Finding the house you want is just the beginning.
Buying it is considerably more work. And, let's just say, considerably more nerve-wracking. Or at least it would've been in the past.
Here is the truth. We found a house we loved.
This is what happened.
I was standing about here:
when I realized this was the house. It really wasn't even about the house so much as it was about this porch and this yard:
While I was standing there, the other houses I'd seen sort of fell away, and in my heart, I knew this was our house. That morning, I'd prayed again for a closed door if this wasn't what God had for us. I prayed that it would be so clear... and here I was with that feeling again.
This is going to be my home.
I called Adam and it was funny because he said, "Yeah, that's the same one I picked."
You know the ridiculous dream list we made? This house had every single one of those things. Even a studio for Adam. Even a 3-car garage. But more than that, standing outside in this yard, I just felt the peace.
The peace we'd been praying for.
When I got back to Colorado, I still had visions of the family room dancing in my head:
But then something happened. As I was getting off the plane, our Realtor called. She told me another couple was going for a second showing. And that, my friends, is usually the point when my nerves go all kinds of crazy.
And, I'll be honest, it did light a fire under me. We got home and immediatley began plans to secure the pre-approval letter, crunch numbers and all that obnoxiously boring stuff. How much would we need to put down to get the payment where we wanted it, etc...
And something happened.
We realized that with the insanely high taxes in Illinois, we could get this house...but we wouldn't be living comfortably. Unless we offered them a ridiculously low, offensive offer...we weren't getting it.
End of story.
That night, we called our Realtor and said it wasn't going to happen. We were going to have to find a different option. We knew what we were comfortable paying, and neither one of us wanted to be house poor.
We discussed our options (we're grown ups now) and decided we'd move back into the house we already owned. I can't say whether or not this felt right...it just felt like the only choice. And surprisingly, I didn't mourn the loss of the house that had everything on our list.
I just had this overwhelming sense that everything would be okay. And, I had to admit, we'd prayed for a closed door.
Because of what we've been through over the last two years, I've learned (deep down, in a place that's not often accessed) that God really does know best. So when you ask for something and he seems to answer...you can't whine and complain because the answer wasn't what you wanted to hear.
Finally. Finally, I get it.
But what about the insane peace I felt on the back porch of the house I thought was ours? The plans I'd already made for outdoor parties and family gatherings? Did I miss it, God?
Funny, but those things (for the first time) didn't cross my mind. I wasn't beating myself up for missing it. I was finally able to stay calm and go with the flow.
I woke up the next morning, and for some reason the peace I'd felt in our decision to move back into our previous house was gone. I started thinking about the amount of money we'd be spending on gas just to get the kids to and from school. Not to mention their activities (none of which are anywhere near this house.) I started thinking about telling our tenants we had to ask them to move out...they've been amazing tenants, and this is their home now.
God...is there any other way?
So here we were...not settled on the house we already own. Not able to buy the house we really wanted.
That's when the phone rang. It was our Realtor. She said, "Well, this is interesting."
Let me see if I can explain it. The sellers were relocating, and they had a certain amount of time to sell their house before a relocation company bought it for a VERY low price. If they sold it, they got a bonus. If they didn't, they'd lose a pretty good chunk of money.
Their deadline was less than a week away.
"Tell your people to just make any offer," their agent said. "We'll make it work."
About this point, I started to think about how if we'd gotten the news we'd hoped for from our banker, we would've made an offer that was nearly full price. We would've made it immediately because we were concerned about the other couple doing a second walk through.
If we hadn't trusted God, and maybe if we hadn't grown up, we might've convinced ourselves that we could pull off a higher payment...and we would've regretted it.
Even though we loved this house.
And that's only part two of the story.