Having just celebrated eight years in our “new” home, my husband and I have been taking a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about the experience. When we first purchased the house in 2006, it was a heady combination of excitement, apprehension, hope and frustration – all rolled into one! From securing a mortgage to purchasing brand new furniture, saying goodbye to the city and hello to the suburbs, it’s so easy to recall the feelings and emotions. (And the arguments… usually centered on his eclectic taste in coffee tables.)
Because our first home was a new build, we had the opportunity to add custom touches to reflect our tastes and personalities. There’s nothing quite like visiting the design and décor centre to select finishes for your brand new home. I fondly remember pouring over the samples of foyer tiles – at the time, the decision to go with either gray or white grout seemed insurmountable. Because everyone notices your grout colour, right?
(One of our favourite past times: visiting the property week by week to see the progress. Here’s my husband in 2006, standing in our “foyer”!)
When the house was finally ready to take possession in summer 2007, we had some pretty big decisions to make.
First, how would we fill the home with furniture? Having come from a one-bedroom loft in Toronto, we now had about ten extra rooms to decorate. Bedrooms… a living/ dining area, a great room… the basement? There seemed to be a lot of “space” and we had enough furniture to fill about 1/5th of it.
I *wish* I could take a time machine back to 2007 and talk some sense into 29-year old me… because at the time, I firmly believed that we should furnish the entire home. So we spent a lot of money on top-of-the-line furniture and appliances before we moved… but when we finally settled in, I decided I didn’t like about 30% of our purchases. They either didn’t fit the room well or my tastes had changed dramatically as my “nesting instincts” improved. So, my best advice to new homeowners is to move in first, then furnish room my room. And don’t be in a rush, either.
Next, we had to decide on key vendors… ones who would provide our cable, telephone, internet, security and more. (Also known as, my least favourite kind of shopping.) However, shopping around is key to finding the best deal – these utilities make up a significant monthly expense, and no one likes to hear that their neighbour is paying half the price for the same services.
My advice is make a list of providers and their fees, along with savings for multi-product discounts and referrals. And when you have that, ask for very specific statistics related to the performance (or “up time”) in your area. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned – it doesn’t matter how much money you save if the service is down or spotty. In our first year in our new home, lured by hefty monthly discounts, we signed up for a satellite television service… only to find out that the signal strength was so weak in the new neighbourhood, our TV went down every time it rained. (Spoiler alert: it rained A LOT in 2007.)
Finally, we had a few essential conversations about Life and Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance. It’s never easy to plan for the unexpected; I don’t even like to think about it! However, the reality is, life threatening cancer, an acute heart attack or stroke are the most likely critical illnesses to affect the average Canadian at a time when they have a mortgage.
Are you prepared for the unexpected?
TD Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance provides a benefit you receive while you are alive. In fact, it does not matter if/when you recover. It can pay out up to $500,000 to your TD mortgage in the event of a covered critical illness, so you can concentrate on health, recovery, and family.
The good news? While a critical illness can seem scary, the odds are you will survive. In all likelihood, you know of someone who’s been diagnosed with cancer, heart attack, or stroke. It happens to approximately one out of every two men and one in two women in Canada. But Canadians are survivors, and advances in medicine and technology are on our side. Chances are, you WILL make it through your illness. So, why not have peace of mind so you can focus on getting better?
TD Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance is only available with TD Mortgage Life Insurance, which insures your mortgage in the event of death. By bundling these two vital forms of personal protection, you can take advantage of excellent insurance coverage at group premium rates.
Lately, we’ve been thinking it might be time for a change. But for the time being, we’re happy to concentrate on what matters most – the family that makes our house a home.
This post was sponsored by TD Insurance as part of the #InsuranceThatFits blogger program. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own