Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Selling our house...

The realty photographer did a great job...
Yesterday I wrote about how to reset your life.  One of the points I touched on was managing your assets.  This is the story of how we chose to mange our major asset, our house.  It's the story of where the decision has left us and how we hope it will work out.  One thing we're learning as we move forward with this is that you can never have plans that are rock solid, but regardless of that, things seem to have a way of working out.

Now, in order to make this dream a reality, there was one huge condition.  We had to sell our house.

Since 2000 Janet and I have lived in North Vancouver.  At first we rented, then in 2002 we purchased a 980 square foot pre-sale condo on the North Vancouver waterfront for what seemed to be an outrageous sum of money.  We sold that, trading up (in size and debt-load) in 2007 and settled into the suburban life, trading time for money and money for home.

The thing is, the Vancouver real estate market is a strange beast, rising faster than a farmer at the rooster's call.  In spite of dismal financial markets, employment figures that caused some doubt and cautious economic outlooks for BC the value of our home far outstripped what we paid for it.

So - in order to make this all real we took the huge step of listing our house for sale.  That was January.  We had been watching the market for more than a year and hoped that it would be a time of high demand, coming off of the rainy winter in Vancouver.  With that in mind we anticipated that it might take a month or so to get reasonable offers and interest.  We had no inkling of how wrong we were or the flurry of activity that was about to come.

The day before the listing went live was a Thursday and we were a bit surprised when our realtor asked when we would be looking at offers.  Uncertainty descended and in a moment of blind intuition we said we'd consider offers the following Monday.  The moment that decision was made we began second guessing ourselves.  What if we didn't have any offers?  What if buyers were put off by an offer deadline?  What if it made us look greedy?

We should not have worried.

We listed on a Friday, by that afternoon we had 8 showings lined up for Saturday and more for Sunday.  By the time the weekend was over we had more than 40 individuals walk through the house.
Monday night came and had 4 offers presented to us.  Each one was above asking.  We were blown away.  Never in our wildest imaginings had we expected that it would take just 72 hours to sell our house.  The accepted offer?  $998,000.

We had just won the lottery - the Vancouver real estate lottery to be specific.

Now we are due to leave our house on May 27.  It is the only home our girls know and has sheltered us, providing warmth and security for the last 8 years.  We're sad to leave it but also so happy that the final thing we'll take from this home is financial freedom.

With the money from the sale we're able to pay for our boat - our next home.  What's more, the sale is the source of most of the funds that will enable us to live this dream.  Invested and spent wisely, they should be enough to fund this lifestyle for as long as we choose.  (See my post on cost of cruising for details on what the lifestyle costs).

There's no doubt in my mind that we were extremely fortunate in the decisions we made and the timing we had, and I like to think we will keep that in mind and make the most of our good fortune as we embark on new adventures.

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