I gotta be honest, I haven't felt like doing much of anything lately, especially blogging. All of my creative energy has been zapped by some pretty crappy and hurtful circumstances that I won't get into here. And besides that, Obama won the election- that's enough to send any true conservative into hiding for a while, no? Anyway, on to the actual, non-political reason for this blog... shocking, I know.
Yesterday was an exiting, life-changing day for Cody and I... we got news that the bank approved our offer on a house! We have been searching for a couple of months now and every time we found something we loved someone else had beaten us to the punch. Let's just say that when the media tells you that the housing market is frozen, they are full of it. Haha. But seriously. The process was becoming so frustrating it was beginning to feel like we would never get a house before we had to move out of here. Well, it turns out God had a plan for us indeed.
Last April, we were thisclose to buying a 1300 sf home in Gilbert for $195k. A day before the inspection period ended, I lost my job and our income was cut in half. We had to give up the house, and I was devastated. Cody assured me that we would be OK and that we had to trust God, and after a while I got over it, and we moved into his mom's house. OUR plan was to live there for about a year and pay off the one loan that we had and then buy a house. GOD'S plan was a little different, however. And since only hindsight is 20/20, I was freaking out when I found out we had to move out sooner than expected, and I didn't know what we were going to do.
As we all know, the market has changed dramatically in the past few months. Foreclosures have skyrocketed, interest rates have dropped, the stock market has been frighteningly volatile. All of these things, however, have created the perfect storm for people like Cody and I as first-time home buyers. So we set off on a mission to find the perfect home for the perfect amount of money, thinking we would snap one up in no time.
Fast forward a couple of months, and we were at the end of our rope, with no desire to rent an apartment in the meantime but feeling like it was inevitable. Keep in mind that we have the most incredible agent ever (if you are reading this and are looking for an agent, I INSIST that you employ him!), but often the seller's agents are flaky, lazy, and just plain don't know what they're doing. So the MLS status will say one thing but something entirely different will be going on with the house. Scott, our agent, knows the process better than we ever could, so we trusted his advice and direction as we navigated our options and knew he had our best interests at heart.
Then Tuesday arrives. We get an email from Scott about a bank-owned listing that had just been reduced that day to $150k... on Monday it was listed at $240k. A $90k drop?! I knew the banks were desperate to get rid of inventory, but that seemed a little ridiculous. I called Scott after work and chatted with him a bit, and we decided to meet at the house to check it out that afternoon. Cody was still at work, so he couldn't be there to meet us. When I pulled up to the house, there was a car in the driveway... someone else was there checking it out. My heart absolutely dropped and I thought there was no way that these people were going to leave the place without going straight to the agent's office to submit an offer, it was that nice. So when Scott showed up and opened the front door, I stepped inside and here's my reaction: "OK... we need to leave right now and put an offer down. We can't let these people beat us to the punch... again!" Thankfully, Scott just kept walking through the house and I followed, and the whole time was beside myself with excitement because this place was beyond anything we had ever hoped for. Scott just kept saying, "What is wrong with this place? There has to be SOMETHING wrong with it... $150k? The bank is crazy!" But we found nothing. Just an amazing house with upgrades galore in a beautiful neighborhood in Gilbert.
I thought we didn't stand a chance.
We all headed straight to Scott's home office and submitted our offer. Wednesday morning, Cody sent in the earnest check. Thursday morning, Cody received a message from Scott saying that there was another offer on the house, which didn't surprise us but was a huge let-down. We thought that even though ours was the first to get to the bank, the bank would be foolish not to take the highest offer, if this other offer was higher than ours. Then, just as Cody was about to encourage me with that day's entry from "My Utmost For His Highest" Scott called us again. He started off the conversation by saying that he had good news and bad news. Sounding rather grim, he shared the bad news first: over the course of the day, several other offers had been submitted. Pause for effect. Then he said, "But the good news is... I got a call from the seller's agent. And the bank accepted your offer immediately. Just like that. I almost peed my pants. And the seller's agent is completely shocked that they took your offer so quickly. I don't even know what to say... this was the nicest house out of all the ones we've seen. And it's worth so much more than you guys are paying for it. Congratulations, friends." I was so happy, so relieved, felt so incredibly blessed that I cried. Behind our wedding day, it was the happiest day of my life.
As excited as I was when I was in the house, I knew I couldn't let myself get too attached to the idea of living there. We had been through enough disappointments to realize that wasn't a smart move. But I honestly had never felt that excited about a house, ever. After we submitted the offer, we submitted the process to God in prayer. I almost felt silly bothering Him with our house troubles, but we both knew that God is always in control and we had to believe that He had our best at heart, whether that meant we get the house or not. Considering the circumstances, I can't help but feel that He intervened to make it happen because He wants us to use our home for His purposes. It has been a dream of ours to do so. I must be honest and say that it was the first time I had submitted the process to God since this whole ordeal began. It was the first time I believed that He had the perfect house set aside for us and it may or may not be the one we liked, but we had to trust in His timing and plan. I know it's easy for me to say now because things worked out... but believe me that if it didn't work out, I would have firmly believed that it was because it wasn't the one. It doesn't mean I wouldn't have been scared and wondering what was going to happen... it just means that I know and believe what Romans 8:28 says.
We feel incredibly fortunate and blessed. All that to say... here it is!