It’s no secret anymore that the housing market is out of control. But I’m pretty sure I was the first person to discover this.
As you may recall, we listed our house in the spring of 2020 as we needed to find a bigger place to accommodate our growing family. There was lots of inventory in Kelowna and things were relatively calm. In fact for us, things were TOO CALM. We didn't receive our first offer for eight months!
After we listed our house, we immediately started looking at new ones to buy. We quickly found a great place that had been on the market for a year and the owners had decided to withdraw the listing the same day we requested a showing. Full list price was well within our budget and we knew they would accept below asking price because they were so exhausted from a year of showings with no offers.
But we had to sell our house first.
Fast forward one year and our house finally sold in March, but by this time there was no inventory left. Furthermore, prices had skyrocketed. Then out of the blue, that house we had looked at suddenly appeared on the market again. I was so excited until I saw that they had marked it up by 30% taking it out of reach for us.
We had a meager budget of $400,000 and I had a list of “non-negotiables” a mile long. I quickly learned that people in my position aren’t afforded the luxury of having non-negotiables and so I started compromising, just desperately searching for a roof over our heads. Sadly, friends started telling me that I needed to widen my search, and that my #1 non-negotiable of living in Kelowna, would be the first one to go. The market was forcing us out.
This one hurt the most for me because after having moved 15 times in my adult life, when I finally found Kelowna 12 years ago, it felt like I had found my home. It felt like I would spend the rest of my life there. I fell in love with the city and everything it encompasses. I made friends. I built a successful business there. My kids were all born there. I purchased my first house there; and the list goes on.
So we began searching. When we plugged our parameters into the realty website, only one place came up in Kelowna - ours! This really made me question if we were making the right decision.
I tried Vancouver just for shits and giggles. I found a 9 foot property. No house… but 9 feet of land to build a tiny house on… or maybe a shed!
Then I tried Cleveland, Ohio. I had heard things were crashing down there. Sure enough… a 4,500 square foot mansion for just $338,000. But who wants to live in Cleveland?!?
So I tried Florida and I found an even bigger house within our budget. Were things SO BAD that we were considering moving to America?
Finally we found a place closer to home in Spallumcheen - a township an hour north of our current home. Not exactly Kelowna, but I had begun to realize that I was going to lose that fight. I’m still bitter and angry about this one, so we’ll quickly move on with the story before I get too upset. Everyone keeps telling me, “it’s still close enough” but every time someone says this, the only wise words my father ever told me ring in my mind, “Son, “close enough” is only good in horseshoes!”
I had wanted four bedrooms… no, I NEEDED four bedrooms. With our family about to be six people large, having four bedrooms already has people sharing a bedroom. In a perfect world I would have asked for SIX bedrooms!!! Well, this house has two - less than what we had originally. Another fight lost and me realizing my “non negotiables” were really just me throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick.
For the past five years the pride and joy of our property in Kelowna had been the immaculate 2,200 square foot yard with lush green grass and a perimeter of emerald cedar trees. So, obviously I demanded an equal or greater yard in our new property. Well, this one has a small postage stamp of gravel next to the cement driveway. Close enough right? By this point I had given up.
The five of us have been living in 924 square feet so obviously we needed bigger. That was the sole reason for the move in the first place. Now while I had listed 1,500 square feet or larger on my list of demands, this one came in at 1,364 of practical living space. Essentially we would be gaining 400 square feet in a larger dining room, a family room and a second bathroom. Again, another compromise but we were out of options, short of moving to an alligator infested swamp 5,000 kilometers away.
But then I opened the back door and instead of being met with a beautiful veranda, or wrap around deck, I discovered the hidden jewel of the property. The door didn’t lead outside at all, but rather into a Pickleball Court. A serious, honest to god, 452 square foot Pickleball Court. Who the fuck has a Pickleball Court INSIDE their house?!? Oh wait… that’s me! I do! In the township of Spallumcheen no less.
Needless to say the kids were immediately sold and I had completely lost the fight. I guess I’ll just dink the new baby into the no-volley zone and she can sleep there. Yeah that’s right, since I’m not 69 years old I googled what the hell Pickleball is and learnt a thing or two. Watch for my new YouTube channel being launched this summer on how to teach your newborn the tips and tricks of Pickleball: the fastest growing sport in Spallumcheen that you’ve never heard of before. Annual memberships for my Pickleball Palace will be available soon too!
It’s a house, right? I need to be grateful. I am. Deep down, I am. I have friends who would love to have an opportunity to own a house. I’m just wrestling with a lot of disappointments and lack of excitement in this move. I guess when you have a list of 10 things you don’t want to negotiate or compromise on, and all but 1 gets thrown out the window with barely a second thought, it doesn’t sit well.
I told a friend to come kidnap me the other day. Like legit, hire the mob… rent an unmarked van… bag over my head… drag me from the Pickleball court and take me away. They said they would… they just didn’t know where the fuck Spallumcheen was!
I can’t win for losing!