A few days after our wedding in October 2011, my wife and I made an offer on a house. A day or two later, we had purchased the home and left for our honeymoon the following day. Two weeks later, give or take, we moved in. It was a whirlwind entry in the world of home ownership, and one that we have been very thankful for during the past eight-and-a-half years.
Now, we exit the world of home ownership in the same whirlwind manner.
About two years ago, I was contacted by an old childhood friend who’s father happens to be the one who originally built our house. He had been wanting to reach out to me for a while, but kept holding off. When he finally did, he indicated that if Isabelle and I ever wanted to sell the house, he’d be interested in purchasing it. We had been discussing moving for the past year or so, not out of not enjoying the house, but rather because it’s too big a house for two people and a cat. We talked about it for a few months and eventually told him, “okay, make us an offer.”
We quickly came to terms on a price, and things went into action. A short while later, they put their house of for sale, as this was the sticking point – they had to sell their house first. And then the waiting game began.
For the next 6-9 months, there was no concrete action happening on their half. Although they had viewings, no offers were forthcoming, so we waited. Then, COVID-19 arrived. Everything came to a screeching halt in our society. Isabelle and I came to terms that we would likely be spending the summer in our house, if not the remainder of the year. We had even decided to make it worth our time given that we probably won’t be travelling any time soon. We talked of buying new patio furniture and installing a fire pit.
No sooner had we accepted the notion we’d be here for a while, I received a message from our buyer. He had just received an offer on his house. The following day, he confirmed that they had accepted the offer and that our closing would be July 2nd.
This is when panic sank in.
Suddenly, we had a 6-week window in which to pack up our house and find a new place to live. In the midst of a pandemic. Both my wife and I were panicking in our own ways, but keeping calm, cool and collected on the surface. We were ducks.
After a few hours of letting things trot through my mind, I decided that I needed to take control and compose myself. So I allowed the panic to take over. I accepted the fact that I was panicking and losing control over the situation. I allowed it in. For 15 minutes. (Okay, it was closer to 45 before I regained my composure.)
Once that period of time was up, I retook control of my composure. Knowing that many of the circumstances were out of my control, I shifted my focus to the things I could control. I could start packing things. I could start searching for an apartment. And that’s what we did.
We found a couple of potential spots available for rent that met our discerning criteria. On Wednesday, we went to visit what we felt was the most promising of the locations. After a brief visit, we both agreed that we truly liked this spot and quickly filled out an application upon our return home.
Thankfully, we managed to get the spot we wanted. In exactly one month from today, we will be saying goodbye to our first house. The next few weeks are going to fly by. We still have much to do, not to mention that we are still both working full-time. But I am very much looking forward to this new chapter of our lives.