Everyone has a story. Finding and falling in love with your home is not unlike other important life milestones that you share “the story of” with friends and reminisce how it happened. Some families find the perfect home and settle in knowing they will raise their children from infancy to adulthood within the walls; and other families, like my own, find houses every 5 years or so due to the nature of employment. In our case, we feel like house-hunting masters, having done it more often than some of our friends.
We often share the story of how we came to find our current house, which we’ve been living in for almost 18 months now. You see, on the first day of our house-hunting, this house wasn’t even on our list. It was a little above what we wanted to spend, and it also didn’t have the bedroom layout we wanted. We ideally wanted 3 bedrooms upstairs and a fourth in the basement. This house had two bedrooms up and two bedrooms down so it didn’t even make our list.
After looking at the houses on our list and coming up empty, on our second day we had to circle back and look at houses that didn’t make the initial cut. Of course, I’m so glad we did because the moment we walked into this house we knew it could be the one! It was newer and had a better layout over all than the other houses we looked at. The only issue was the two bedrooms up, two bedrooms down part. In the end, we decided that because the bedrooms upstairs were huge (the kid’s bedroom is 10×17!) the kids could share for a few years and our oldest could have the basement bedroom when he’s ready.
One critical thing to do before you start looking at houses is of course figuring out your financing and knowing how much you can comfortably afford. Just because you have a mortgage amount up to a certain amount doesn’t mean you should spend that much. For us, it came down to figuring out what the mortgage payments would be each payment and then determining if that mortgage amount was doable. While the final house we settled on was outside our initial goal, it was still well within what we were approved for, so we knew right then that it was a purchase we could make.
As difficult as it can be to move every few years because of my husband’s job, I do have to admit that the house hunting, and purchase of a ‘new’ house is actually pretty fun. I love being able to start fresh, take reno ideas we’ve learned in a previous house and apply it in a new one – or finally have that corner pantry I’ve always wanted like I do now. Next house? More counter space will be a must!
That’s my story – what’s yours? BMO invites Canadians to share their best tips, advice or house-purchasing experience to help inspire potential home buyers in The Great House Hunter Contest for BMO Smartsteps® for Homeowners! Get 100 AIR MILES@ reward miles just by submitting your story and photo to House.Hunter@bmo.com by October 9, 2011. Earn another 1,500 AIR MILES reward miles if your story is posted on the BMO SmartSteps for Homeowners blog. The best storyteller will receive 10,000 AIR MILES reward miles as the grand prize!
There is no purchase requirement to enter into The Great House Hunter Contest for BMO SmartSteps® for Homeowners (the “Contest”). The Contest is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who (at the time of entry): (i) have reached the age of majority in their province/territory of residence; and (ii) have an AIR MILES®* Collector Card. To enter, send an email to House.Hunter@bmo.com that contains (among other things) a story that discusses your “house hunting” experience and one (1) optional photograph to accompany your story. Prizes: Eight (8) Finalist Prizes (1,500 AIR MILES reward miles each); one (1) Grand Prize (10,000 AIR MILES reward miles); and two hundred and fifty (250) Entry Prizes (100 AIR MILES reward miles). The approximate value of AIR MILES reward miles prize depends on the chosen method of redemption and available reward options at the time of redemption. Odds depend on the number, caliber and timing of eligible entries received. Skill-testing question required to be correctly answered to win. Full rules at: www.bmo.com/greathousehuntercontestrulesandregs
I have my own giveaway to offer my readers! 1 of my readers is going to get 100 AIR MILES@ Reward Miles!! To enter to win, simply leave me a comment here telling me what you’re saving up your AIR MILES@ for!
For additional entries:
~ Follow me (join this site with Google Friend Connect)
~ Subscribe via email or Reader
~ Grab my button
~ Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link
~ Follow @FeistyFrugal on Twitter and Tweet this giveaway (RT 1x per day) Check out the BMO Great House Hunter Contest http://bit.ly/nM81s6 + enter to win 100 AIR MILES@ @FeistyFrugal http://bit.ly/n2qMup
~ Like Feisty Frugal and Fabulous on Facebook (please leave your first name and last initial so I can find you as a fan)
1. CONTEST PERIOD:
Contest begins on September 14, 2011 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on October 14, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET (the “Contest Period”).
Contest entry is open to all legal residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who (at the time of entry): (i) have reached the age of majority in their province/territory of residence; and (ii) have an AIR MILES®* Collector Card (the “Card”); except employees, representatives or agents (and those with whom such persons are domiciled, whether related or not) of Tenille Lafontiane (the “Sponsor”), Bank of Montreal, AIR MILES International Trading B.V. or LoyaltyOne, Inc., or any of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers and advertising/promotion agencies (collectively, the “Contest Parties”). By participating in this Contest, you agree to be legally bound by the terms and conditions of these Official Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”).
