With or without the Covid-19 pandemic we were moving. We made the decision to go way before Covid was a thing. My husband had long pushed the idea of moving out of the city, and after years of contemplating this idea, I was finally ready and onboard.
After 18 months of eyeing this particular house, we viewed it and instantly knew it was the right home for us. Just days before the pandemic would be announced, we put in an offer. We were so excited when the offer was finalized a few days later, and that evening the global pandemic was declared. Oh no… what had we done? Why now? We still hadn’t sold our home in Toronto and felt the timing could not have been worse.
Deeper into the pandemic the real estate market in Toronto was hot; I mean really hot! Houses were being sold over asking with multiple offers and moving fast! For many, selling during the pandemic was fantastic; they closed quickly, there were no inspections and multiple offers were happening. However, right at the beginning of the pandemic when the pressure was on for us to sell, this was not the case. People were uncertain of exactly what the pandemic would mean for their future and were fearful. Would they lose their jobs? Was a recession imminent? Could they even view a house? Many people in the early days were not leaving their homes to see family, never mind meeting with real estate agents and wandering through stranger’s homes. Needless to say, we had a tougher time than we had ever imagined selling our home. In the end, we accepted a little less than if we had sold just one month prior or three months after. But we had to sell and fortunately, we were satisfied with the transaction.
The ensuing pandemic brought on lockdowns, social distancing, and the desire to have more space. Going from our semi-detached property in the city and moving to a rural property sitting on over an acre of land, calmed our anxiety and made the last 14 months not only bearable, but some of the best times our family has ever enjoyed. We are so appreciative of the space we now have and realized our timing of leaving the city and moving rural couldn’t have been better.
There are many benefits to a rural move, especially these days:
- You pay a premium for real estate in the city; for our family it meant a lot more things that are important to us.
- You don’t need to pay double land transfer tax (this is a big expense when purchasing real estate in Toronto).
- If you sell your home in Toronto, you can potentially afford to buy a home or live mortgage-free on the equity from your Toronto home.
- More space, privacy, peace, and quiet.
- Being rural means being closer to nature.
- A slower pace of life.
- Small town and family-run businesses (if you’re into that kind of thing. We are!).
- You can source a lot of your food from local farms.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected and will continue to affect everyone differently. We tried to make the best of the situation, especially for our kids. We were able to completely embrace the extra family time together at our new home. Our kids are young (ages 2 and 4 years at the start of the pandemic) and I believe this made things much easier. They’re at that stage where every day is exciting, with new adventures. It also helped that they both have very easy-going personalities.
There really is no place like home. My husband and I are complete homebodies. For us, there’s nothing better than being in the comforts of home. So being told to stay home with only our family has been pretty easy; it quickly became the new normal. We of course missed seeing extended family and friends, but we have really loved this ‘extra’ time with our kids. My son would have been in SK at school this year, but instead, we opted for virtual learning. I feel as if I got a bonus year with him at home. I thought our summer would be filled with visits with friends and family, camping trips, and weekly visits to Canada’s Wonderland, but instead we stayed home. Thankfully, we had the space and environment to dedicate a large room in the basement to be a playroom, build a vegetable garden, explore, ride bikes, toboggan, identify and chase frogs, butterflies, snakes, and lots of other animals and insects. We did endless arts n crafts, treasure hunts, sports, and games in the nature that surrounds us. We have so much available to us that there are never enough hours in the day to do everything the kids desire. In what felt like a very long 3 months during the pandemic that we spent in the city (while waiting for moving day), we quickly ran out of things to do at home and had defaulted to more tv time than we were comfortable with. I’ve been with my kids at home watching them learn and grow in our happy place, every single day of this pandemic. For that, I am beyond grateful.
It’s so nice to finally be at a stage in the pandemic where we are comfortable and feel safe enough to venture out. After over a year of living in a new place, where we haven’t been able to get out and explore, we’re finally visiting parks, beaches, farmer’s markets, patios, and the list continues to grow. Our kids are currently enrolled to do virtual school (Grade 1 and JK) for this coming school year, but now that the numbers are much lower and the cases in our region are very low, we are considering sending them for in-person learning. They are excited about the idea of going to school to learn and play with new friends. I know it will be great for them, but I just want more time with them😭.
The pandemic is not permanent, it will end eventually. While the year 2020 was hard for many, for our family it was a time when our lives changed for the better.