Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Cottage We Hope to Buy

I figured with less than four weeks until the closing date, I'd give readers a look at the small cottage we are buying.  It is set on a double lot on a quiet street.  Don't let the 1990's siding color throw you.  This house is approximately 60-70 years old.  Inside, it has been overhauled: the wiring and plumbing are new, drywall has been replaced, insulation added, new flooring and fixtures.  While many of the finishes are not reflective of our personal taste, these things are easy to change and the "dirty work" has been done.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another Step Closer

Since my last post, we've accepted an offer on our townhouse.  The closing date for the sale has been set to coincide with the purchase of the cottage - March 24, 2011.  Even as I write it, I get excited.  We've never been as close to realizing our small house dream as we are right now.

Last weekend we decided to resume our search for the perfect sofa bed.  Since our little cottage will have only one bedroom, we wanted to find a sofa bed that offered good seating and a great night's sleep.  Friends of ours had just bought a new sectional at the local Laz-y-boy Furniture Gallery and we were impressed with how comfortable it was so we decided to try there.  When we arrived the store was in the midst of a four hour sale.  We took that as a good omen.  :-)

After trying out almost every model, we settled on the Daphne Sleeper Sofa in a chocolate brown fabric.  It provides a double bed sleep surface when fully open.  Closed, it is deep enough for a six-foot adult to stretch out and not have to worry about rolling off.  As I lay stretched out across it in the middle of the store, I found myself relaxed and ready to have a nap.  It was delicious.  The picture shown features the same model in a red fabric.  At 73.5 inches long, 39 inches high and 39.5 inches deep, it will fit the space and provide a great deal of comfort.

We paid for it and indicated we'd take a delayed delivery to give us a chance to sell our existing loveseat.  I listed it on the local kijiji site and this morning we got a call. With a little luck, we will have our new sofa home by the end of this coming week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Small House Living: A Step Toward Financial Freedom

Like a lot of those born at the end of the baby-boom, I've spent much of my life chasing work and moving around.  Now here I am in the last half of my fourth decade of life, finally working in an area that puts me close to my family but without a firm plan to secure my financial future.  While I'm not the type of person who lies awake at night wondering about the "what-ifs", this situation did not sit well with me.

My partner and I talked long and often about how we live now and how we wanted our lives to be in future.  The priorities became clear fairly quickly.

1.  Given our age difference, I don't want to have to keep working until age 65.  I want to semi-retire in my late 50s while my partner and I are still in good health.
2. We both wanted a house that will enable us to maintain our independence as long as possible - so one level living is a must.
3.  Outdoor space is also critical as we love to garden and will likely always have dogs in our lives.
4.  We do not want our next home to be a financial burden to us later on so it has to be economical to run and provide only as much square footage as we truly need.
5.  We want to own our home outright in the shortest time possible.
6.  We both want to minimize my daily commute to work, so it is easier on me and enables us to spend more time together.
7.  We want to be close enough to the city amenities and to family to avail of both on a regular basis.
8.  The next home doesn't have to be perfect, but it needs to be structurally sound and require minimal work prior to our moving in.  Personalization can come later.