IMPORTANT NOTE: The AIR MILES Collector Card can be obtained, free of charge, by visiting www.airmiles.ca. By enrolling to become an AIR MILES collector you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of the AIR MILES Reward Program as amended from time to time, which are available by contacting 1-888-AIR-MILES or visiting www.airmiles.ca
3. HOW TO ENTER:
No purchase necessary. To enter, go to http://feistyfrugalandfabulous.com/ (the “Website”) and follow the on-screen instructions to obtain, complete and submit the official Contest entry form (the “Entry”). To be eligible, your Entry must be received within the Contest Period. All eligible Entries received during the Contest Period will be entered into the random prize draw (see Rule 5).
There is no limit to Entry per person/email address during the Contest Period. Use (or attempted use) of any automated system to enter or otherwise disrupt this Contest is prohibited and is grounds for disqualification by the Sponsor. The Releasees (defined below) are not responsible for late, lost, misdirected, delayed, incomplete or incompatible Entries.
All Entries are subject to verification at any time. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to require proof of identity and/or eligibility (in a form acceptable to the Sponsor – including, without limitation, government issued photo identification) to participate in this Contest. Failure to provide such proof to the satisfaction of the Sponsor in a timely manner may result in disqualification. The sole determinant of the time for the purposes of a valid Entry in this Contest will be the Contest server machine(s).
4. THE PRIZE AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE:
There will be one (1) prize available to be won consisting of one hundred (100) AIR MILES reward miles (the “Prize”). Approximate retail value of the Prize varies by travel service and date selected – example: from Vancouver to Calgary return air travel for one passenger for October departure is 1,025 AIR MILES reward miles, which is approximately $408.00 CDN. Prize must be accepted as awarded and is not transferable, assignable or convertible to cash. No substitutions except at Sponsor’s option. Prize will only be awarded to the person whose full name and valid email address appears on the official Contest entry form.
5. RANDOM PRIZE DRAW AND WINNER SELECTION:
On October 14, 2011 (the “Draw Date”) in North Battleford, SK at approximately 12:00 p.m. ET, one (1) eligible entrant will be selected by random draw from among all eligible Entries received during the Contest Period. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Entries received during the Contest Period. The Sponsor will make a maximum of three (3) attempts to contact the selected entrant by telephone or email (using the information provided at the time of entry) within five (5) business days of the Draw Date. If the selected entrant cannot be contacted within the maximum three (3) attempts or five (5) business days of the Draw Date (whichever occurs first), or if there is a return of any notification as undeliverable; then the selected entrant will be disqualified (and will forfeit all rights to the Prize) and the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to randomly select an alternate eligible entrant from among the remaining eligible Entries (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such new selected entrant).
Before being declared THE CONFIRMED PRIZE winner, the selected entrant will be required to correctly answer a time-limited, mathematical skill-testing question without mechanical or other aid. By participating in the Contest and accepting the Prize, the selected entrant: (i) confirms compliance with these Rules; (ii) acknowledges acceptance of the Prize as awarded; and (iii) releases the Contest Parties and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives, successors and assigns (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability in connection with this Contest, his/her participation therein and/or the awarding and use/misuse of the Prize or any portion thereof. If the selected entrant: (a) fails to correctly answer the skill-testing question; and/or (b) cannot accept the Prize for any reason; then he/she will be disqualified (and will forfeit all rights to the Prize) and the Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to randomly select an alternate eligible entrant from among the remaining eligible Entries (in which case the foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to such new selected entrant).
6. GENERAL CONDITIONS:
All Entries become the property of the Sponsor. This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations. The decisions of the Sponsor with respect to all aspects of this Contest are final and binding on all entrants without right of appeal, including, without limitation, any decisions regarding the eligibility/disqualification of Entries and/or entrants.
The Releasees will not be liable for: (i) any failure of the Website during the Contest Period; (ii) any technical malfunction or other problems relating to the telephone network or lines, computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment or software; (iii) the failure of any Entry to be received by the Contest Parties for any reason, including, but not limited to, technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website; (iv) any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer or other device related to or resulting from participating or downloading any material in the Contest; and/or (v) any combination of the above.
In the event of a dispute regarding who submitted an Entry, Entries will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the person who is assigned an email address by an internet provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institute, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. An entrant may be required to provide proof (in a form acceptable to the Sponsor – including, without limitation, government issued photo identification) that he/she is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the selected Entry.
The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to withdraw, amend or suspend this Contest (or to amend these Rules) in any way, in the event of an error, technical problem, computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure or any other cause beyond the reasonable control of the Sponsor that corrupts the security or interferes with the proper conduct of this Contest as contemplated by these Rules. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest in any way (as determined by Sponsor in its sole and absolute discretion) is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, amend or suspend this Contest, or to amend these Rules, without prior notice or obligation, in the event of any accident, printing, administrative, or other error of any kind, or for any other reason.
By entering this Contest, each entrant expressly consents to the use of his/her personal information submitted with his/her Entry only for the purpose of administering the Contest.
The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, and without prior notice, to adjust any of the dates and/or timeframes stipulated in these Rules, to the extent necessary, for purposes of verifying compliance by any entrant or Entry with these Rules, or as a result of technical problems, or in light of any other circumstances which, in the opinion of the Sponsor, in its sole and absolute discretion, affect the proper administration of the Contest as contemplated in these Rules.