Below, you will find a hastily-sketched recap of our ho-hum weekend. It starts approximately 3:15 pm Friday afternoon.
I left early to go get condo docs. Drove home to change out of shorts that got ripped during lunch-time soccer. Drove downtown (eventually) to get to Kingsway Asset Management Ltd. Parked stupidly, thinking 102 was 104. Walked 20 min, went up 27 floors on the elevator, was told that the cost was more than I had on me (apparently this is my fault too) and that they don't have spare change, so the ATM in the lobby is not entirely sufficient. I took more money out there, and went hunting for convenience stores. Two (2) packs of sesame snacks later, I walked back to CN building and up 27 floors on the elevator, paid and left. Walked 20 min back to the car, drove to Milennium Place in Sherwood Park to deliver the condo documents to my realtor who was playing hockey with the realtor who needed the documents. That realtor had already left, but mine was still there. Gave him the docs, and left. Drove home. Got stuff ready, and drove back to Sherwood Park to get the Circlewood property inspected by "Handy" Howard MacPherson (my father in law). Then we drove around Sherwood Park, trying to find a property that "Mad" Mary Jane ( my mother in law) had been to, that was for sale. Our mindset was that we were still going to get the circlewood place at this point. I was so sick (I guess with lack of food, lack of sleep, too much sun, not enough water and the high level of stress, it was inevitable) that I was pretty much useless for the rest of the night. This was pretty much the low point for both Kim and I, of the weekend. We stewed the rest of the night, and part of Saturday. Then I got sick of stewing. The laundry-list of shortcomings that Howard sent us, along with the misgivings that Kim and I had about the place (not enough bedrooms, really, only one bathroom, no garage, stuff like that) were staring me in the face. I dragged Kim into a mad scheme to look for more houses in Millwoods, so that we would know how the CIrclewood house compared with the same price point in Millwoods. She agreed, and both our spirits rose immediately. We looked at houses for a couple of hours (mostly driving - I think we saw three houses) and we fell in love with a gorgeous house in Minchau. (if the link doesn't work, let me know and I'll send you some pictures) The owners seemed like great people and they even consented to a "Handy" Howard walkthrough later that night, despite the fact they were having people over for a dinner party.
Howard liked it, despite three major things: The hot water tank and the furnace need to be replaced and the driveway needs to be re-graded or jacked up. (did you know you could jack a driveway up? You can! With MUD!) So, we decided we would offer 3000 below their asking price, fairly confident that they would accept. However, we decided to sleep on it.
The next day, (sunday, for those of you keeping score) I called my realtor and told him we were not getting the Sherwood Park property and told him about this place. Before I finished, he interrupted: "That size, in Millwoods? You're paying 20000 too much." He then proceeded to send me a list of houses that had sold since January that had 18 houses on it. How such a limited sample of house-sales would sway me, I'm not sure. I called the people selling the Minchau house and told them of the realtor's concerns, told them that I needed to do some research and that I would get back to them. I did my research, found nothing on the market that touched this place (rose-coloured glasses aside) for a price less than 5000 dollars less than what we would offer. That 5000 dollars, in my opinion, is what gets us the gorgeous kitchen with the sun-facing windows, the ceramic tile flooring and the peace of mind that Kim is happy with a house, even if it's not in Sherwood Park. Cheap, if you ask me.
After a game of phone tag with Rudy and Laura, we agreed to meet them at 7:30. By the time we left at 9:00, contracts were signed, hope was generated, and I had the best house-shopping experience of my life.