Friday, September 26, 2008

On Finding a House

It was October. My divorce was final. The kids and I were living in the house that was his before we were married. Something about that didn't feel quite right, and the kids would be starting school in the near future. That fact obligated a different school district.

I contacted a realtor friend of mine and put the house on the market. Then, my search for a home began. I soon realized that not only did I want a certain school district, but I wanted a certain HALF of the school district.

I found a house that I liked - it was a little close to the electrical substation, but I figured I could over look that. I put an offer on that house - contingent on the sale of my house. Then waited. A few weeks later, someone else put a contract on that house. I was devastated.

I began my search again. I found another house. It had a great location, but had some features that I wasn't happy about. An interior design friend of mine and I met to evaluate the possibility (and cost!) of renovations. I decided it was doable - though I really wasn't thrilled with the one thing I really couldn't change - the garage on the front of the house. But, to be in this wonderful subdivision...and its perfect location... I'd deal with it. And, since I had a contract on MY house now, my time was limited. (I REALLY didn't want to move twice!)

I made an offer. They declined. I offered again. They declined. It was now the beginning of December. I made a third - full price - offer. At the very last hour of their consideration period they declined. "This is ruining our Christmas". I couldn' t believe it. A full price offer ruining their Christmas? Bizarre!

I called the mortgage company to stop the paperwork they'd started. I asked some more specific questions about my qualifications. He gave me a ballpark figure that would give me a mortgage comparable to our current house. I went and sat in my papasan chair. Fully supported there, I said, aloud, "Clearly, You don't want me in that house... where would You have me?" Once I'd regained some strength and dried my eyes, I returned to the computer to search the MLS listings again.

This time, I searched up a price bracket. Hmm... there in the same neighborhood, was this really cute house. As I sat and stared at it, it was if I heard "If you put down the money you were going to put into renovating the other house, it's the same money from the bank". I shook my head, startled. I pulled out a calculator. WOW. It was true. It was still a little out of my price range - but the picture was a few seasons old, perhaps there was wiggle room. I called my realtor.

Ten minutes later, she called back. Yes, it was still for sale. Yes, they'd love for me to see it, and believe it or not, they had dropped the price to what the mortgage guy had quoted me. Now the hard part. Waiting 3 days to be able to walk through it.

I reviewed the online listing over and over again. It was a little bigger, a little newer, side (two car) garage and a real bonus room. Finally, the day to see it arrived. Once I set foot into it, I knew I was home. It was even painted in "my colors". We wrote up the offer, sent it in and it was accepted!

This home has been a joy. Nearly 3 years later, I still pull into the driveway and say "Wow. My house. I love it! Thank You, God!" That feeling is reinforced every week, as I visit the other house - just around the corner. Walking out, I know I could have been living there. But God knew better and chose well for me.

1 comment:

Paula (SweetPea) said...

How awesome. Be glad you were in the real estate market three years ago and not now. My house has been on the market since my husband left 18 months ago. Yes, that is 1 1/2 years later, and 50 showings with no reasonable offerings. A couple ridiculous ones in the very beginning but who wants to even consider those in the beginning. I am so ready to be in the house He has planned for me and for me to repeat the words you said "Wow. My house. I love it." Don't get me wrong as the house I have now is beautiful and a blessing but it was purchased with my beloved and it's too much house for me.