Ed and I moved into Sparta in December of 2009. It’s been a great home for us, and we’ve had some excellent times here – but now that we both work from home, it’s become a bit cramped. We’ve idly been talking about looking for a bigger place for some time now (me with the “LET’S MOVE NOW” and Ed with the standard “in a year or two”), but things just sort of happened: we did some math, looked at the market, toured some neighbourhoods, and the next thing you know, our piggy banks are hella empty and we have a lot of scary, official-looking documents covered in signatures.
This all happened really fast (like, the span of maybe three weeks), but we found a place that met all of our requirements:
- Big (+765 sqft over current home)
- 3+ bedrooms (actually has four)
- Many toilets (4 of them!)
- A deck we can actually USE holy crap I will be able to go outside but stay inside
- No pedestrian-controlled crosswalks anywhere in sight
- No horrible upstairs neighbours with stompy feet and elephant offspring
- Double car garage
- Corner unit (neighbours on only one side! wooo!)
- Greenery! And a community garden!
It’s a townhouse in a new development outside of Vancouver, surrounded by green space and with a friggin’ creek running through it. We’re going to have a YARD. That someone else has to mow. It will be glorious.
As excited as I am, there are definitely things I will miss about Sparta and Vancouver. Among them:
- Being able to say “I live in a McDonald’s parking lot”
- Living above a rub n’ tug (it’s for the best – we never used it because Ed is squeamish)
- Out of milk, eggs, or $9 pints of $4 ice cream? The gas station across the street has what you need.
- Having an address that says “Vancouver”
- The mailman, because it took 8 years but we FINALLY have an understanding about the fact that I do not go outside and he will be bringing me many things and also we are always home (except when I forget to tell the post office to hold my mail, and he’s ringing me in the middle of the night because I’m halfway around the world)
- Getting free passes to the PNE each year for the inconvenience of other people
- Proximity to Deacon’s Corner, Scandalicious, and the good Dennys
There’s a list of things I WON’T miss, but I am not posting them because I need someone to buy our place. :D
I am still a little torn over the loss of my Vancouver address, but this is slowly changing. Don’t get me wrong – this is not one of those obnoxious “Dear Vancouver, I’m breaking up with you” posts. If anything, I’m taking my own advice. It’s true that this city is unsustainable, and if we want more out of our home, we had to look outside the central Vancouver area to one that actually has additional perks beyond those listed above. Yes, I will miss living a ten-minute drive from my friends, but it’s not like I’m moving to Connecticut: that ten minute drive is simply now a 30-minute drive. Oh no. We’re actually in a better position to see our friends regularly, because we’re not the only ones with a new address and the group has instituted a regular date night (which has been a smashing success and means we get to see people far more regularly than just “whenever it happens”).
Some habits die really hard, though: I try not to think too hard about the fact that we’re moving to Surrey. Not regular Surrey; nothing will stop me from stressing that we live in SOUTH Surrey. Not Stabbin’ Surrey. We’re west of the 99, like 5 blocks outside of White Rock. Totally different. I doth protest a lot.
I haven’t started packing yet, but I’ve made an excellent spreadsheet. We’re getting rid of a lot of our stuff to prepare for the move and eventual staging of Sparta (if you’re in the market for any furniture or Pac-Man lamps, let me know), and I’m going to have to pack up almost all of my stuff to made this look like a nice, normal home in which no crazy Peter Pan horders live. Should be totes easy. I have just under three months to pack, purge, sell, or donate most of my belongings. When we return from Ireland, we’ll have three weeks to deep clean the place, then stick it on the market. Ed’s confident that we won’t have an issue selling – Sparta is a corner unit with the second biggest floor plan in the building, has two bathrooms, upgraded closets, and comes with storage and two parking spots. Those are all excellent things. Hopefully someone will give us a lot of money for them, which we will give to the bank because we are responsible like that.
Okay, now I’m just rambling and stressing myself out. There’s so much to DO.
5 thoughts on “down south”
Congrats! Looks like a pretty sweet location. White Rock is fab.
We’re moving soon too – but we’re downsizing from a crappy old tear-down house in East Van to a shiny new townhouse in North Van that’s actually within walking distance of good stores and cafes, instead of just a No Frills grocery store, 7-11, gas station, and Starbucks. I’m also pre-mourning the loss of a Vancouver address (we’ll probably never be able to move back), and we’ll both have a longer commute (although part of mine will be by SeaBus, which is cool), but looking forward to having a place that meets our needs better!
I loooooove the North Shore. We hated leaving it (there was nothing available to buy when we were looking in 2009), and seriously considered moving back there now. The two things that killed it for us: available townhomes are selling way outside our budget then being flipped for an extra $500K, and being trapped on the North Shore when there are incidents on both bridges (which happens a LOT). It’s true that we’d never really need to LEAVE the North Shore, but the other factors – we have friends living in Edmonds that we hang with regularly, frequent business travel for Ed to and from Seattle, and the extra hour+ it takes to get home from the airport or ferries – made us look in the south.
Yeah the bridges are a worry. I can easily hop on the SeaBus if the bridges are both FUBARed, but M can’t. Our solution for if the bridges are messed up at the end of a work day is to go for dinner or a movie in Vancouver, then try again later :)
Awesome! And you’re right next to the gardens so you get to enjoy the view of garens too.
You’re moving to Surrey! I live in Cloverdale/Clayton/not-quite-Langley!
Our friends live in South Surrey at the Woods…we’d totally move there if a townhouse would work with our idiot dogs (mostly one idiot dog, but he thinks everything he sees is his and no one should walk on it unless they’re coming to pet him).
I miss your area of Vancouver. We lived on Nanaimo & Wall 14ish years ago.