Monday, February 24, 2014

Going once...going twice...

In the late spring of 2013, Brian and I sat down and penciled out some numbers.  With our family being the size it had grown to be, we needed something with a little more space.  But that meant figuring out how much we could afford.  And more importantly, how much we felt we SHOULD spend.  Sometimes those numbers can be quite different.

One topic of discussion was how much we would get from the sale of our current house.  I wrote down a number that we both agreed would be fine and we went from there.  We researched mortgage rates and did some general figuring of what we would be looking at financially. 

I kept the piece of paper with our notes on it – tucked it away in a house-planning folder – completely forgetting it was even there.

We took the leap and decided to build.  And of course that meant we needed to sell our house.  The trick would be to list it at just the right time – where we had plenty of time to sell it without stress.  But also so that we could live in it until our new house was finished.  This was a delicate situation. 

We chose our realtor – a man who goes to our church and has been a good friend to our family - and talked with him at length about our desire to not move twice.  We agreed that once 2014 arrived, we would talk again about putting our house on the market.

At the beginning of January, we had our realtor over, he stuck a sign in our yard, and we signed some papers.  We had some traffic and I began the exhausting process of trying to keep a house somewhat show-ready while three small (sometimes messy) children still lived here. 

I quickly learned how to do quick clean ups and we made a lot of trips to the library while realtors showed our house.

Then nothing.  No traffic.  No showings.  Quiet for two weeks. 

We decided to quietly lower our list price to see if we could get some more interest.  And boy did we.  Within days we had multiple showings.  I remember cleaning the house for the first of those showings and thinking, “I just have this feeling…” 

I asked my Coffee Break group to pray.  It was wearing on me a bit – the whole process – and I asked them if they would just pray that the timing would all work out well.  They prayed for me that Wednesday morning, all bowed heads around a table with their Bibles in front of them.

On Thursday we had two showings.  We took the kids to the Fun Factory and to the library that night.  We didn’t hear a lot of feedback, just that things went well, and I thought maybe I had gotten that “feeling” a little wrong.  Maybe it had been just wishful thinking.

Friday morning, our realtor calls and says he has an offer in his hands.  I was stunned.  He told me the number and said there was room to negotiate.  So we slept on it and in the morning he came over and we made our counter offer.  A lot of numbers went back and forth on Saturday.  We wrestled if we were making the right moves.  And after a lot of phone calls, the final offer was extended.

Decision time had arrived.  And when we weighed the information, I really felt like God was saying “yes”.  We accepted.  The papers were signed yet that day and the deal was “done”. 

I had so much peace about the decision.  The timing is great and we will not have to move twice.  We have the assurance of completing the construction of our home without the worry about selling our current house.  I don’t have to wrestle three kids into the car at random weird times of the day whilst trying to clean up behind them.  Our house looks lived in instead of show-ready.  The decision has been made and is no longer hanging over our heads. 

Just after we had signed the final purchase agreement, I stumbled across that sheet of figures we had drawn up so many months ago.  I scanned over the page, my eyes falling on that one number we had written down – the amount for which we hoped to sell our home.  It was, to the dollar, exactly what we had just accepted. 

What an affirmation!

So with a great weight off our minds, we move forward and can now look to packing boxes and preparing to move into our new home.  We are so thankful for those who prayed for us as we walked through this new experience.  We are so thankful for our realtor who did a wonderful job and helped us think through many decisions.  We are so thankful to our parents who have encouraged us and given advice along the way.  And most of all, we are so thankful that God has granted us peace with our decision.  

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