I know I sprung a doozy on ya’ll this morning with the photo of the FOR SALE sign in our front yard…but just so you know, this has been a long time coming.
Over the summer, we began searching the market to see if there was anything worth buying. Afterall, interest rates are sooo low and it is a buyer’s market right now. It’s not that we don’t love our home….we do…but we always said that this would be our first home…not our forever home…and call us those crazy dreamers but we always thought it would be nice to raise Will (and any future siblings) in only one home. Moving more than once is not what we are looking to do. But at the same time, it’s hard to do that because your needs change with each stage of life. Like right now, we don’t actually need the space we have. But in the next five years, that could change QUICK. Afterall, we just started our family and want at least four kids. Keeping that in mind, by 2014 we could very well want more space than our current house. And we just figured that it doesn’t hurt to look.
We both were looking for the same thing – our forever home. And that is one big shoe to fill…afterall, at heart we are both dreamers. BIG dreamers. I dreamed of kid’s birthday parties in the back yard and highschool football team and cheerleading squad spaghetti dinners on our deck and even that “Hey mom! I’m home!” and a slung open front door from a home-from-college Will. I dream of being able to look out the kitchen window and see the kids playing in the wide open backyard and trapse into the woods. I dream of a small vegetable garden and an eat-in kitchen. I dream of big open windows that pour in plenty of light for my photos of babies and a friendly neighborhood to go trick-or-treating in. Jeremy dreams of woods with trails and a creek. He dreams of a big master bathroom that has a door. And a living room that will fit more than four people for movie night. Jeremy dreamed of a basketball hoop and a dining room that could fit our whole family for thanksgiving. And we both wanted a safe home that would be open to missionaries and the youth group for games of capture the flag and relay races.
The funny thing is…here in Georgia, the market is very different than other parts of the country. You can literally have a McMansion for uber-cheap. I’ve had friends that say once you live here, your standard of living are so much higher and you can’t fathom buying a home anywhere else because of the price difference for what you get. We aren’t looking to spend half a million dollars or buy a home that has 17 bedrooms or anything like that…we just knew that we would eventually move from our current house into a forever home. That’s it.
So back to our story…over the summer we started our search. I even called Sherry one night in August to chat about babies and we ended up sharing how we both were looking to move and we were hunting our next homes. Of course, we Bower’s aren’t nearly as proactive as the Petersik clan…and they found their new home right away and found buyers for their current house in a jiffy. (Oh which by the way – we got to snag a peek at their next place a-la-drive-by-viewing when we visited Richmond in October and you would be CRAZY to miss anything they do over the course of the coming years…it’s gonna be fabulous!)
Months past and weeks dragged by and still nothing. By the end of October, we kinda gave up hope. The same ole listings popped up online and nothing struck our fancy. Nothing until the week of Thanksgiving. On the Monday prior to Thanksgiving, a listing came up on my radar (also known as Zillow) that had some pretty ugly photos but an amazing description. It sounded just darling. So Jeremy and I (and Will) drove out to see it. It was just charming.
The new price was perfect (it was a foreclosure that sat on the market for over a year). The porch was divine. It had tall ceilings and plenty of windows. The lot was five acres and farther out in the country. The only thing that kinda threw up the red flag was the fact that it only had three bedrooms and it wasn’t in a neighborhood. Even with the house not meeting our every wishlist item, we threw ourselves in with both feet and contacted our agent to see how to proceed. We were in love. And this house ooozed charm.
I even took my mom, grandma, and uncle to go see it over Thanksgiving. They agreed with us to pray about the decision.
By Friday, we found out there was already a contract on the house. We didn’t understand. Why did God allow us to see this house? Why would he allow us to get attached? Why did everything seem to fall into place? Why would it all of a sudden come up on the radar and then be snatched away? It just seemed so confusing. Jeremy even had checked his credit score (which had recently been boosted up to Excellent) and we had taken that as a sign that we were supposed to move forward. We were heartbroken. So we prayed.
We prayed that we would know why. We prayed that we would not dwell on the feeling of loss. We prayed that the Lord would show us where to plant our feet and where to take a step. And most of all, we thanked God for closing this door and for our many blessings. Afterall, we have a lovely home in an award-winning school district. We have our health and a beautiful & happy baby boy. And we are very thankful for those things.
The very next day we decided that we should write down EXACTLY what we wanted in our next home purchase. Here’s what we were looking for:
- A two-story single family house with a 3-5 acre lot
- Located in a neighborhood (preferably a cul-de-sac)
- At least four bedrooms (all on the second floor)
- Master bedroom with shower, tub & separate potty room
- At least three bathrooms
- An eat-in kitchen
- Separate dining room
- Living room that was open to the kitchen
- A daylight basement with separate entrance
- Under $300,000
- A deck with stairs to the backyard
- A covered front porch
- A separate office for Jeremy (he works from home)
- A laundry room & coat closet & pantry
- Good school district
- Located under 30 minutes from my parents house
Right away the first two items are pretty hard to find…after all, the 3-5 acre lots are usually not in neighborhoods in metro Atlanta. So we knew that it would be a challenge.
The very next day we started a fresh search with renewed energy…looking at EVERY homes within our 30 minute radius. And what would you know?! That very same day, a foreclosed house was listed at a new lower price. We couldn’t believe our eyes! It almost seemed too good to be true.
It had every single item on our list!
We held our breath and haven’t stopped. Yes, our faces are kinda blue.
So now we had a situation. On one hand we had a perfectly wonderful home…a home that could suit us for a very long time…a home that we have poured out blood, sweat and tears to finish…our first home…and on the other hand we had our dream home…a home that could be our forever home…a home that we want for the next 25+years. And so we prayed. It worked before and it’ll work again.
We felt peace about moving forward and seeing if we qualify for both mortgages. Afterall, if we can’t sell our current home, our realtors also have rental experience. And seeing as how we are in a fantastic school-district, lots of good people with kids (maybe even someone who was foreclosed upon) could use a finished house like ours to get back on their feet while providing a good education to their children.
Another open door – we were approved. We drew up the paperwork and put in an offer on the new house. We offered below-asking price and also for closing costs. Without getting into ALL the gory details (and typing out a book)…we found out that the offer was accepted and now we are just waiting for the paperwork to go through. The only problem is this: until the contract is signed – other offers could come in…and result in a highest&best offer situation. So right now we are crossing our fingers and toes for the paperwork to be wrapped up quickly….or that the Lord slams the door shut. That’s why we are telling you…because I need some prayer. Pray for me to have patience. Pray for me to not have an emotional freak-out. Pray for me to encourage Jeremy as he makes tough decisions for our family. Just pray…and please know that I appreciate you guys more than you’ll ever know.