It's been a busy, busy week at work. The warm weather and lighter evenings are upon us - and with them it seems, comes a dramatic increase in our work load. Last night was no exception and I am soooo grateful that I now have a few days off to recharge my batteries.
My plans for the next few days will undoubtedly include a pile of housework, a little WoW time, and if the weather co-operates, a little gardening. The yellow "caution" tape is up around my front garden. Thankfully (for once) it is not an indication of a police "crime line", but more of a "keep off the grass" as I try to coax the new grass seed to take root. My battles with the squirrels will no doubt resume in full force once I get all the bedding plants in. I tried using human hair last year as a deterrant (old wives tale) - needless to say it didn't work. I am sure there is a little squirrel running around out there with a gorgeous red wig on it's scrawny tree-climbing-rodent-head. This year I may be tempted to try a more modern application and check out my local garden centre for some pesticides/repellents - yeah gimme those chemicals.
My first tentative steps - more like tiny fairy steps - into home ownership so far has been to check out a few websites to calculate how much I could qualify for. I was surprised as to how widely those amounts can vary. I used the mortgage calculators with 3 lending/banking institutions and found the amounts varied by over $50,000 from bank to bank! Mind boggling as to how they get their numbers.
Considering I live on the outskirts of Toronto, the real estate market is crazy. Armed with the numbers from the banks I searched the MLS listings for homes in my area in my price range - and basically I can't get anything for under $200,ooo. Hello people! We are talking about almost a quarter of a million dollars here!! And I can't even find a nice little "two up-two down"? I am already a 40 minute commute from work, I don't want to move even further out of the city limits. Even at $200K the houses available are described as "needing TLC" and "handy man specials" and "investment opportunities". Yes, I can get in with only 5% down...but the rate is higher to cover insurance and I don't have $10,000 sitting around doing nothing. Grrrr!
So I qualify for the mortgage - and can carry the expenses - but I don't have that blasted downpayment. I haven't given up yet, but I will have to think long and hard about all this. There has got to be a way around this. I don't want to be house poor - no point in having a roof over your head - and nothing to put inside it!