Monday 7 August 2017

Keeping busy

Can you believe that we're already into August?  The weeks keep flying by and I took another marble from the jar last week.  Hooray!  :) 

Work has been incredibly busy with all of the changes coming. I've been working on various projects in preparation of the new staff arriving and finishing off work with my current staff. I haven't felt overwhelmed, but am definitely exhausted by the end of the day. Not a bad thing.

At home, it's been a whirlwind the past two weeks.  Let me preface the rest of this paragraph with, I love my daughter and my grandson but....having them around is exhausting.  Besides the extra clutter and noise, there are the middle of the night wake-up calls which I attempt to ignore with the use of ear plugs.  However, D has yet to learn how to close a door quietly and seems to need to go in and out various doors (bathroom, her bedroom, his bedroom) at least a dozen times before things settle down again.  Despite enjoying the baby cuddles, I'm ready for her and Eli to move on.

This isn't as simple as it would seem. At this point, she's living on maternity benefits from Employment Insurance.  When she does go back to work, she'll have the additional costs for childcare.  She has also got herself in a bit of financial pickle that will need to be resolved over the next few months.  Like Scarlet O'Hara she has a tendency to put off thinking about tomorrow until she absolutely must. To be honest, sometimes I wonder if this girl will ever grow up. 

So I sat down and did some number crunching.  D was less than forthcoming about her fiscal position but I did determine how much she was contributing to the household when she was living with J.  ARRRGGHHH.....that man is a total leech!*  Once I had that number I started looking for viable options for living.  While D ought to have been doing this, she had determined she would live with me until next response to that suggestion was an emphatic no!

A two bed, one bath rental in Regina is currently renting for $1200-$1500 for apartments and even more for houses and this was simply beyond (=]]6==g`-Sheldon's helping with this post) her means at this point.  I looked on-line at the housing market and quickly came to the realization that any house available that I might be able to afford would need significant work and was likely to be found in an area of the city, neither she nor I would be comfortable with.

However, there were several mobile homes available in three different parks. One is about a 15-20 minute drive from the city, while the other two are within the city limits.  I started showing the options to D and after some discussion she agreed to visit a few of the properties with me.

The first was located outside the city.  The home has been updated with new flooring, a new furnace, new washer/dryer, and has a two additions, one a third bedroom and the other a family room.  It even had a second bath and a walk-in closet in the master.  The yard was lovely, fenced in with lots of perennials, a shed, and ample parking in front.  D is considering opening a home daycare in the next year so it seemed perfect, and although it was only the first place we saw, we decided to put in an offer.  After a bit of to and fro'ing the offer was accepted with certain conditions to be met. But it wasn't meant to be, as one of the conditions was decidedly not met by the seller....she had failed to disclose that the lot fees for the park were increasing by $150 per month!  Suddenly the numbers no longer added up the way I'd hoped so I withdrew the offer and we were back to square one.

Over the past week and a half we've seen six other properties.  Several appeared to be very nice on-line but turned out to be real duds in real life.  It's pretty clear a good real estate with an eye for photography can make a difference.  Two of the homes were in dire need of updating, as well as mechanical issues.  I took the papers out of the envelope on the front of the furnace - it's had no servicing since 2005.  Another had half-finished projects all over the place, none of which had been done well.  No thanks!  

Another of the properties was just too small, at only 700 square feet,  though it's had been re-done with new flooring, paint, counter tops and back splash.  But there was little storage, the closets were small, no pantry, and the bathroom also doubled as the laundry room.  When we drove away, I said to D, that place would be perfect for C (my son).  It would have done in a pinch but I think it's more suitable to a single or perhaps a young couple starting out.  

This past Friday, we were able to see the last two properties.  The second was the biggest fail of all.  We hadn't been able to get into it earlier as the key wasn't in the lock box the first time we were there.   It was a double wide with two bedrooms, one bath that has been pretty much gutted.  AND that's exactly what it was...gutted.  There were no kitchen cabinets, no bathroom fixtures, and the materials they'd used to complete the work that had been done was of the cheapest quality.  What a waste of time for us and our real estate agent!

