Wednesday, July 10, 2013

third time's a charm

Ok, so I've been playing catch up the past few days with blogging, but for some reason I am still about seven updates behind and can't seem to catch up (maybe it's because we keep doing things faster than I can blog about them!)  But this update is one that I've been needing to do for a while, and people are starting to ask about our move, so I'm just going to squeeze it in and then back date everything else.  Like Kerigan's 2nd birthday last Friday.  Yes, we still had a party, even though the house is getting boxed up and we are moving in a week.  Yes, I'm a little crazy.  But more on that coming soon...

(I found this online and it just spoke perfectly to our situation)

So.  This story needs to be told.  It is the story of how our house sold.  I think it is significant for so many reasons, but it's just another one of those stories that reminds you that we are not in charge, and that when you trust God, even in the difficult times, He still proves that He is there.

It started with Craig's new job, which you can read about here.  We knew the time had come to put our house on the market.  This house holds so many memories for me that it has been somewhat of a bittersweet feeling.  More on those memories also coming soon, but for now, let's suffice it to say that the selling of our home and buying a new home has been no easy road.

April 1st we put it on the market.  Craig's job began July 1, so our "plan" (Ha!  It's not our plan, is it?) was to be moved in and settled before then.  Have Kerigan's birthday party combined with a housewarming party in our new home.  Have the summer to settle in, find doctors and day care and meet neighbors, principal, and get acclimated to town.  The days kept dragging on, the showings kept happening, but we weren't getting any offers.  We lowered our price considerably just to compensate for the unfinished basement and lack of a 3 car garage which were our biggest strikes according to the feedback we received.

Meanwhile, perhaps too soon, we began looking for the perfect home for our family.  We were excited.  We fell into the hands of a very perfect realtor, who I like to think of as my "twin" as we have so much in common and she is also a former teacher.  She not only appreciated but she understood my list of "wants" in a house.  She knew which ones I'd like and which ones I wouldn't.  A match made in heaven!  We saw well over 25 houses.  It was funny because the very first one we saw, was the first time we had met our realtor.  We had the kids with us and we couldn't really concentrate very well.  I remember getting back in the car and crossing it off the list right away.  The main reason was because it had only 2 bedrooms upstairs and we needed 3.  There was a 3rd bedroom on the main level (not the master) and 2 more in the basement, but I just didn't think it fit our needs.  There were definite things I loved about it though...

So after another month of looking for the perfect house, we weren't finding much.  Building was out of the question because of the timing and the expense.  Andrew kept asking us about "that first house we saw."  He had loved it.  He and Kerigan had played and ran around in the finished basement and had a ball.  We kept brushing him off and telling him that we weren't getting that house and were looking at others.  But he was so persistent.  And we just weren't finding anything else.  And so one day on a whim, I asked to see the house again.  I just felt this push to go back and see it.  This time after having a closer relationship with our realtor and without the kids in tow.  When we walked in it for the second time, I knew we had come full circle and this was the house where we belonged.  I knew that if God meant for us to have the house, that Andrew would be okay sleeping on the main level and it would all work out.  So we made an offer.  And it was accepted with a counter offer we couldn't refuse and contingent on the sale of our current house.

So now the waiting game began.  We had a house ready to move into, we just needed to sell ours.  The sellers of our home gave us until June 1 to sell ours.  Time was ticking.  The question became, would they extend our offer another month, because June 1 was drawing near.

On the day of June 1, we had a showing.  It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon.  The kids and I went to Craig's brothers house to hang out while we waited, as we had done many times before.  Craig was at work.  Following the showing, we headed back home and I put Kerigan down for a nap.  I made lunch for Andrew (hence, "messing" up the perfectly tidy house I had created prior to the showing).   About 20 minutes later, I got a phone call from our realtor, asking if they could come back and look again.  The lady she was showing it to had sold her house unexpectedly fast, and she needed to find a house that day and she loved ours.  My heart almost leaped out of my chest as I panicked that Kerigan was still sleeping in her room.  Our realtor told us not to worry, and if Andrew and I could go outside they would only be a few minutes.
(I took this picture of her when she woke up that day.  And I love that she's wearing a rainbow lucky charms!  Totally not planned.)

