Moving times

After my flurry of activity last month it’s comforting to note that I’ve drifted back to my old ways of infrequent posts. Or have I?

The reality is that the family are in the throws of moving in to our first house in Canada. Time for a recap. Since arriving in BC, August 2007 the family has inhabited 1 hotel, 1 motel, 1 holiday apartment, 1 short term furnished apartment and for the last 12 months a very pleasant 3 bed apartment on the Burnaby Coquitlam border.

Buying a house here feels like we’re moving on to the next stage of the adventure, plus it’s making a statement that we really, really do mean to make a go of things here. Pics will be posted once we’re in and settled.

What was really an eye opener for me was the difference in the English and Canadian house purchase process. Here things were pretty stress free as once an offer has been accepted, that’s it, no pulling out, no being held to ransom by a potential buyer who just before exchange of contracts demands a sizable reduction in price. What a refreshing way to make what is probably the most expensive purchase in most people’s lives.

We worked with a Realtor (Estate Agent for English readers) who accompanied us on every viewing. If we decided to make an offer on a property we completed draft contracts and placed certain subjects on the offer – acceptable survey for example, and suggested a possession date. Once the negotiations were over and a price agreed there followed a period where the subjects remained in force and we could pull out if we had cause to. We used this on our first offer where the survey turned up a number of ‘big ticket’ items that made the place a non-starter for us. The second property we put an offer on, we secured.

The system worked for me as the potential buyer as I had to be really sure that this place was for me before making an offer. I’m pretty sure that there are times in England that potential buyers start to throw in offers on a number of properties as it’s so easy to back out.

I seemed to do a lot more due-diligence myself on the purchase than I think I would have done in England and the whole Strata thing is probably another post in itself as is the thought of buying in to property at this wonderful time of economic turmoil.

Come what may, BC Brit and family move house on 18th. Let the next phase begin.

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