Moving on.....Down

I've been MIA the past couple of months. We've been in the throes of packing, moving, and unpacking.

In case you are interested, here's our house story:

About two years ago we started going through the Dave Ramsey videos at church. What Dave said really resonated with us - it made so much sense. After a few months, we decided we wanted to downsize our house. We felt confident that's what we were supposed to do so we put our house on the market and started looking! It didn't take us long to find about 3 acres about 4 exits down the highway. It had an adorable little 1930s house on it that had so much charm. Unfortunately, after we spent $400 on an inspection and found out almost nothing had been updated in the past 70 years, we had to walk away from that house (and those 3 perfectly level acres). We quickly found another house we loved....but it didn't have internet access which is crucial since my hubby is an IT guy. Then we found 3 pretty acres that we could build on. Unfortunately, there were so many easements and things on that property that our agent's broker said they couldn't represent us. So we had to walk away from that, too. In the meantime, our house was having lots of showings, but nothing was happening. At the end of our contract we decided to throw in the towel. We were pretty bummed and very, very puzzled. We really felt like God had been leading us to sell, so we couldn't figure out why it hadn't worked out. I was totally exhausted by the whole thing and declared my opposition to even thinking about moving again. Every now and then I would think about the whole thing and try and figure out why things ended up the way they did and I couldn't figure it out.

In February, my hubby and I both felt a strong leading to sell the house. I was nervous that we were setting ourselves up for failure, again, so I started praying...and praying...and praying. It came to me one day that the reason things hadn't worked out last time was because Ben and I weren't really sold out to the idea. We had all these ideas of what we wanted, what area we would move to, etc, etc. We hadn't fully given it over to God.

So we started to pray and gave it all over to him. We told him we'd even move to another state, if that's what he wanted. We also planned on simply renting so that we wouldn't get ourselves in trouble by buying the wrong thing. In the meantime, we had a few showings. Not many though. Finally, we had one lady who viewed the house and let us know she was trying to decide between our house and building a new house by the same builder. We let a few days pass and then we decided to pursue her instead of waiting for her to decide. We knew from experience that building a house gets expensive, fast! EVERY. LITTLE. THING you want is an upgrade and you pay dearly for it. Our house already has all the upgrades and then some. We were confident she wouldn't be able to build a comparable house for anywhere near what we were asking. I guess she agreed because before we knew it we had a contract!

Things started to move quickly on the sale and we were really feeling good about it. Unfortunately, we were having a very difficult time finding a rental! We hit brick wall after brick wall. Our agent suggested we start contacting homeowners whose homes weren't selling and ask them if they would be willing to rent. That's what got us started at looking at homes for sale. We kicked around the idea of buying a very cheap home, living in it until we found where we were supposed to be, and then renting it out. We then found an adorable little home in a historical neighborhood. We put a contract down on it with the idea that we could live there and then rent it as a vacation home in the future. That didn't work out - they decided to sell the house to a guy who had tried to buy the house 3 months earlier but couldn't get financing at that time, but still really wanted it. We were really, really disappointed and getting a bit frantic about where we were going to move to!

We looked at several homes to buy and none of them felt right. Ben found one about 20 minutes from us, but the pictures didn't excite me at all. Plus, it wasn't in the area we were looking in so I mentally crossed that one off. He was pretty gung-ho, though so I decided it was only fair to give it a chance. We went and looked at it and we both fell in love! The house is about half the size of our current home, but in great condition and on seven awesome acres! While it puts us 30 minutes from church, it is close to Ben's office and about half and hour closer to my mom!

The inside of the house is completely redone. Awesome, new kitchen cabinets, refinished hardwood floors all throughout the house, tall baseboards, new windows, new appliances, big enough to fit all the things we needed and then some, plus it is almost 100k less than our current house; it's actually feasible for us to pay this house off in ten years. Awesome.

We submitted an offer and was accepted without problem. We even asked if we could take early possession of the house so we could avoid a double move. No problem! Awesome. We had the home inspected and only a few big things came up and several minor things. The seller was willing to work with us on what needed to be done. The only hitch was that we had to wait a day and a half longer to take possession. Not too bad. We had a lot of help moving and while it was a major pain, we were successfully moved out on the day of closing and sold the house without a hitch.

Closing on this house was a problem, though. Turns out the seller had switched the title over to his girlfriend, and then switched it back within the past month. Since we were trying for an FHA loan, that was a problem because those lenders view a title transfer like that as a flip and they don't give loans in those situations. Our finance guy had to work to find an FHA lender that would work with us, but he found someone. Except that they required another appraisal. That appraisal came back for well under what we were trying to get a loan for. And, the appraiser said that us living in the house was a big no-no for FHA loans. Crud.

Our only recourse was to try and get a conventional loan. There were a few snags there, too, and at one point, we were seriously thinking that this was not going to work out and we were going to have to move again. We even started looking at apartments in the area, just in case. We kept praying and telling God that we would do whatever he wanted us to do. Well, those issues were resolved and we were told that we would close today. Talk about excited.

Until Ben logged into our account to see that the original earnest money check (that we'd sent off and the title company said they'd never received) had in fact been cashed. Obviously we wanted to figure out what had happened there so that we could find out who had cashed our check - if it was the title company then we wanted to be sure the documents showed that we owed that much less in our down payment. Turns out the check had been lost in the mail and just got to them and they cashed it not realizing that they'd already cashed our second check. No big deal. However...the title company had failed to contact the sellers about us closing today so they had to scramble to get their check and pull together a few last minute things. We found out about two house beforehand that, yes, everything was in order and we could finally close. Whew. After alll that, we went in, signed papers for a whopping twenty minutes, and the house was ours! Finally!

Boy does God have a sense of humor! He really loves to stretch things out sometimes just so we are reminded who's really in charge and who can get over and around any and every hurdle that's thrown our way!

So now, here we are, in OUR house. We are very excited to be on the path to true financial freedom and can't wait to see what other adventures God has in store for us!


  1. And some of us will be needing your new address =)

  2. Look at that gravitar... Bob-Bob was about 1 month old!

  3. I know, you are short 2 kids! :)


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