iFOODreal
Our New House Our New House
September 18, 2018
by Olena

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

MY LATEST RECIPES
  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

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!:)

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

Why on Earth Would You Move to an Island

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.

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.

How Long Were You Looking for Your 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.:)

First picture at our new property after unloading a Uhaul.

So Our 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.

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.

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

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!

Dream Big

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!

About Olena

Hi, I’m Olena and this is my healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I’m here to help you with “What’s for dinner?”.

Made a recipe? Tag @ifoodreal or #ifoodreal on Instagram. I would love to share in the “Look what you made” stories.

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8 comments on “Our New House

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  1. Oh my goodness I had no idea you moved to Nanoose! We used to live in Port Alberni and my husband’s aunt lived in Nanoose Bay and grandma in Qualicum. Vancouver Island is absolutely breathtaking and I miss it very much but perhaps not enough to move back from London. lol Enjoy your waterfront!

    1. Yes, we did. Escaped the craziness of the city. We love outdoors and simplicity, so island is perfect for us. Time to chill in life. That’s after a few years of renos haha. Thank you! It is truly a small world indeed.

  2. What a great story! You are going to love Vancouver Island and Nanoose Bay is a wonderful community. My aunt and uncle used to live there and when ever I visited there was always a bald headed eagle perched on tree overlooking the bay. I have a sister as well as my Dad that live in Parksville so I travel there a couple times a year…..who knows maybe I will run into you at Costco, Thrifties or Quality Foods one of these days. Take care and enjoy your new adventure!

    1. Thank you, ELizabeth! We already love it so much! I feel like home, I moved so many times I adjust within days now. I can tell it’s great! My kids are on cloud 9 because kids are SO NICE to them! Bald eagles were on our beach when we came to look at the house in May, gone now – only turkey vulchers. Must be the season.:)
      Maybe we will run into each other. Email me when you are in the area and I can direct you to my beach and we can hang out for a bit.:)

  3. Oh what a wonderful story, I LOVE it! We are currently going through a similar life event, building a house (as there are none that fit our needs in the area where we want to be). I am nervous and questioning everything each and every day! In the middle of it all, there was a hurricane that crushed the area where we are planning to move. UGH, even more doubt! You are so right, it’s not luck or random – we make decisions each and every day that are leading to this BIG life changing moment. I really enjoyed your story and it has brought me just a little bit of calm! : ) Enjoy the island life!

    1. Thank you, Linn! Your situation is truly “one day at a time” as well. If you are dealing with kitchen tiles this week, you are really thinking only about kitchen tiles. There is no point to think about anything else. Eventually everything will get done. Great things do not happen overnight! And people live in hurricane zones, lots of them. That’s what insurance is for.:)

  4. Bravo Olena! What a great story, and what a great house and community. I’m so happy for you and excited about what the future holds for iFOODreal 🙂

    Elisa (waving from Montreal).