Monday, September 30, 2013

Be Thou My Shelter

When I last wrote, we had sold our house and were very much considering buying a house that we had found. That house needed about $20k worth of upfront work done. Ugh... So, that one wasn't the one for us.

Soon after we ended up looking at about five different houses in one day; I liked something about each one of them, but none of them felt like "the one". There was one that stood out though, and we pursued it a bit more. It was vacant because it was owned by a military family who were asked to move to Florida. It was beautiful. It was built in 1900, had wood beams in the living room ceiling, a beautiful big dining room, and a claw-foot bath tub. It had a lot of the things that I would be happy looking at each day in my home. There were things that I didn't care for, but honestly, I felt like I could get past them, and so we moved forward. 

We ended up having it inspected, putting an offer on it, accepting a counter offer from the sellers, getting it appraised and were set to close at the end of August. Because it was vacant, we went ahead and had the carpets cleaned before the closing date. The sellers were even okay with us moving stuff into the garage to help with the moving process... and so we did. We filled the two-car garage with things mostly from our basement, garage, and shed. It was packed.

And then the day before we were supposed to close I received a phone call from our Realtor. We were told that the listing agent had never let the title company know that the sellers were in another state and wouldn't be attending the closing. This was a problem as no paperwork had been sent to have them sign in order for us to then sign; so we knew the closing for sure wouldn't happen that day. 

And then the day of closing, we were told that this was essentially a "Short Sale". A short sale is basically when the owner owes more money than they are going to make on the sale of their home and the bank will allow this with approval. Banks don't move to quickly in these situations usually. Our lender told us she had never seen a short sale close in less than 4 months.

This was frustrating... for a lot of reasons. One, when we accepted the counteroffer, it was because the sellers told us that if they were to go any lower the house would BECOME a short sale. From the sound of it, it was a short sale from the very beginning. Apparently, because of the owner's status in the military, his commanding officer was actually interceding with the mortgage company to get this situation taken care of for the owner. Not even their agent knew exactly what was taking place, plus it was all happening long distance. Two, we had already put quite a bit of money into this home for the inspection, appraisal, and carpet cleaning PLUS our earnest money that we had put towards the home.

That morning we had to make the decision as to whether or not we wanted to wait the 6-8 weeks that the owners thought this would be taken care of in (and there was NO guarantee that it actually would be 6-8 weeks!) or to walk away. For us, the wisest decision was to walk away. With the baby coming in November, and no guarantees of how long this would actually last, and the fact that we had to be out of our home that weekend (because we DID close on the sale of our home and the person who bought it, bought it as a rental with a renter moving in that next week!), walking away was hard, but we had to.

This all happened at the end of August and a month later we are just now getting things completely settled with that home and those owners. It has been a long test of endurance, grace, and trust. And in that time (remember I said we had to be out of our home that last weekend of August??), we've been living in the basement of my father-in-law's home. It's in a suburb outside of the city where we live, so there's a bit more of a drive to all the places we end up needing to go and I'm eight months pregnant sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I'm INCREDIBLY THANKFUL that we had a home to be welcomed into. I can now even write that I'm also thankful for some of the insights my Creator has been revealing to me about myself (these have not taken place without A LOT of huffing and puffing and pulling and stretching... and maybe even some teeth clenching and hyperventilating crying in the middle of the night... maybe, I don't really remember.).

Since all this has taken place, we ended up putting an offer on another home that I seriously had to coax myself into even considering it. I finally came to a point of feeling like it was a place that we could make ours, and honestly, I had become completely hopeless of ever finding anything that would come close to being "the one" that I was really hoping for. We were given a counteroffer. And in the time that our offer and the counteroffer took place, we received an email with a brand new listing that I completely ignored (mainly because it had no pictures... hahaha) but my husband ended up looking it up and sending it to me. From the description it sounded amazing... too amazing. I Google Mapped it and was able to see the outside. Oh goodness... it actually WAS amazing. We made the call to see it that day. Our agents were never able to get a hold of the listing agent, so we saw it the next day.

We drove up and my husband immediately said he'd put a tire swing in the huge tree in the front yard. This was slightly out of character for my husband as he doesn't really look at stuff like that in houses; he looks at the age of the windows, the wood work around the house that will need work in a few years, you know, stuff like that. I was already in love before even entering. We walked around to the back of the house, and the yard made me fall even more in love. We went inside, where there are definite updates that need to be made, but I was gone. THIS was THE ONE, and we both felt it. I honestly could not believe it. It has everything we need in a home, but even better, all the little things that we want in home that weren't on our list of necessaries, but more like dreamy kind of things that you think would be nice to have in a home. We made an offer the next day. Weeks later, we have it all worked out and we have a contract pending with a closing date set!!!!

This home, the journey to finding this home, and everything in between have left me in complete awe of how The Maker works. His ways are NOT our ways. We can't fathom His works, His thoughts. And just when I'd almost fully given into the temptation to believe that His Faithfulness wasn't enough for me, He reached out and lead me to place that He had prepared for us the entire time. The place that I had asked for Him to prepare over and over... and then when push came to shove, I didn't really believe that He was going to. And He still did.

We close in a couple weeks, will get moved in, and then a couple weeks later will bring home a brand new baby to add to the mix! It's an exciting, overwhelming time... and I honestly can't wait to continue seeing how His works will be played out in our lives.

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