Our New House

I have to show you my new house! I promised. On August 31st we packed a Uhaul and moved our family’s belongings. That was after we sold our house in June.

3 Reasons Why We Moved

Our New House

  1. Location: We have always dreamed of a property with a view.
  2. Investment: Many people do not realize but many immigrants do not get inheritance. My kids will but we won’t because our parents were not born here or immigrated at the age to make money or ever had money. We needed a retirement security.
  3. Too Many Neighbours: I realize people live in apartments all their lives but hey, we live in Canada. If you can – you don’t live in an apartment. We had so many issues in our previous suburban neighbourhood – constant marijuana whiff, barking dogs, loud TV, lack of parking. We couldn’t sleep in or open the window. It was super annoying and level of annoyance just grows as you get older.

Location of Our New Home

Our New House

The “tiny” house at the very right end of the bay is mine.

If you don’t know from following me on Instagram, we moved from Vancouver suburbs (mainland) to Vancouver Island. Yes, we live on an island. Just north of Nanaimo and yes, where famous Nanaimo bars were invented.

It is a quiet community of 5,000 called Nanoose Bay. A combination of families and retired people (mostly). It is an oceanside place (not even town or city) with a rural feel to it but feels like a beach town depending what street you are on. It is completely dark at night due to lack of street lights, so on a clear night you see Milky Way. And there are so many deer wondering around they might as well be our pets. And at same time we are 15-20 minutes away from all the amenities including Costco, Home Depot and anything you need located in Parksville and Nanaimo.

And just so you know, population of Vancouver Island is almost 800,000, that’s close to 1 million. It take 6 hours to drive from south to north. You don’t even feel you are on the island or really have a need to go to mainland.

So, it’s perfect for 4 of us and super nice retired people who have time to chit-chat, kayak and bake. I love them!:)

Our New House

The beach in front of the house – we own up to high water.

Why on Earth Would You Move to an Island

Our New House

There is a story to it. Last Halloween our friends announced they are moving to Vancouver island because you can get cheaper house and enjoy slower pace of life. I told them they are crazy, only old people live on the islands. However, November 1st me and Alex were already googling waterfront homes on all possible islands around us. Side note, that’s exactly how we moved from Calgary to Vancouver 10 years ago – following in friends’ footsteps. We are smart but just never seem to have a good idea like that (thankfully we are smart enough to follow someone else’s good ideas).

So, we found a few houses we liked and decided to wait till spring to go see the island when one of our kids has a hockey tournament there (didn’t want to move kids in the middle of school year). I honestly wasn’t going to move to the island at this point because I lived all my life in the cities with 1 million + population. I’m a city girl plus I was just so done with moving period, and moving kids of our age – I wasn’t going to.

Anyways, when we got to the island and met with a realtor, Alex told him he found 2 houses to look at. I said “Sure, OK” because what’s the big deal to see houses = fun. I’m like “OK, let’s go for a ride because I’m not buying any of those homes”. One of them was COMPLETELY outside of our budget. Like heart attack outside the budget.

So we get to the 1st house and front yard looks nice! We go inside and it is simply outrageous – outdated and dirty. Then we step outside to the backyard and we literally stop breathing for a second.

Our New House

The sound of waves, endless blue water, flying eagles above our heads…

SOLD! Like how can you not? Only insane person wouldn’t like it. I had my whole world go upside down in like 1 minute: “Holy crap, I do live in a wrong place”. Many-many-many thoughts crossed my mind.

Then things happened fast. We go back home, put our house on the market, sell it, go to Disneyland, buy our dream home and move. Seems fast? It wasn’t at the time. What you don’t know is how hard it was to negotiate the very astronomical price totally outside of our budget. But because the house was in such dire state no one wanted to buy it. I literally stopped sleeping. I have been having sleeping issues since May and just returned back to normal. So this house didn’t come easy at all. I lived with a motto “one day at a time” and it really helped.

Our New House

How Long Were You Looking for Your House

Our New House

Are you ready? I’m EVERY realtor’s dream – 2 houses. I used to sell real estate myself, so I know what I’m looking for. I barely even browsed online – Alex did. When you are looking for a waterfront home you know what you want and your options are limited. So, we looked at our house and 1 more.

As soon as I set my foot on the backyard I knew this is the one. There was no point to spend months looking for something else because 99% it won’t come up. My clock is ticking with kids growing fast, I don’t have all the time in the world to play around with selling an overpriced house and looking to buy something that doesn’t exist. Plus I loved the property so much!

Also when we sold our home, I was calling my realtor myself to reduce the price by 50K from her suggested list price because we were not getting showings – the market was changing a bit with stricter mortgage rules. I told you I’m every realtor’s dream. Every experience you go through gives you valuable life lessons you would have never learnt otherwise. Down the road it saves you a lot of money and time. And oh I did learn valuable lessons during my short lived real estate career.

