Because life is a series of edits

Because I Need Something Else to Do This Time of Year

In Thought on May 13, 2008 at 6:33 am

I’m a little hesitant sharing this, but we’re all friends, right? And since we’re all friends, here’s the news: we’re trying to buy a house (this one, actually):

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Before you jump to the conclusion that teaching pays a lot better than perhaps you thought, don’t – it doesn’t. In fact, we wouldn’t have a chance at this house if 1) it weren’t a foreclosure, 2) the market weren’t so soft, and 3) we didn’t have some help from family. If you’ve ever bought a home before, you know it’s one thing to buy one, quite another thing to afford one. We’re still trying to figure out if we can really do both; in the meantime, there’s no harm in bidding.

If you know us at all, you probably know we tend to buy houses by accident; that is, we’ve never gone “househunting” or even wasted time thinking about it. Instead, what usually happens is somebody tells us about a house they think would be great for us, we investigate it, start with a lowball offer, negotiate, and voila – we just bought a house. It’s happened this way twice before, and seems to be happening again (we made our lowball offer last night). Think of it as Groundhog Day with real estate.

I’d go into more detail about the house, but we’ve learned through experience the importance of holding onto the possibilities of home ownership with open hands, and details tend to work against us doing that. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” The challenge for us has always been to balance our hope for a new-to-us house with the reality that, because we’ve never had much money to just buy our way into something, the possibility of losing said house is very real also. The same is true here, so I’ll hold off for now with the specifics.

Another thing we’ve learned to be aware of in buying a home is the subtle attitude that says, “If God loves us, he will make it so we can get this house.” The problem with this is we are setting our terms for God to demonstrate his love for us, when Romans tells us he already has (“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”). We’d prefer to trust God to determine his terms, as the Scriptures promises they’re always better (even if we don’t think so at the time).

All this isn’t to say we won’t be disappointed if the deal eventually falls through (we would be), but after doing this twice before, it feels like we might be learning (finally) to agree a little more with the psalmist when he wrote Psalm 73:25: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you.” We certainly haven’t arrived in this area of trust just yet, but a sense of progress – even ever so slight – is always encouraging.

More to come (we hope).

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  1. Oh. My. Goodness. It’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to see the gorgeous things Megan could do with that home!

  2. For those checking in, no news from the bank today. I’m taking it as good news in that they didn’t take a quick look at our offer, laugh, and reject it outright. I can wait.

  3. It is a beautiful house. Just curious, did you tell the girls?

  4. Nope. They have no idea. We didn’t want to get them all excited about the idea only to seriously disappoint them later. If the house falls though, we’ll stay put. Maybe Craig should have done this with me too… :)

  5. looks like a money pit to me, i’m sure it’s about to fall apart, you think it’s really worth (i’m trying to be cynical, how’s it working) i wouldn’t get your hopes up, tornado will probably wipe it out anyway, probably right after you sign the contract

  6. Actually, Rob… there’s a lot of truth there. I need to dwell on the negatives right now anyway, so thanks.

  7. I hate to be a ray of sunshine, but if you did get it and a tornado wiped it out…since you’d have to have insurance for everything to finalize…The insurance would just pay for the house…with the right insurance and you’d collect your equity, which at this point, less your downpayment would be about .121/2 cents!
    You still come out ahead and you haven’t had to move yet!!!!! I don’t know what’s come over me…I’m usually a dark cloud within a silver lining!

  8. Thanks for sharing, Rob and Larry…I think.

  9. Somebody want to send this to the bank for me?

    We’ll keep waiting.

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