One hell of a weekend

by DaniGirl on August 15, 2010 · 19 comments

in It IS all about me

Friday morning when I woke up, I was expecting an ordinary day leading into an ordinary weekend with absolutely nothing on the go — a nice break from looping around the country to just take it easy for a change.

Despite the best laid (non) plans, after a short-notice appointment to see a house on Friday after work, I spent an absolutely breathless and insane weekend taking a crash course in well and septic systems, bridge financing, real estate commissions and daycare in Manotick.


Yep, it looks like we found ourselves a house. *barely repressed squee* So now we’re going in 17 different directions at once: there’s decluttering and painting and repairing to be done, financing to be secured, inspections to be arranged, and the whole hell that is selling and packing and moving.

Did I mention “!!!!!”?

It’s all very exciting. Never in my wildest imaginings did I picture us living in Manotick. Then again, I also said I’d never work for DND, so I really ought to learn to stop starting sentences with the words “I will never…” Or, perhaps I should walk around chanting “I will never win a million dollars.” Or at least, “I will never have Jessica Beil’s body.”

There are a LOT of details to work out before I’m comfortable sharing any of them. The offer hasn’t even been tabled yet, but that’s pending, and so is a lot of the first-stage stuff like inspections and financing and then (whimper) on to the listing and selling our place.

I’d be very, very grateful for your insight on the two things that are currently keeping me awake nights: well and septic systems, and real estate agents. I’m getting comfortable with the idea of the former, pending a full inspection of the 40-year-old system. The five per cent commission to the latter makes me actually nauseous to think about, but the thought of negotiating the sale myself is far worse. If you know of an agent you trust with your life, I’m taking recommendations.

What I *should* be taking is a valium… can’t we just fast-forward through this part and start unpacking the boxes in my new house tomorrow???

(Oh, how I’m dying to tell you about this house!!!)

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rae August 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm

My friend JP is an Agent with Remax. I love him to bits!

RE/MAX metro-city realty ltd., Brokerage
JP Walsh // 101-2255 Carling Avenue // 6135965353

If I could buy a house, it would be with him! Alas, we’re not in that place!

We had a septic tank when I was a teen, and never had any problems except that the field of grass where the field lay was a total PITA to mow šŸ˜›

Anyway. I hope the whole process goes well for you!

2 Judy August 15, 2010 at 8:09 pm

1. Real estate agents.

We run on the theory we aren’t experts at everything and paying the 5% is worth it. Not only did our agent sell our house in 24 hours he had such sound advice on making offers and saved us about $12 000 when we bought.

We interviewed 4 agents and trusted our gut. The agent we went with works for a broker that specializes in Condos but he was fabulous and helped us find our great non-condo home. We used Chris Brown He does a lot of the re-sale and I think is working on lots of non-condo listings (ours was a townhouse!).

2. Well & septic system. We had them at the cottage in Manitoba and they just take some extra attention to ensure they are well maintained, but not more work than ensuring home plumbing with sump pumps, etc are well maintained. My parents had a fabulous well dug and the owner of the company uses a witching stick to the find the water. Seriously. The well is so full they will have never run dry even in drought years.

3 angela August 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm

have i ever told you that i swore i would never live in cornwall?
especially anywhere WEST of cornwall?


i wish you quick resolution to all the administrative stressful house buying stuff and as much joy in your new home as we have had in our “never gonna” home:))

4 Barbi August 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I don’t have a real estate recommendation but our home has a well & a septic systems. Get the water tested, of course, we for example have hard water (typical apparently for Ottawa) so we have small water treatment plant in our basement. ; ) Just something to maintain and look after, not a real problem. Since we have to soften our water with salt (of which you can’t drink on a regular basis) this does build up on taps etc. so you just need to CLR them once and awhile. You may notice a slight water pressure difference again not really a big issue and you could always get a fix for that. The Well, again no issue just need to maintain it and watch what you are putting in it, examples harsh chemicals or detergents. This part gave me the push I needed to start using natural cleaners for example. Our well has not run dry but we don’t use a lot of water either, we don’t water then lawn unless we have put some seed down. We do have small garden and wash the car once and awhile, you just don’t go overboard. The bit of extra maintenance is a small price to pay for our location and I would assume the same in your case. Have fun on your new journey, try not to let the stress of it take over. : )

5 Zhu August 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Can’t really give you any advice (well, I can always offer advice but none of them will be very good, houses are not my specialty – now if you ever want to learn Mandarin, call me). But yay for Manotick, which is a lovely lovely place.

