When we first found out that this was going to happen, we were pretty mind-blown. We’d planned to live here in this house for a couple more years and were pretty taken aback to know that our time was going to be cut short. We’d down-sized for the second time and had learned to live in small quarters. Our family had become closer-- physically, emotionally, spiritually--and we had worked hard to make this our home. Granted, it’s been a tight fit, but it fit like a glove.
We sat down with our landlords, who are good friends of ours, to discuss a timeframe. And then we realized that we should start the process of seeing whether we were ready to buy a home. Despite the surprise of an eminent move, we were excited about the possibility of purchasing a home and finally putting down roots in our beloved town.
Neither Rick nor I had a whole lot of hope that we’d be able to purchase right now. One of the reasons we’d down-sized again was so that we could save up for a down-payment while also eliminating more student loan debt. Without enough time to do those two things, we were certain we’d end up having to find another rental and move out again in another year when we were ready to purchase a home. Not wanting to go that route, we made some calls and were excited, relieved, and amazed to find that home ownership was possible for us right away.
One of my all-time favorite past-times has always been looking at real estate. My dad was a real estate appraiser and I used to love going with him to look at homes. Any time I have a friend or family member on the hunt for a place to live, I’m on it! I can spend hours looking through homes online and finding the perfect fit for them. And now, it was my turn!
I spent every day sifting through the listings. There’s a lot of frightening stuff out there in our price range. One particular house that looked great on the computer screen was more like a “we have a totally luxe sauna in the basement of our totally otherwise freaky home” kind of house. It was loco.
I made lots of lists, revised them, crossed homes off after visiting them, made more lists, and finally we decided to visit a home that had been taken off and put back on the list several times. It wasn’t a pretty home on the exterior, and the pictures on the website didn’t do it any favors. It looked dark and drab and unkempt. But something about it had me, and we decided to see what that something was.
It was the last house we looked at. As soon as we walked in, Rick and I looked at each other. I saw it in his face, and I know he saw it in mine. We were home. I can’t really even put my finger on what it was, but in a case like that, you never really can.
The weeks that followed were stressful as we emailed back and forth with the realtor and mortgage company. Even though there was no indication it would fall through, we kept everything hush-hush in case it did. The kids were amazing and patient, not being allowed to tell their friends what was going on, having to keep it all inside, knowing a huge change was coming.
We stalked the house almost daily, and dreamed of where to put the pictures and furniture. We became enamored with it, amazed that this house (with its odd layout and wretched yard) really was our dream house.
The week before we closed on the new house, we received notice that our landlords were no longer planning to sell our current home. For a minute we were frustrated. But then we realized that we needed to give them the biggest hug possible. If it hadn’t been for them, we never would have started the search for another place to live. And this new place, with its MC Escher staircases and weed-ridden landscape, would never have found us.
Earlier this month I went visiting teaching and shared a message that I now realize was really for me. I have been reminded that “every flower must grow through dirt.” That despite how long these last couple months have seemed, and the frustration we have felt along the way, we have been able to face it as a family. We prayed together, fasted together, prayed more, and Heavenly Father answered those prayers. We made it through a rough patch and can see the beauty that has emerged with us.