AT RANDOM: The hunt for a home

It has been six weeks to the day since we moved out of our Bella Vista home

Well, my quest for a new domicile continues. It has been six weeks to the day since we moved out of our Bella Vista home, and we have been living in my in-laws’ back garage… with the cat, dog and all of our worldly possessions.

Normally, the thought of living with your in-laws or parents would generate a sense of underlying failure and/or dread in most 30-somethings; at the very least, a plausible script for the next Jonah Hill comedy.

Most teens are hard-wired to flee the nest upon graduation and never look back. I’m sure some need to be ‘gently’ coerced by their parents to leave, but once they experience their newfound freedom, those same parents sometimes have to beg for a visit for Sunday dinner.

But I gotta say, living with your semi-retired parents, at least for a while, is awesome. I come home from work and dinner is either ready, or well underway.

And Carole always makes enough for leftovers for lunch the next day… and the day after that, and the day after that.

They have generously given us free reign of the place, allowing us to take over both their garages – the one where we sleep and store our belongings, the other is Terryn’s workshop.

Up until last week, the fact that they lived on a Westside Road waterfront property wasn’t that big of a deal. But ever since that blazing, bright sphere in the sky has started showing up (I believe they call it the sun), that place has become my oasis.

Even my slightly obese kitty is soaking up the new environment. An indoor cat since we got her from the Vernon Animal Care Society, our de-clawed (she came that way) tabby with a kinked tail, has blossomed into an intrepid explorer. Her favourite pastimes now are eating grass and hunting insects in the hosta garden.

Our dog has taken on a slightly ripened cheese-like aroma from swimming in the lake so much. She is in bliss.

Alas, we can’t live with the in-laws forever, a feeling I am sure is shared by both parties. However, our search for an affordable hobby farm that checks all our boxes is proving to be quite the mission.

Given the region’s agricultural roots, you would think it wouldn’t be overly difficult. It’s not like I’m asking for a pet unicorn, or for England to win the Euro Cup, or anything crazy like that.

We have visited at least 20 homes in our search, and have driven pretty much every back road in the North Okanagan, and even into the Shuswap, looking for potential places.

We have scoured everywhere from Enderby and Falkland to Lumby and Carr’s Landing, but we have yet to find the right one. When we’re not on the road, we are glued online to Google Maps and MLS listings.

I had a brief glimmer of hope when the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) tightened mortgage rules to reign in Canadian debt loads, thinking it would reduce the number of people looking for houses.

Then I realized they probably had people like me in mind when they made those changes.

The new adjustments include reducing the amortization on government-insured mortgages from 30 to 25 years, and lowering the amount of equity homeowners can take out of their homes in a refinancing of their home from 85 to 80 per cent. I have read this roughly equates to a 1.5 to two per cent increase in interest rates, although it will save people money over the long run.

The other major change to CMHC lending rules – houses more than $1 million are no longer eligible for CMHC insurance.

I don’t think that one is going to be affecting me any time soon.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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