6 Amber August 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm

I have no advice, having only purchased one home that I still live in. I’ve never been on the selling side.

However, I did want to give a tentative ‘hooray!’ and wish you the very best of luck, and much in the way of smooth easiness.

7 freemommiestuff August 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm One hell of a weekend: Friday morning when I woke up, I was expecting an …

8 mrsgryphon August 16, 2010 at 12:40 am

Oh, yay – I’m glad you love the Manotick house! I wish you great luck with all the details and the paperwork and the inspection. Can’t wait to hear about it!

9 Marianne August 16, 2010 at 7:25 am

Go with an agent. While the amount they are paid upon sale of your house can be ridiculous, a good agent will know the market, how to price yoru house appropriately, how to stage and market your house, take good photos, recommend handymen or cleaners or stagers, and many other things.

If you choose to sell the house yourself (through grapevine or a similar company), keep in mind that you should price the house a little lower than you would through MLS. Prospective buyers will know you are saving the 5% real estate commission and will expect to at least split that cost with you by having you set the house about 2.5% cheaper, if not a bit more (because if they already have a buyer’s agent, they are likely obligated to pay their agent even if they find a house themselves).

Good luck, house buying is so exciting!

10 kathleen Priestman August 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

Just sent you an email, but hell, no harm in advertising.
I cannot recommend Gary Shane highly enough. He and his wife/ partner Elaine Dube are fabulous.
We have worked extensively, had them work for/ with an number of friends, and everyone has always been ecstatic.
Worth a call.
Best of luck.

11 valerie August 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

Wow, Dani, congratulations! But I was wondering, if you made an offer, don’t you already have an agent? Mine gave me a discount on the selling fees because we bought through them.

12 smothermother August 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Holy sh%^! That’s crazy! How exciting. I’d be freaken’ major right now. Any thought of selling the house on Grapevine or the like? No fees to pay!

Congrats. Awesome news.

13 DaniGirl August 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Thanks all!! After a long day of telephone tag and e-mail messages, things are starting to come together with the offer for tomorrow, a financing appointment tomorrow and $1500 worth of well, septic and home inspections scheduled for later in the week. Next up, get our house ready to sell!

Valerie, we bought privately and saved the commissions, so I only need an agent to sell. Over the last day, I’ve made peace with the fees and the fact that I need an expert in my corner for the sale.

Is all very exciting — never a dull moment around here!!

14 Gertie August 16, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Congratulations and Good luck with the new home – it is very exciting. Also good luck with selling your current one.
Septic systems are extremely expensive to replace. A 40 year old one most likely needs to be replaced. Make sure your home inspector is an expert in septics because there are completely new rules now when it comes to installing or replacing one. They also take a surprising amount of space. Make sure you research the cost of replacing the one you have. Our friends paid well over $10,000 for a new one to service their 3 bedroom home, 10 years ago.

15 Paula August 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Hi Dani,

I’m a lawyer in Ottawa (currently staying home with my 3 kids but providing contract work part-time) and I’d be happy to discuss the process with you. Before I took my mat leave I practised heavily in real estate. I can tell you the other types of costs you will expect, and give you the dish on agents and what you can expect. Send me a private email if you’re interested and I’ll send you my home telephone number.

16 Rebecca August 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm


As for agent, when we sell this place in the next couple of years I will 100% list with an agent. My parents are house hunting with an agent and on their own (open houses) but from a sellers side, we’ve gone into the private sale open houses/showings and it’s so much more work. The money I think is an investment, let them do the work, plus find buyers for you!

good luck!

17 Chantal August 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm

WOW awesome! When we lived in Osgoode we had D on the wait list for the Goulbourn day care. It is an awesome facility and I know people who have had kids there and loved it. Can’t wait to hear more details and live vicariously through you! I want to move so bad šŸ™‚

18 Paula August 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Congratulations on the purchase of the house and good luck with the sale of your existing one. I’m sure tons of people will give you advice about living in the country. We moved from Ottawa to the country just outside of Perth, ON two years ago this month and dealt with wells, septics, sump pumps, etc. for the very first time.
If you check out CMHC’s website you will find a ton of very helpful information there.
Here’s a link to get you started.

19 shelly@campinggirlchronicals August 17, 2010 at 7:29 am

Congrats on finding a house that you love… that is the hardest part!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: