- Househunting: the decision (part 1)
- Househunting: disappointment (part 2)
- Househunting: Perry considers changing his name (part 3)
- Househunting: a difficult choice (part 4)
We were torn between two very different choices that appealed to us for very different reasons, but as we thought about it and discussed the options, the answer became clear. One of our earliest goals (besides a desire for more space and more bathrooms) was to be near work, church and friends, and one house was much closer to all of those. It was also in an area that we had initially targeted, but had nearly given up finding a big enough home in our price range. It helped that most of the children agreed and the house just made a better first impression, inside and out. Access to a community pool may also have been among the influencing factors.
We quickly decided to make an offer on the first house we had seen that day. It had 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, abundant closet space, a huge wooden playset and a fenced backyard, 2 sheds, and a second story deck off one of the bedrooms! It had the carpet the kids coveted in the bedrooms, and the hard floors sanity demanded in the living areas. The stated square footage was about 2,400 but we later learned that the number didn’t include the sun room, bringing the total to about 2,600. There was also a converted garage that could serve as a media or guest room or even an apartment, since one of the bathrooms was back there. It wasn’t exactly on a cul-de-sac, but it was on a very quiet edge of a very quiet neighborhood.
The more we thought about it, the more it grew on us. It just seemed like the right decision, the house we had prayed for. This wasn’t love at first sight, but we were quickly falling for this house.
Like most of the houses we had been looking at the asking price was just a little higher than we wanted to pay, but our realtor told us the owner had just closed on a new house and was now very motivated to close a deal. We put together an offer the next day, and held our breath as we waited for the reply. Perry instructed our realtor to request the doghouse in our offer. If you remember we don’t currently have a dog, you’re probably wondering why we needed a doghouse and why we wanted that one so much. So am I. I’m pretty sure it was a joke, but Perry insists he was serious. He never quite keeps a straight face when he says it, and I never quite believe him.
We waited late into the night, breathless with anticipation. Didn’t the owner know we couldn’t sleep until he answered? Wasn’t he anxious to make a deal, too? Didn’t anyone tell him he had an offer on the table?!
Apparently not. Judging from the correspondence, it seems his own realtor wasn’t able to get hold of him until the following afternoon. At that point, he responded very quickly. He didn’t accept our offer, but he did make a counter offer and agreed to leave us the doghouse. We were in business!
After that, the offers flew. We made another offer and received another from him, and finally came to an agreement. He came down nearly halfway to our initial offer when it was all said and done, and we were happy to accept. He later told us that the seller of his new home had come down substantially and his children encouraged him to pass along some of the savings to us.
The hard part was done, though I was careful not to consider it a done deal. The house passed the inspection a few days later with no more than a few minor hiccups, easily cured or overlooked. The appraisal came back with a comfortable margin. Now it was just a matter of red tape, waiting, and praying all would go well – and it did. Four weeks later, we closed on our new home and received the keys.
We haven’t entirely forgotten the ones that got away, but now we can see how much better this house will be for our family. As a friend pointed out, God used those homes to prepare us for this one. The rural feel of the first helped some of our reluctant children adjust to the idea of city living. The second allowed us understand that while we could own a much larger house, choosing the best house wasn’t all about size. The third was much closer to work and church than the other two, and reminded us of our desire and motivation to be as close to that area as we could.
And the fourth, it turns out, was exactly the right house for us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
(now we’re waiting on the baby!)
cont’d here: Househunting: We move (part 6)