April 07, 2015

The House: Part 3

This post is part of a three part series: The House Story. If you'd like to catch up, you should read Part 1 and Part 2
And now for our exciting conclusion....

So we walked into the house, and it was definitely not love at first sight, like many houses we had seen in our housing search, it was very dated in its decor. ( the area where we are moving was mostly built during the 60s.) In fact, come to find out, the house is the EXACT same floor plan is a house my mother grew up in. But, the difference between this not-updated house is that it was in incredibly pristine condition. Sure, it looked like an episode of I Dream of Jeannie, but I didn't feel the need to take a sledge hammer to the shower, which is what usually happened if we viewed a house that hadn't already been renovated. 

This was a new experience, a house that, yes, I would want to do some serious updating in, but that didn't give me the heebie-geebies. And so we walked through the house, and walked and walked because it JUST. KEPT. GOING. It was HUGE. One side had the typical Master bedroom and master bath along with two more good sized bedrooms with ANOTHER bathroom....and then clear on the other side of the house, through the kitchen, and past the laundry room I found....another bedroom AND another bathroom. All on its own. With its own laundry room exit. I knew immediately that we could make this house work. I was virtually tearing out walls and painting kitchen cabinets-I didn't even wait for my usual bedtime routine! I could definitely make this weird house work. The back yard was large and had a great climbing tree, the front yard was nice and had a nice flat driveway for bicycles and scooters and as I mentioned before it dead-ended into a park. 
But then there was the price to consider.
But isn't what you're thinking...

It was ridiculously low.( yup you read right) So low you would think that maybe there was something MAJORLY wrong with it, or that they hadn't done their homework on the area ( or they didn't really care too much). Whatever the case we made an offer knowing that it would be a battle to get noticed, since with that kind of price and that kind of house it was going to be like bees to honey. One thing we had learned was that this particular area was a sellers market, everyone was clamoring for these houses! In fact, the house we had seen earlier in the day with a veritable island in the back yard already had five offers and it was in its first day on the market. EEK. 
So we made our offer on this I Dream of Jeannie house and I COMPLETELY redid it that night as I laid in bed. I could definitely make this house great, and it was amazing how we had gone from "closet sized" office as an extra bedroom, to "normal sized" office as an extra bedroom to an ACTUAL bedroom plus a bathroom-and not just that, it seemed like it might even be cheaper?! It seemed too good to be true. 

On the second day we learned our suspicions were right on. Investors were coming out of the woodwork making offers on this house. We didn't think we'd be able to hang with the big boys but we waited some more. And then we found out why the house, though 1960s chic, was in such immaculate condition. It was OWNED BY NUNS. 

That's right. Two elderly Sisters had been living in it, and now it was being sold by the larger contingency of nuns ( an order?! They've got names for this sorta thing). The greatest part is that along with that vow of poverty, nuns apparently don't spill soft drinks on carpet or put nails in the walls. They also don't really like investors. They wanted REAL LIVE BUYERS. And that is where we came in. 

I quickly wrote up a "we are an awesome family" letter with a family picture attached in the hopes that while we may not be able to offer the big bucks we CAN promise to bake cookies for our neighbors and pepper the neighborhood with bicycles and sidewalk chalk. And so we somehow stayed in the game. And we waited and waited. 

Unlike the other houses we had made offers on, where we found out if our offer was accepted or not within 48 hours at the most, this took days and days.  Almost a full week went by and we had heard not a PEEP. In fact, exactly a week after we had made our offer I moaned to our babysitter about how long these nuns were making us suffer. And she helpfully gave me the perfect visual. She said these nuns were very much like the Nuns in The Sound of Music who slooooooowly showed the Nazis around their Abbey. From then on I envisioned the nuns slooooowwllly floating ( clearly they floated since they did not cause ANY wear and tear on carpeting) around praying about who to sell their house to. I figured it was perfect. If I had learned anything from our other house offers was that if this house wasn't for us then the door would shut. So all the better having BOTH parties praying over the deal, right? 

And then one afternoon I got a text message from our pastor who knew we were looking for a house and who use to do a lot of realtor work. He had promised to be on the lookout for the perfect house for us. In the months of looking he had yet to send us anything he thought was worth looking at but that day he sent me a link to a house... and of the 100 or so houses in that area that he could have seen and sent to us...he sent us the Nun house! I immediately laughed and messaged back that we had already made an offer on it! It now seemed TOO PERFECT. 
And so 10 WHOLE DAYS went by! They had to extend the option period. It was ridiculous! 
But FINALLY they accepted our offer and we officially were buying a nun house!! A huge nun house with a perfect place to allow people to stay with us and Be. 

Now, I know I'm not one who likes numbers very much but I think it is worth noting when we finally close in the next week ( seriously, they have floated along slowly at EVERY step! Nuns clearly have an ETERNITY to make decisions) we will have a house that is 400 square feet bigger than the previous house ( which was bigger than the first house by quite a bit) and it is....drum roll going to cost significantly less, like the cost of a brand new car less. It is truly unbelievable. 

So, now I'm changing my prayer card. I am now praying for all those who will get to be a part of our new home, who will, for whatever length of time, get to be blessed by our house ( I'll probably need a new name other than "nun house"). I can't wait to share our great blessing with as many as we can! I am also hoping that this story will be a reminder to my future self, and maybe to you too...that when we think something is perfect and it just doesn't work out, maybe just maaaaybe that is because God has something else in mind and maybe the waiting is to get that better thing ready to go. And maybe His timing is always perfect. And if He's given you a dream, like a house or a baby or a country or a mission or a person than I really really suggest you stick to that dream, because it won't just be you fighting for it. The Lord is faithful too and He always wins His battles.

And as for pictures....I promise those will be coming and coming in droves. You are going to get to LIVE this renovations with me people,  so get ready for more than you ever would have wanted.

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