Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the one with a house search update

(Don't worry - I picked the girliest most dramatic font for my ridiculously dramatic and awesome name for our house. It's inspired by the one and only Anne Shirley: "You'll have to come to Four Winds. It's the most beautiful harbor on the Island....we shall have to find a habitation for ourselves. I don't know yet what it is, or where it will be in reality, but I have a little house o'dreams all furnished in my imagination--a tiny, delightful castle in Spain.")

I wanted to take a minute and document where we are in the process of finding a home... mostly because I want to remember the middle parts of the process (even though they can be the hardest) and not just the exciting beginning stages and grand finale! :) (Here is my first and second post about our search, if you're just tuning in.)

Time-frame - We've been actively looking for a little over a month now... we reached our down payment original goal as of April 1 so that's when we really allowed ourselves to dive in. However, we've been looking online for much longer than that :) We were hoping to close on a home beginning of June and move in by the end of June. Our apartment lease ends June 30. It looks like we will have to renew our apartment lease for a month-to-month lease for a little longer... it's a little more expensive but better than moving out somewhere temporarily and then moving again! 

Our List - Our "must have" list hasn't really changed. We consider a half-bath to be an option on one of the two bathrooms (as long as their is the ability to expand/convert it into a full bath). Obviously we will add in the clothesline and rocking chairs to whatever house we get :) We also added privacy because we realized that we really need some space of our own where we feel safe and at rest.

How We're Feeling - It's been an emotional roller coaster for me so far. I just am really optimistic and then really pessimistic when it comes to houses (or life in general). I get SO excited when I see a home with potential that I like that is in our price range. Picturing us living there, having our first home, making it ours... it's just all so exciting! And then when we find things we don't like, or possible deal-breakers on the property... I immediately feel like there is no way we will ever find anything to meet our needs in our price range in the right location. Up, down, up, down.

Marriage is awesome because Rob is so steady. He will get excited and show interest in a place, but doesn't close his mind to all negatives and immediately start calling it "our house" (yeah, I'm that person :) ) He thinks about it from all angles, slowly considers it, and is not rash & emotional. It's really great to balance each other out and he's good at reminding me to take it slowly and remain open-minded. I know I will feel so confident in our decision when we find one because Rob is so thorough and careful. I trust him so much in this process. 

Our options - At first, we found this really awesome, huge fixer-upper. I was in love as soon as I saw it (maybe still am). But things just didn't come together for us to make an offer on it... they actually just kept falling apart and I kept trying to push through but it seems like that probably is not the house the Lord has for us. We've continued looking...and it seemed like we were stalled out for a couple weeks. Nothing was popping up. One afternoon we had scheduled to see 4 houses, and 2 hours before we were going to see them, all of them fell through. It was very confusing and exhausting. BUT this week, the market has really exploded and we are seeing new options everyday! It's really encouraging. We saw 8 houses on Monday! I really liked one of them but we'll see what happens.

We've also looked into some rental properties in our target area as well. Just in case we can't find the right home to buy...we still want to move to that area ASAP. Hopefully we'll find one to buy - but we are considering renting too.

How God has been Faithful - It's been a confusing and an emotionally draining time. I feel like every week, I've had to open my hands back up and say "I will go wherever you want me to go, and do whatever you want me to do". We both really mean that, which means letting go of a lot of control daily. It also means letting go of my anxiety and fears and house-attachment-disorder :) I don't care where God sends us - I just want to be exactly where it will bring Him the most glory. 

This process has also really strengthened our marriage. It has brought us closer together and it's been great to have someone reminding you of truth every step of the way. It's been stressful but also really fun for us to dream, plan, and talk together. I'm really thankful for this because I know that it can also very much divide people in their relationship with one another. Thank you Jesus for your grace in this way!

Our Prayer - Still the same as I first shared - the verse we are praying for our new home and neighborhood and ministry are the first words of Jesus' ministry, written in the book of Luke. As Christ-followers, we really want to follow His example. Obviously we cannot do miracles in people's hearts and lives by our own power - but Jesus can and we can carry His message of hope and new life!

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Have a wonderful day & thanks for stopping by! xoxo
Nicole