I’ve decided that this story that follows is something that I want recorded for the sake of my children, so that someday, they can read it and know a little bit of family history. This story evolves over the course of several years of our marriage, so I’m breaking it into a few parts (which I’ll post over the next few weeks) since it would be ridiculously long for one post.
It’s exciting to be able to look back on an event and realize that God was very, very present in a decision that doesn’t necessarily seem spiritual. For us, we’ve always been able to reflect on the choices that we’ve made when buying homes and see that in each case, the timing really wasn’t ours. Given that we’re in this home-buying stage (for the last time, we hope), I wanted to reflect on the past two purchases and look at how this current one is unfolding.
In the spring of 2001, Matt and I began house-hunting in a couple of suburbs. Our realtor showed us lots of listings, most of which needed a lot of updating or were tiny. We didn’t have much money, and we were looking in kind of high-priced markets, so our expectations were pretty low, but the houses we saw were not what we were hoping for, to say the least.
Finally, after several weeks’ time, we found this cute little two-bed, one-bath house on a quiet cul-de-sac. It was fairly updated, but it was tiny…like around 1000 square feet with an unfinished basement. We decided to make an offer, knowing that the seller was motivated (he was single, a doctor, and had recently been transferred and had to move quickly). As we negotiated back and forth, and the dollar amount was getting closer to what we were comfortable with, the refrigerator kept coming in and out of the deal. Since we were moving from an apartment, we were really hoping to not have to buy a new fridge, and he was adamant about keeping it. With offers going back and forth, this took several days, and in the end, if I remember correctly, we were about $1000 + the refrigerator apart, and he finally caved.
On a Monday afternoon, we were set to sign papers at 6pm, agreeing to buy this house. I got off work at 4:30 or so, and our realtor called me and said something to the effect of, “Since we have some time to kill until Matt gets off work, I want to show you a property that you haven’t seen…it’s not exactly where you were looking but it’s really close, and it meets your criteria.” I went to the house and immediately told our agent that I needed to get Matt over to see this. It was incredible. Absolutely everything we were looking for, in our price range, and larger than the other house, plus it had a finished basement and a huge, fenced-in back yard.
So instead of going to our agent’s office to sign the deal on house #1 as planned, we instead started over on house #2…I can’t help but think that God intervened with the plan there! Within a couple of days, we’d hammered out a deal with the sellers, and by mid-July, if I remember correctly, we had the keys to our first house in our hands. Lesson learned re: negotiating with a buyer…that guy lost the sale pretty much because of the refrigerator.
Though we only lived there a short time, that house holds so many great memories, not the least of which was that it was also Luke’s first house. Here are a couple of pictures:
And that’s where we stayed until July 2003…