Monday, November 21, 2011

House business

We found a house!

We actually found one a few weeks ago. We made an offer, accepted the counteroffer, signed a contract, and had our home inspection and termite inspection last Friday. We have to sign off on that some time tomorrow, and we're working on filling out all our paperwork for the bank. We have a tentative closing date of December 20th. That would be great, because that's a Tuesday (I already asked off for that day) and hopefully, we could move on Wednesday. I always have Wednesdays off, Brandon might be able to work a short shift, etc. So the timing is pretty great. We are so very thankful for this house. It is a big time answered prayer. I have no doubt in my mind that if we had not been praying about this house hunt, and praying over these decisions, we would either still be looking or we'd be getting a house that has issues.

Can I tell you about my house?

My house is only 13 years old (everything else that has been in our price range has been at least 30 years old, and we all know older houses come with more issues.) My house is in a nice neighborhood that I'm a little bit familiar with. It's still less than 10 minutes from my work. It's one interstate exit closer to Brandon's work and to our church.

My house has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms (which I really wanted.) It has dormer windows, which I really like, and a breakfast bar. My kitchen has plenty of cabinet space, and a window! My house has a one-car garage. It looks really small, but neither Brandon nor I have ever lived in a house with a garage, so it's a new, exciting thing to us. My house has hardwood floors in the living room and big, bright windows. My house has nice carpet, no weird holes in the wall, and is in such better condition than anything else we have looked at. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for this house?

Please continue praying with us that the rest of the home-buying process will go smoothly-and preferably as quickly as possible. Part of me is a little sad that there is really no point in putting up the Christmas decorations in the apartment, since hopefully we will be moving before Christmas, but it's worth it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alone again, naturally

Brandon is at a meeting at work, and I am having some fear issues at the moment.

I guess a good starting point would be an update on the whole house hunting thing. We have seen about a dozen houses in person, I'm guessing. We have looked at about a thousand of them online. I check online once a day. I receive updates in my email. A lot of days I end up checking online again. One house was promising, but then there were some structural problems and we decided to pass on it. Another one I liked, but Brandon was worried about the converted garage and potential problems heating the house because of this. One was great, but the kitchen was too small- the only place to put a table was right in front of the sliding glass door to the back yard. So either you had no table, or you had no backyard.

This weekend we went to see a few more. I felt really good about one of them before we went to see it. I felt really good about it as we were walking around the house, checking it out. I like the neighborhood. I like the kitchen (except it was missing a dishwasher, and there wasn't much room for it. So I guess it would be more accurate to say "I like the dining room", because it was separate from the kitchen, thus giving me more space.) I liked the square footage, the extra long driveway, and a lot of other things. But Brandon didn't want to make an offer until he had his dad do a walk-through. If he found any major problems, that would save us money in the long run- we wouldn't have to pay for an inspector and all that. That's what happened with the first house we thought we might buy. Anyway, we wouldn't be able to go look at the house with him until Wednesday. Our lovely realtor called today and said that another couple looked at that house *twice* this weekend, and had told the selling agent to expect an offer Monday after they spoke with the loan officer. I have a feeling that their offer will be accepted, because this is an estate thingy going on here. The owner is dead, so they don't really care if they get all their money for the house, right? That's my logic, anyway.

So that's one thing I'm worried about. People keep telling me that God is not going to give "my" house to someone else. Well, I'm having a lot of trouble finding "my" house. And honestly, now I have decided I might not be looking in the right place.

I have lived in the same seven-mile area my whole life. That's about the distance from my grandparents' house to where my parents live now. I spent the first year or two of my life living in what is essentially a tack house (with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a wood-burning stove) on my grandparents' property. Then we moved to a townhome within spitting distance of where I lived from right before my brother's birth to when I got married and moved out. And I don't like change. Oh, how I hate change. I'm coping with the concept of moving because I really hate where we live now, but I would really like to stay in the same neighborhood. Or the neighborhood where I spent 17 or 18 years of my life. Or somewhere in between (they are pretty close to each other.) But maybe that's not where I'm supposed to be. We have also been looking at a few houses (online) around where Brandon's parents live. Now, I am ok driving to their house. I can get myself to the mall. But other than that, I simply do not drive in the Okolona neighborhood. I have never driven on the freeway, which is the easiest way to get to that area of town from where we live now. I've never driven to church, which is also in Okolona. I don't like driving in unfamiliar areas, and I don't like familiarizing myself with anything new.

Anyway, I have been doing a Bible study on the book of Jonah lately. Jonah did not go where God wanted him go. He was afraid- I mean, Ninevah was an enemy of Israel. So he tried to run away, and things didn't turn out so great (though God did save him and eventually Jonah got around to doing what he was supposed to do.) My point is, recently I've been wondering if I am trying to avoid going where God wants me to go because I'm afraid. I'm not afraid of people in Okolona, but I'm afraid of the change in general. I'm afraid of being ten minutes away from where I work, *just in case* I get antsy or feel sick on the way to or from my job. I'm afraid of being further away from my family. I'm afraid of going to a different grocery store, for pete's sake. Sorry, pete, for not capitalizing your name- but I don't know you.

I don't necessarily think that God has a message he wants me to bring to the Okolona/Hillview area- that was, after all, the reason Jonah was sent to Ninevah. But I am trying really hard to do what God wants me to, and to follow His plan for our family instead of just doing what I want to do. This is an area that is proving very difficult to surrender, though. I would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom and guidance for us. And also patience. We are getting down to the wire here- we are supposed to give our apartment managers notice by December 5 if we are going to move out or change the terms of our lease. We would really rather move out, because even if we go with a 3 month lease (the shortest term available) we would have to keep paying rent until that lease expired. So if we said at the beginning of December "We're going to have to stay in this awful place for at least three more months", and then two weeks later found out that we were getting a house, we'd be paying rent payments AND a mortgage at the same time. Which is literally impossible with our income.

So anyway, that is my biggest fear thing going on right now. I'm also having a lot of trouble with my stomach, and consequently some annoying trouble with my anxiety. So that's really not helping anything right now. But the big thing is the house-hunting, I guess. There's your update. I hope you enjoyed this lengthy tale of stress and anxiety. I'm off to find myself some more Sprite and saltines (basically they are making up at least 40% of my diet right now.)