July 15th, 2009
Yesterday I was putting out my garbage at about 6:30pm when a lady showed up at my house carrying a large basket full of goodies. She was from the Welcome Wagon, which is a company that offers a free “greeting service” to new residents in various communities.
She gave me a bunch of pamphlets and information about Oshawa, coupons for discounts and free offers from local businesses, and some free samples as well. Check it out:
I got a free sample from Mary Kay, a coupon for $10 worth of business services at the UPS Store, a bunch of random coupons, a toothbrush, popcorn, some pens, fridge magnets, a diaper, and a six week old copy of the Oshawa Express newspaper.
The Welcome Wagon has been around since 1930, and does visits for other “lifestyle events” such as brides-to-be, new grandparents and expecting a new baby. It’s basically a way for local businesses to advertise to you, but it is pretty neat, and I did get some interesting and useful things out of it.
June 15th, 2009
So I’ve been in my house for just over three months now, and I’m loving it. I’ve learned a lot about being a homeowner, living alone, paying bills, dealing with neighbours, and I’ve also learned a lot about myself.
For me, owning a home is a lot different than renting or living with your parents. I really notice the little things, like how messy the house gets, repairs that need to be done, and general upkeep that houses require to stay in good condition. I now understand the whole “pride of ownership” thing, because I am the sole person responsible for everything in my house. Even though I live alone, I sometimes find it difficult to keep the place clean. Just a couple of lazy days leads to dishes piling up, floors that need sweeping and vacuuming, and bathrooms that need washing. Plus there’s lawn maintenance, houseplants to be watered and of course, bills to be paid.
It’s been a real learning experience so far. I really enjoy the freedom of living on my own, in my own house. I don’t have to worry about following any rules or how my actions will affect anyone else, since there isn’t anyone else there. If I want to keep my bikes in my family room, I can and nobody will tell me to move them. If I want to play my music loud, I can (as long as it isn’t so loud that the neighbours can hear it, but that’s another story). If I want to cook or do laundry at 3am, nobody is going to object. Plus I can pee with the bathroom door open.
I was recently asked what my favourite thing about living on my own is, and my answer was the freedom. It’s not like I was really oppressed or lacked freedom before, but now I notice all the little things. I can do whatever I want, and I love it.
February 19th, 2009
Yep, that’s right. I started house-hunting back in November and after looking at about 50 houses in the Oshawa/Whitby area, I finally found the one. It’s a nice little link home in Oshawa, up near the Five Points Mall. I really like the layout of the house, it’s in a good location, it has a decent sized yard and it has a garage. For my first place, I couldn’t ask for more.
I put an offer in about a month ago, did a bit of back and forth negotiating and we settled on a really good price. Now is a great time for first time homebuyers, since house prices have dropped and interest rates are really low. I’m off to the lawyer’s in about an hour to get the keys, and I’m pumped. Tomorrow I’ll be doing some cleaning and getting some things set up and Saturday will be the big moving day.
I’ll keep everyone updated and post some pictures in the next few days.