So... our little good luck charm continued napping and Andrew rode his bike around the block a few times.  It felt very strange leaving my baby in the house without me, but I trusted our realtor and I just went with my gut.  Once they left, they headed straight back to her office to write an offer, exactly what we were asking.  I was ecstatic and couldn't believe it.  June 1.

So for about 2 weeks we happily began packing box after box and preparing to move.
We were going to be in before July 1 so Craig would have plenty of time to paint rooms and help us move and get organized.  Then the phone call came.  Our realtor.  Our sale had fallen through.  The lady's buyers buyers (if that makes sense) had lost financing, so everyone's house had to go back on the market.  Including our "meant to be" home I loved.  Everything became contingent on either us selling to someone else, or the same lady selling her house to someone else.  So now we not only had our showings to worry about, but hers too!

After one day back on the market, and one showing, we sold again.  I couldn't believe it.  It felt "too good to be true."  And it turns out that it was.  But for 2 more weeks, we went about packing more and more, taking our house apart, certain that we were really moving this time.
The call came again from our realtor.  This time, our current buyers had lost financing.  Can I just tell you how furious I was by this point?  How can this happen twice?!  And why are these people out making offers on houses they aren't qualified to buy?  I was beside myself.  And by this point our house was in no condition to go back on the market.  Imagine the countless boxes taking over the house, and all my decorations packed inside.  Not to mention my little "helpers" who conveniently leave a trail of destruction wherever they go!
(But mama, I always clean it up!  And in Cinderella's glass slippers to boot)

It now was just a house with walls, with no "personality."  I was devastated and sure it wouldn't sell again that easily.  I was also angry with all the weeks we had missed out on being on the market thinking we had sold, when it could have sold to someone reliable in the meantime.

Let me tell you, I had NO idea selling and buying a home was this hard.

When I let our realtor know that our house was going back on the market a second time, she complicated it more by telling me that there was a family who really wanted the house we had an offer on in our new town, that was just waiting to sell their house.  And they had just sold it.  I was pretty sure at this point that we were going to lose our house, since it had to go back on the market.  The house Andrew was so proud to say he "picked out" for our family.  I was in tears.  Reluctantly looking online again trying to find the perfect house when I knew it already existed and we were going to lose it.

So many times during this process I had to stop and think that whatever God wanted to happen was going to happen.  That if we lost our house, then it would be meant to be and something better would be there.  It was so hard to think that way.  But there were many nights of prayer when I was stressed to my breaking point.  I had nowhere else to turn but to the One who had the answer.

God answered when we learned that the family who wanted our house was on vacation for 10 days.  Most likely they weren't going to throw an offer in while they were on vacation.  So the 10 day wait began.  After about 8 days, we got word that the original lady who had wanted our house, had sold hers.  It was a miracle.  Everything had worked out according to His plan.

Craig has already started his job.  He's been commuting 45 minutes twice a day, which he is already used to doing, and he is relishing in the fact that he won't have to for much longer.  The timing didn't work out the way we had thought.  But when we learned our closing date was July 24, I just smiled.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know about that date.  It really is an update all in itself, but seeing as how I've already written a book I'll just say that July 24 is my mom and dad's wedding anniversary.  It is also the day my dad passed away, on their 32nd anniversary.  It is the same day that when I had just become pregnant with Andrew, we learned that the baby had no heart beat, and we thought we lost him.  Obviously we didn't, and someone was looking out for us.  I do believe that God and dad are working together up there.  And my dad did have the best sense of humor of anyone I ever knew.

So for those of you who have been wondering about our move... we close on July 24.  We are allowed early entry into the house this coming weekend to start moving our things in ahead of time.  This couldn't be worse timing for us... I had scheduled swimming lessons for Andrew this week, along with Kerigan's 2 year check up.  Not to mention Kerigan's birthday party last week and an out of town wedding this weekend.  Oh yeah, and I am cramming several doctor and dental appointments in for the kids and I before we move, and I found out I have 4 cavities after a 6 year hiatus from seeing the dentist.  They just said I was lucky it wasn't worse.  I just shook my head at the irony and we just keep packing.

July 24 is God's perfect timing.  And just another reason I know that this whole thing was meant to be.

I get it, God.  It's all about YOU.

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