Therefore, I can’t say we were lucky. I don’t like the verdicts of “you are blessed” or “you are lucky” because I believe in hard work. Yes, there is an element of coincidence that particular house was for sale at the time we were looking but at any other time another house would be waiting for us. Don’t steal my thunder.:)

Our New House

First picture at our new property after unloading a Uhaul.

So Our House

Our New House

Our New HouseOur New House

It is a waterfront home on over 1 acre of land with level access to the beach. We are on one level living with 2,500 sq.ft. of space. So, I can grow old here.

It’s a DREAM that needs A LOT of work but location is top notch and this is something you can never change. On photos house doesn’t look that bad. In reality, our 26 year old roof has holes, only 1 out of 4 bathrooms is usable, washer/dryer/central vacuum didn’t work, there are still rat droppings in some areas as we pull off floors. The list is LONG! Surprisingly, kitchen is kind of manageable till later next year.

Our New House

But here is one of the best parts. See this detached garage? That’s where ifoodreal studio is going to be. On top. OMG I’m so excited that finally we will have space with lots of light, room to move around and that is separate from our house.

Our New House

The last few years have been extremely hard to work from my kitchen as kids get home from school in the middle of the day right into the kitchen or my office. At that point my work day is over. I also ended up never leaving the kitchen because at that point it was snack and dinner time.:) I’m so looking forward to have a line between work and family!

How Did The First Few Weeks Go

Our New House

Lots of unpacking in between settling into new community and routine. But things are great. Kids have handled this move without a single tear. They are actually super excited and made friends at school and hockey. Small community means super friendly kids and parents, I just never lived in one. Kids are saying they are never going back to mainland. I was shocked how seamless their transition was. So much for my concerns.

Life on the island is so chill and laid back. People are so nice!!! Everyone has time to care about you. It’s mind blowing difference between a small community and the city. Sometimes it feels like we are in a different country now. No, a different planet.:)

We are enjoying the sunset in our own backyard every night weather permitting. It’s just simply feels like a dream. Still!

Our New House

Dream Big

Our New House

Now I have a message for you. Yes, you!

During this whole process I was doubting everything, especially myself. Can we? Should I? What if?

One day I realized I was the only one standing on the path of my own dreams. Nobody else. Oh my goodness, I was my own worst enemy! Mortgage was approved, kids were excited, jobs are taken care of. Why am I doubting it? Too good to be true? This can’t be happening to me! Most people can’t, so I can’t. No, this can’t go through. Why can’t I move to the island? I have no family to leave in Vancouver except my own little one I get to take with me. Why do I want to stay here so badly?

Because I got used to things. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. Living in a comfort zone is dangerous if you want to progress unless you are retired or a millionaire. I didn’t build iFoodReal in a comfort zone.

One day I got a hold of my racing mind because I’m a big girl, just like you are. I realized that American dream they keep talking about still exists. It’s possible more than ever. And it has arrived for me to accept it. I just have to take it. I worked HARD and still have to work MORE!

If you are doubting yourself in something. If something is holding you back from achieving your very best. If you have a dream. JUST GO FOR IT! You are in America where you can be whatever you want to be!

Always, always, always DREAM BIG!

And I will be back with renovation updates of our studio soon.

Did I tell you that American dream means hard work? Oh, good!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. I just found your website and I am so excited to try some of your recipes! And welcome to the Island! I’m from Nanaimo. The Island is such a beautiful place to call home 🙂

    1. Thank you, we live outside Nanaimo for 6 years now and love it!!! Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Enjoy!

  2. Perfect peace! You can feel it in the pictures🌿🌱🍃. We lived in Chemainus for years so I’m familiar with the island and it’s beauty☀️ You did good and your instant pot recipes are great along with all the rest. I’m a tried and true subscriber❤️

  3. Beautiful home and your blog studio is fabulous! I am a retired registered dietitian/nutritionist from Mn and just love your recipes. I am not a fan of diets such as Keto etc and also believe in healthy eating, portion control as well as regular exercise Glad that you are living your dream!

  4. I just tripped over your website the other day. First meal I made from here was the TexMex chicken and zucchini. It was really good, thank you.

    Glad you are loving the island. I have lived in Victoria all my life. I love to travel, but always glad to come home.

    Looking forward to trying many more delicious recipes.

  5. Ha, so funny. I live in the UK today, but grew up in Nanaimo and was friends with the family who lived in your house in the 90s. I just found your blog when looking up how to make yogurt in the Instant Pot. I literally saw the photo of your test kitchen and recognised the window in the garage… Canada is so small!

    1. Omg that is crazy!!! Who lived in my house? Would be so cool to know the story of it. Wow. Thank you for sharing!

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