Saturday, August 29, 2009

House Details

It is amazing how God works.  I know that God's hand has always been upon our life, but many times it felt that He was working behind the scenes and we had to really pay attention to see what He was doing.

This is not one of those times.

He has been so present and so blatant in this situation that we cannot help but see Him all over it.
We began looking for a house in mid-April.  We had a big list of everything that we "needed": detached home, at least 1700 sq.ft., 4-5 bedrooms, 2-3 bathrooms, office, family room, living room, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, large master bedroom with large jacuzzi garden tub and separate shower, large backyard, attached garage, AC, in a newer part of town, etc.  

After about 2 months of looking and going through 20-30 homes we were humbled.  We realized that we were not going to get everything we wanted.  Actually, we realized that we weren't even going to get half of what we wanted.

We (I) got frustrated and decided to put our house-search on hold.  Mark was especially uncomfortable looking for a house when we weren't certain of his job security/pay (for those of you who don't know, Mark is in the military and on shore duty but will be done in November at which time he will take a job in finance, where he currently works).  We emailed our realtors and told them we'd continue our search in the fall once we knew what Mark would be making.

In the beginning of August I sent our realtors an email just to let them know that we still planned to resume our search in the fall.  They emailed back and asked for our new search criteria.  We thought hard about this and drastically reviewed our true needs: at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, family room, office, nice backyard for the kids, attached garage, no bars on the windows. ;o)  However, I forgot to email them back for a few weeks.

I got back to them 2 weeks ago.  One of the first listings they sent us was for this sweet little white and yellow home in an older part of town.  We decided to see it because it was so cute and from the pictures the backyard looked fantastic.  We went to see it last Thursday (8/20) and as soon as we walked in I whispered to Mark, "I think this is the one".

The house was cheerful and quaint.  A cozy 1352 sq. ft., 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, an office, nice sized family room, garage with workbench (Mark loved that), and a fantastic beautifully manicured large backyard.  We LOVED it.  It absolutely met all our new criteria.

We met the owner, Pat, in the backyard and his "girls", two little Shih Tzu's.  We told him that we also had a Shih Tzu and there started a great conversation about the home, our kids, our pastimes.  After 10 minutes we left.  We put an offer in that night.  

We were told the home was a short sale (if you know anything about short sale's you know that the are NOT short) and as our realtor was on his way to our house Thursday evening to pick up our offer I prayed to God and told Him that I couldn't handle a short sale process.  I am too impatient.  "Please God, if there is anyway this situation can change, I will be so thankful". Mark came back in from running the papers out to our realtor and said, "You'll never believe this!  The home is for sale by owner.  Its not a short sale after all".  

Wow.  Quick answer to prayer.  Thank you God.

Monday we received a form from our lender that provided us with our estimated mortgage - and it was nearly $300 higher than we anticipated.  We were so discouraged and I spent most of that day in tears, knowing that we couldn't afford that.  

Mark and I prayed that night that if this home were God's will for our family that somehow that number would be lowered.

The next morning we got a call from our lender.  He made a mistake on the mortgage estimation and it was $100 less.  

Another answered prayer.  Thank you God.

We prayed again that night that our mortgage would somehow be lowered even more.

The next day we looked over an insurance form and noticed an error of $40.  

Another answered prayer.  Thank you God.

During this time the owners countered the offers; ours was the strongest so they didn't ask for more money, just terms of escrow, which we agreed to.  We were told we'd have an answer by Thursday evening or Friday morning.

We prayed to God that if this was the home for us that our offer would be accepted.  We prayed that Mark would know about his job soon (we were still uncomfortable planning a future mortgage around an uncertain salary).

Friday morning Mark called me soon after he got to work and told me that we were going to get the house.  I asked why and he said, "My boss just called me in to her office and told me I'd be getting the position with the pay we need".

Another answered prayer!!  Thank you God!

Two hours later our realtors called and asked if we were ready to buy our first home!!!  


This entire process has been amazing to us.  The market down here is crazy and we honestly doubted that we'd ever find a home...and certainly NOT in two weeks.

To make the whole situation sweeter we went over to the house last night to meet with the current owners, Pat and Cheryl.  We learned that they are also Christian's who had been praying for God's guidance regarding the selling of their home 30 days prior to putting it on the market.  Cheryl told me that we really made an impression on Pat when we met in their backyard during our first viewing of the home.  They told us that they wanted the family with the Shih Tzu! :)  We hit it off with them and feel so blessed to have met such a wonderful, Godly couple!

So thats the story thus far!

Prayer requests:

1. We open escrow Monday and pray that we close by September 30th.

2. We pray that we are able to lock in a 5.25% interest rate (or lower).  That would bring our mortgage down another $100.

Thank you friends and family for you Facebook love after our announcement, texts, calls, etc. We are so stinkin' excited!!!  God is so good!!!



Rebecca said...

Such a blessing - your first home! Your post gives me such hope that when the time is right we will be able to purchase another home!

I love the new blog-layout too.

Praying for low interest and closing by 9/30.

Scott said...

That's great Alison! It is always wonderful to hear about the power of prayer in a persons life. This is one of those stories that really reminds me that God is so much wiser than we are. He keeps nudging us toward where he wants us to go and then waits while we take the steps there. Congratulations!

Amber Ellis said...

How great is that?! I'm so happy for you. God does answer prayers, and just in time!

Amy said...

Isn't God great??!?!?!?!

Congrats to you!

Be Blessed!


Mary said...

God is Awesome and the power of prayer is amazing....

Blessings! Love you all, Mom