Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Looking for Home.

This post will be a lot less deep, more about our recent search for a physical house and not about our continual search to feel "at home" in this world. We signed papers on an offer on our house June 20th, and we have a fairly flexible move-out date, thanks to our excellent buyer. But, we are coming up on some deadlines due to our financing method, which depends on how expensive of a home we buy. Allow me to fill you in on the crazy adventure God is orchestrating.

One week after our home sold, we spent the weekend going to open houses and other homes our realtor was able to schedule. We were excited to find one we loved - great yard, the house was big enough to have an office for Mark, a guest area for visitors, and was in a fabulous location in Beaverton. We offered a a decent amount over asking and waited to hear back from them... and waited... and waited. Well, they were on a trip, not responding to their realtor, and got a few other offers as well by the time they saw ours. They ended up taking a different offer that was significantly more than ours.

Strike #1.

Later that week we found another home, also in Beaverton, but in a different neighborhood. It had a huge yard, was on a great cul-de-sac, and the home was in immaculate condition, albeit needing eventual bathroom remodels, or at least decent updates. But, totally nice, still definitely worth the price we offered. It had been on the market for a while but they dropped their price significantly, so we offered their new asking price and hoped for the best. They got another offer which was a good $20k higher than ours, so guess what? They took the better offer.

Strike #2.

I should mention, all this time we've really been asking God to guide our decisions, that we would not get a house he did not want us to have. Ha. In a more pessimistic mood, I might be tempted to say that was not a great idea. But alas, we moved on, still trusting God's good plans.

The next week we decided to look in a different area. After viewing a couple more homes, we made an offer on a house in Gladstone. They had been on the market over a week, no offers, no other interest even. We offered above asking, but asked them to pay closing costs and leave their appliances. They basically said "You can pay extra for the house, yes, but you will pay closing and we want our (normal, simple, ugly, white) fridge." Umm, what? Who doesn't take an offer above asking when they have no other offers or interest? And really? That average little fridge is worth countering? But this put the offer above our budget, which we are really trying to be wise about. It was evident God did not want us there.

Strike #3.

Moving on, with some tears on my part, we have been a bit more cautious, carefully considering if God has been calling us elsewhere through our unending desires to do something crazy. Well, Tualatin was not exactly crazy, but we found a great home there with a perfect yard and fabulous location. We were able to schedule the inspection for only two days after they accepted our offer (yay!), but after 20 minutes our realtor called with some crazy news. Evidently they did not have fiber cement siding like the listing said, but rather,  LP siding, which is no longer legal to use and was involved in a class-action law-suit. We decided to continue the inspection, thinking if the rest of the house was pretty decent we'd keep moving forward. Yeah, that didn't happen. Item, after item, after item, after item, after item came up when the inspection was complete. Did I say there were more problematic items on the inspection report? This lovely-looking, 20 year old home was probably just very poorly built, but then the sellers made many modifications that all needed remedied on top of the built-in problems. We offered to pay less for the home (because we would need to replace all the currently failing siding to prevent damage to the actual framing and house structures) and have them make the other repairs, but they decided to go with their back-up offer.

Strike #4.

Well, off I went to SheSpeaks, really feeling like this was all too crazy to be true. The way God worked in me there and spoke through all the different strangers there was a little surreal. 

Mark and I had agreed that he could go look at any house and make whatever offer he felt comfortable with while I was gone, but I told him there was no pressure to do so. He did look at several homes and he found a killer place in Tualatin at the top of our budget. We decided to offer, having full assurance that we cannot mess up God's plans. We knew our offer might not be competitive, but that just increased our faith, knowing if we got this home, it would be God's affirmation. Nope. Didn't get it. This wasn't incredibly surprising, but just another strike on our quickly growing list.

Strike #5.

So what now? Who has a good down-payment, good income, and great credit and gets out-offered, denied purchase, or lands a money-pit, with five different houses, in three different cities, within four weeks? Only people who God has other plans for I guess! We are not discouraged, but we also are not incredibly sure what the next step is. I mean, I totally have things I could plan out, Mark less than me, but we are trying to keep an open mind, wait on God's timing, and start exploring other ideas. 

As we wait, and as I struggle to grow in faith, I am reminded of how Abraham grew in faith from Romans 4:20 (emphasis mine).

"No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God."

Think about these words: as, while, during. Abraham's faith was not a by-product of God's evidence of His promise, but was a by-product of his own decision, his own commitment and obedience to praising God. Abraham trusted God more when he praised God despite being unsure, while traveling somewhere new,  known only to the God who called Him out of nowhere. I usually wait to praise God until I've seen what He has done, but now, I am choosing to praise God for who He is, the way He works (even when it baffles me), and for the unknown that lies ahead. Because He has promised it is good, that it is best for me, and that even after things fall apart, eternity in His presence is still enough of a reason to praise Him now. 

So here we are. Crazy, right? It's getting to be pretty comical, and I actually find myself smiling about it, excited about it. But please pray for us. We are wild at heart, ready to jump into things most people would warn us against, so pray that God would continue to open and close doors as He sees fit, and that we can praise Him in the midst of it all.


  1. It's because you're supposed to come to Bend (pretty, pretty please). I know you don't like the cold, but that's why God created fireplaces.

  2. It's because you're supposed to come to Bend (pretty, pretty please). I know you don't like the cold, but that's why God created fireplaces.