Our House Hunt is Over
We are in escrow! I know. It's exciting. We've been house hunting for nearly two years in Silicon Valley (cringe) and have been met with quite a bit of resistance and rejection.
We were up until 11:00 Friday night at the end of a series of providential events that led us to winning our new home. But it all happened because we simply asked. We asked God to show us what he wanted.
We currently own a two-bedroom condo in a downtown neighborhood and knew we needed space and a yard, but when we started looking for a house, it felt impossible. Not only because pricing in the Bay Area is outrageous, but because Charlie and I couldn't seem to agree on the type of house we should have.
While we both wanted an open layout design on a large lot...
- I wanted a single-story, and he wasn't ruling out two-stories
- I refused to have bedrooms at the front of the house or next to electrical poles
- Charlie just wanted to be walkable to a downtown area without doubling or tripling his work commute
- I couldn't live in a brand new or newly remodeled home (chemically-sensitive people probs) and I'll give Charlie credit because he didn't give me grief about this one.
Ok, so basically, I had a lot of restrictions and Charlie just wanted a good piece of real estate. He's a broker, what do you expect?
We must have looked at dozens of homes and Charlie looked at even more. The ones I was excited about didn't excite Charlie and vice versa. None of our offers were getting accepted; we didn't even receive a single counter! The seller of the last house we were ready to buy kindly showed us their home after their open house was completed. We went home to consider pray about the offer.
We asked Him to give us a clear "no" if this wasn't the house. Within the next 30 minutes the listing agent called to say the seller accepted an offer and we didn't even get a chance to write one for them to review! That was a quick and clear answer from the Lord.
At this point I was personally exhausted from spending every other weekend at open houses and wanted a break. I had more peace about staying put in the condo and began to visualize other ways of streamlining our current living situation to maximize space and even hired a professional organizer to help me clean up our kitchen.
Meanwhile, Charlie went to another open house alone, because, well, I didn't want to see any more houses. He came home nearly 90 minutes later because he ended up knowing the seller of the house, listing agent and the lender. The house hit all our wants and the price point wasn't out of line.
So the whole family piled into the car to go see this single story, bedrooms-in-the-right-place, EMF-friendly, large-lot, downtown-walkable, off-gassed unicorn house. For the first time, Charlie and I actually felt the same way about the same house. Let's try to make this work.
It was Memorial Day weekend, which felt like a blessing because several people missed the open house simply for being out of town. Offers were to be made at the end of the week and they were expecting 8-10 of them. So we prayed God would do big things if this was our house. Even though we didn't expect or want the seller to take less than market value, I envisioned other potential buyers backing off at a certain point.
After getting excited to find out we were 1 of only 3 offers, we were told ours was the lowest. In any normal circumstance, we wouldn't have been given the time of day, but because of Charlie's relationships, we were given the opportunity to be competitive. We countered and I was expecting this would be the end of the bidding war.
Nope. It was 7:30 on a Friday night and it looked like this was going to pour over into the weekend.
The listing agent told us the seller wanted us to be the buyer and would give us the last look, but the top bidder wasn't going quietly into the night. I started to feel like well, maybe this wasn't our house. And that's ok. I'll keep the kitchen organizer appointment and we'll just stay in the condo. No biggie.
9:15pm the listing agent calls to say the seller asked him to fend off the high bidder.
It was over.
The seller wanted us to have the house and was willing to sacrifice the additional money so we could have it.
It wasn't what I expected to happen, but God consistently does the unexpected, so I should be used to that by now. I was still stunned and just looked at Charlie and asked did we just buy a house? Yes. Fist bump.
Our mortgage lender was up until 11pm on a Friday night to lock in our rate because that day was "literally the low point for the year on interest rates." I mean, come on.
I know we had been praying in faith this whole time that God only let us proceed with a house if it was within his will, but I hadn't exactly been joyful in our current cramped home nor had I put aside my vision of the "perfect" house. But I think once we both did, we got to witness this entire event unfold in before our eyes.
If I take a look at the times in our lives when we fully surrendered in this manner, stories like this aren't uncommon. We know He cares so deeply about us, our needs and concerns. He listens to our prayers and believe me, we were covered in prayer by so many family members and friends.
Obviously this isn't over. Something could cause us to fall out of escrow, and if that's the case, it's ok.
We don't move until late August/Early September, but in the meantime, I'll be spending my days getting ready for the move, which means you should be hearing about the following in the coming months:
- Low/Non-toxic furniture choices
- Whole house water filters
- Whole house air purifiers
- Setting up a home with low EMF exposure
- Oh and, selling the condo
I'm not exactly looking forward to the last task, but I'm sure it'll all work out the way it's supposed to.