God provides in the most awesome of ways and in His perfect timing-- sometimes when we least expect it.
Once we were under contract to sell our house, we began the search to find a home to move into. Homes we had seen online before were no longer there. We were limited in our geographical area since we knew which school district we wanted our boys to be in. We were limited in our subdivision choices because we needed to have cable internet access rather than satellite internet. Although I knew we could stay with my parents until we found a place, I did feel pretty discouraged while we were looking. I didn't want to "settle" for just any ole place. I knew buying a house was a big deal (and a multi-year commitment), and I didn't want to be unhappy about our choice.
We looked at two houses online that we liked, but when I called the cable company to see if they had cable internet access, the answer was no. We went and saw one house in person and just didn't really like the layout of the house. As we were standing in the driveway of that house talking to our realtor, she told us that her best friends were about to list their home for sale. Initially, I wasn't interested because it's the exact floor plan of my parents' house except a mirror image, and I thought it might be too weird for my parents to have us own a home that their friends once owned. My parents weren't as great of friends with these home owners as they once had been, and I didn't want to create an awkward experience for anyone. We said we'd consider it once they chose to list. We ended our home tour that day knowing that we didn't want the house we had just seen. For further proof, I called the cable company and they said they were willing to pull the cable lines into that neighborhood, but that they hadn't done it yet. The neighborhood was established in 2007, so I didn't have high hopes that the cable company would run a line in 2016, and I certainly didn't want to buy a house on a "promise" from a cable company.
Within 3 days, our realtor called us and said her friends were ready to list. I was a little apprehensive because I didn't want them to be in a similar rush to move out. The realtor then told me that this family was already moved out. They had found a bigger home in the country and had already moved out of the house and were just doing finishing touches before they listed it. I wondered what those finishing touches consisted of, and wondered if painting was part of it. The wife of the family was into bold colors and had painted the living room a pumpkin orange shade with a faux finish when I had been in the house 11 years prior. I had just painted some rooms in my current house and Aaron and I had just made a pact not to paint any rooms in our new house by ourselves, and that we'd hire a painting company instead. So I wasn't too wild about having to hire a company to paint over pumpkin orange. However, the realtor eased my fears when she said that they had already done painting to make each room a neutral color. They had also redone the kitchen by getting new countertops, an undermount sink, new appliances, and new flooring in the dining room and hallway. Those updates piqued my interest, so we made an appointment to see it that Friday night. We also made an appointment to see another house near that one for that Friday night as well.
Friday arrived and we went to look at the two houses. When we walked into the house of the realtor's friends, we knew right away that it was our home. Maybe it was because I had been in the house several years ago, or maybe it was because I was familiar with the floor plan since my parents' house was the mirror image. Maybe it was because the house was on a wooded lot and made Aaron feel like he was back home in Washington state. Whatever it was, we knew. We went to see the second house anyways, because we had made an appointment and we knew that house was inhabited, so we knew that family had to make arrangements to be out of their house while we looked at it and we didn't want their efforts to be for naught. So we went to look at it anyway, and going into that house and seeing that layout and the small lot just reaffirmed our decision that we wanted to put in an offer on the other house.
When we put our house on the market in late May 2015, we daydreamed about what we'd like in a new house. We knew we wanted more space inside the house- more storage space and more space in general. I wanted a formal dining room. We wanted an updated kitchen, but knew we could live without it. We wanted a two car attached garage. We wanted 4 bedrooms, or an outdoor space for Aaron to have his "man cave" and be able to do his ammo reloading. I wanted a master bathroom with a separate tub. We wanted tall ceilings in the living room. I daydreamed about a foyer being a nice touch in a house. We both wanted acreage. We wanted a wooded lot for shade. A fence would be nice, and if we bought a house without one, we'd have to install one for our dogs.
As we spent time looking at houses online, we came to realize we probably wouldn't find a house with many of the things on our wishlist. So honestly, we gave it up. We were then on a mission just to find a house in the school zone we wanted. We still had a garage on the top of our list, but we'd settle for a carport. We knew we'd be giving up on the formal dining room, and we knew it was just a wishlist item, so we knew we could live without it. We weren't finding very many homes with 4 bedrooms. We were finding houses on tiny lots with no trees. We were coming to the realization that this might just be how it is.
But God had other plans for us. Whenever I'd get discouraged about our house not selling, Aaron and church members were quick to remind me "God has a plan. Maybe your new house isn't on the market yet." And that was the truth. The house God had picked out for us did not become available until our former house was under contract to sell. He ordained everything, down to the smallest detail of having the homeowners be friends of the family and best friends with the realtor so that we would be given the opportunity to see the house before it went on the market. This house was $30,000.00 under our max budget. It was in an established neighborhood with cable internet. It was a house with 1.63 acres on a wooded lot. About a third of the lot is taken up by the house and grass, the rest of the lot is woods. It has a big deck and a wired workshop for Aaron to do his reloading, and the workshop has a loft area for us to be able to store things like seasonal decorations and consignment items as I wait for the bi-yearly sales. The house has 4 bedrooms, which allows us to have a master bedroom, a bedroom for the boys to share until they get older (they do better at bedtime sharing a room than they did in separate rooms), an office space for me which will also house Aarons Xbox, and the fourth bedroom will be an actual guest room. The house has a two car attached garage, a foyer, tall ceilings, and a formal dining room. The only thing it lacked is a fence (and a fridge, but that pretty much goes without saying when buying a house these days).
We put in a full price offer on the house and were very laid back about what we were requesting (window treatments to remain, pergola on deck to remain, storage building to remain). Our offer was accepted and the homeowners (since they were already moved out) were able to schedule a closing on the same day as our other house. We had a fantastic mortgage agent who zoomed us through the process and put a rush order on our appraisal, etc. I'm sure we're not done communicating with him since we found out at closing that his 9-year old son was just diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in January of this year. God works in mysterious ways and I don't consider any of this to be coincidence. He aligned the people for His plan and He worked it all out in His timing. We are incredibly blessed and humbled.
Here are some pictures, and I'll take updated versions as we get more things hung up and put away.
From entering the kitchen through the garage, immediately to the left is an "eat-in" area, but we are using it as a semi-playroom right now.
This view is from entering the house through the garage. This is the kitchen.
This is the formal dining room.
This is the view from the front door looking into the living room. The opening to the rear left of the room is the dining room. The living room opens out onto a deck in the back yard.
This view is from the living room looking down the hallway to the bedrooms.
This is the office/ Xbox room. This room is our least put-away room so far.
This is the boys room. Michael's bed frame got broken beyond repair, so his mattress is currently on the floor, but we have a toddler bed frame ready to pick up from my parents' house that he can use.
This is the guest room. The mirror for the dresser is on the bed waiting to be hung up. Also wrapped up in sheets and towels at the foot of the bed is a beach scene picture from my aunt's home that I will hang up in here over the head of the bed. Freshly washed mattress pads are at the head of the bed right now, but I will update later on with a more completely decorated picture of this room. I am also on the lookout for a free standing headboard for this bed.
This is the hall bathroom.
This is the master bedroom. This is the second least put-away room. Aaron and I have to install the mirror for the vanity dresser in between the windows. Also, many of the boxes in this room will find their way down to the storage building.
This is the master bathroom. This will be our first room to paint. I haven't decided if I'll hire a company or if I'll ask my mom and my mother-in-law to paint it. I have picked out Sherwin Williams "Sea Glass" as the color to go in here.
That's the picture overload for now. I will do another post with outdoor pictures of the yard, the deck, and the storage building.
Until next time,
Much love, Reba