But the first property we saw that day was much more appealing.  A three bedroom, one bath on a large lot with a front porch and a screened in back deck, it has had some recent upgrades and was listed with all appliances including washer/dryer, fridge, stove, dishwasher, freezer, and garburator.  The kitchen is a bit dated but the bathroom was recently renovated with new vanity, a soaker tub, cabinets and flooring.  It has lots of storage, with a pantry, the front and back porches, a full closet plus another walk-in closet in the master bedroom and two sheds.  It also has the third bedroom.  It is a home D and Eli can grow I'd have a place to stay when I come out to visit!

We told our real estate agent we wanted to take the night to think about it and agreed to get in touch with him the next afternoon.  D is still disappointed about the first place and wasn't entirely certain.  But by morning, she had come to the realization this place had a lot to offer.  She can still consider opening a home daycare - it has the third bedroom for nap-time, the living room is large so can be used at one end for toys, and when the weather is nice the back porch will make a great play area.  (Maybe I won't want to stay with her).

At 4:15 p.m. the real estate agent dropped by the house to pick up the signed offer.  He gave me the impression that he didn't think the sellers would bite as I offered significantly less than they were asking.  By 6 p.m. we had signed acceptance!  Again there are conditions to be met, financing, a satisfactory home inspection, a review of the current lease, and the disclosure statement from the current owner.  I expect these conditions will be met by the end of this upcoming week.  

Because of her financial situation, D will be unable to get the financing.  I've always said I would gift each of my children a certain amount from the sale of my current home for a down payment.  Instead I'm kicking in the down payment for this home from my current savings, and will make the payments on the loan (no mortgages are available on a mobile home on leased land), until that number is reached.  Then she's on her own.  In the meantime she's responsible for the lot fee, insurance and utilities.  Based on my calculations that should be about $900 a month, significantly less than a rental would have cost.  While the mobile home will not likely retain it's value, she should be able to sell it in a few years and still have a reasonable amount for a down payment on something else if she chooses.

Best of all, by early October, I'll have my peace and quiet again.  Plus all, and I mean all, of D's stuff will be out of my home.  She's been storing things here since I kicked her out in 2014.  I told C when it's all out of here, I'll be going hard to clear the rest of the clutter and get this house ready for resale in mid-2018.  With any luck C will get a permanent position at work, and be in his own place soon as well.  He's been saving his pennies diligently.  In fact, if that place that was perfect for him is still available in December, he thinks he'll have sufficient funds to buy it with cash.  That's my boy!

It will be a bit of stretch financially for me as well, but I've done the numbers and I can do it without much sacrifice.  I won't be able to buy a new vehicle....but then again, I hadn't planned to do so.  My travel will be limited to the trips already booked, but I don't have any more vacation time anyway.  (At least until I retire). Besides I'm doing it for this guy....could there be a better reason?

*And a leech he continues to be.  Since D left, he's found another sucker to move in with him to pay the rent.  This time it is a male friend....we'll see how long another guy is willing to put up with his games.  Obviously she cannot count on him to provide any support.  

Have a good week everyone! 


  1. Wow, a great deal was achieved since your last entry. I know about buying a house (I also know about selling one five years later...) and though it's exciting, it is demanding and draining. And frightening. D is very lucky to have you to help her in so many ways. How smart our parents become as we age!

  2. Wow indeed! D is very lucky to have parental help, and I hope all works out well and that she finally will be self-supporting in the future. Space and dollar-wise, a mobile home or double-wide would be perfect for me, but I can't do another closely-packed area with neighbours nearby. (Not sure if it's the same kind of set up for her.)

    As for rent, this is why I've held onto the house, much as I dislike adjoining living and this complex, "managed" into the ground as it is by the property manager. Rents in this city for a decent one or two-bedroom place would be comparable to yours or even higher, and my mortgage is only about $800 per month. Of course there are property tax and condo fees on top of that, but I wouldn't save anything by renting again at this time in my life. It's a bit depressing, actually.

    Anyway, good luck to you all, and to your son, too, who obviously is disciplined with his money. Great job of saving on his part!

    Oh and as for decluttering when the time comes, call me. I'll pop over and help. LOL. You know how I love to toss stuff out (for donation if possible). :-)


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