get another 5k off the price maybe more. Also we should try to get as many incentives included as we can,” I said as our lunches arrived.

Before she could answer, I had dipped two french fries into the milkshake and chewed them down. She smiled and shook her head in disbelief. “Every time I see you do that, I just think how disgusting that combination must be!,” then laughed. “You make solid points as usual. Yes we should talk to some of our friends and see if they would help us out. And a moving company sounds favourable too. We could price it out. Yeah, you’re correct. She may not charge us anything as she’s a super awesome landlady!”

As we dug into our meals the two of us pondered the possibilities of owning our own home. While chewing on the delicious reuben sandwich, I thought, okay lets say we can get it for $273k then if we are making $1,000 per month mortgage payments we should be able to pay it off in like 20 to 25 years. Basically by the time I would retire. And its likely if we stayed renting at $1,400 plus some utilities, renters insurance and vehicle insurance, we’d probably end up paying around the same price per month. Realistically we’d be investing in our future retirement. This could actually be better than an older home too. As everything will be under warranty for 5 to 10 years!

Before I could get another word through my thoughts I was interrupted by first the waitress, “How are your meals?” I heard Shauna mumble something about delicious and a refill. Then “what are you stewing in over there?” she asked.

“You know me, too well,” I began, “I’m thinking about the realities of owning the home. What the overall negotiated final price might possibly be? And how if we pay approximately $1,000 per month for 15 to 20 years we would have it fully paid off. Although I’m hoping we don’t have to wait until I’m nearly 60. As my preference would be FIRE and retire early to go travel the world. Which means this would either become an income property for us or we sell it outright. And as long as we make $30k off it, then its been a golden opportunity!”

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb

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