Thursday, May 14, 2015

Our Journey to Closing

It's official... 

We. SOLD. Our. HOUSE!!!! We closed! It's done! Finally!! Praise The Lord!!

That's why we spent the whole day in Covington on last Friday. =) We closed late Friday afternoon after a 10 month journey of countless ups and downs, high hopes and lost hope, disappointment and frustration, financial challenges and burdens, and watching God's provisions unfold DAILY. I know I've described the journey multiple times as a total crazy roller coaster and that's because it has been! Start to finish. Our faith was tested. Our budget was tested. Our marriage was tested. Our sanity was tested. It felt like a looonng journey and it was not easy. But the joy we experienced Friday afternoon sometime around 4:30 was all worth it. What a feeling after all the discouragement and waiting!!

So let's back up and recap. Because this journey and testimony of God's faithfulness needs to be shared and remembered.

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:17

Our journey to closing began last summer when Terrell was offered a new job and we made the decision to put our house on the market and to go ahead and move before it sold and before the school year started. Lots of factors contributed to our decision but the main one was Garrison being able to start Kindergarten here in Barnesville and remain in one place for the entire school year. We reeally wanted to avoid having him start the school year in Covington only to have to move him (and the rest of the house) mid-year. We also wanted to go ahead and move to avoid Terrell making an hour and a half commute twice a day every day OR him having to spend the night in Bville once or twice a week every week. We knew he would miss out on a lot with the longer commute/longer hours and longer time away. The other big factor was wanting our house empty while it was on the market. We of course thought our house was really nice and well decorated but we also knew it would show even better as an empty, blank canvas home. And we were right! Visiting our house once everything was moved out was refreshing. It felt newer and more spacious and inviting to anyone looking for a home like ours. Not to mention the fact that trying to keep a clean, clutter-free, "show ready" house while living in it would have been very difficult and stressful. 

Even though we experienced a financial burden because we moved before we sold, it was the right decision. God blessed our decision by providing just what we needed month to month. We still experienced challenges and fear and frustration, but we also knew we were where we were supposed to be. Our needs were met, Garrison was in school here where we'd always wanted him, Terrell had regular hours and was able to continue being a super involved dad, and our house was showing regularly without us having to clean it or figure out a way to leave at odd hours or experience the stress of that craziness. It really was for the best all the way around.

And, believe it or not, shortly after listing before we had actually moved out and without it ever being shown, an offer was put on the house. One that wasn't the best (we were upside down in our house by a bit) but that we decided to accept given the amount of money we knew we'd be spending month to month if we didn't sell quickly. Right away I was thrilled but also apprehensive. All along I'd been praying for a family to fall in love with our home and a family to love it as much as us and a family to be great neighbors to our sweet neighbors we were saying goodbye to... and this offer wasn't from a family, it was from investors. So while I was so excited about the potential of selling right away even though we'd have to bring a pretty penny to closing, I was also (in the back of my mind) questioning if this was part of God's plan. 

Well about 3 weeks later, after their inspection came back, they decided to get out of the contract. As investors they didn't want to have to spend money on repairs or future repairs due to the age of the house. 

So that was that. We were disappointed of course but also hopeful. We'd only been on the market a short time and had already had a contract offer. We got settled in Bville, struggled with living in "this old house", and kept praying.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

August and September arrived and our house began showing. A lot. We were so thankful and relieved to know there was lots of interest! Unfortunately we also discovered we were 2nd choice to 2 different buyers. So disappointing! We felt so close to an offer (and possible sell!) yet so far away. Finally, at the end of September a really good offer was made and we officially went back under contract. We were ecstatic!! The closing was scheduled right before Halloween and the thought of having our house sold before the holidays was just amazing! A burden had been lifted and it was such a gift to focus on a new "forever" home before the end of the year. This contract was an answered prayer and we really thought this was the one. 

Everything went smoothly with the inspection (we made some minor repairs) and we got the appraisal we needed and thought everything was a go right up until the week before we were supposed to close. Talk about disappointing! I wrote about it here and that pretty much sums it up. It was so discouraging to go through that but we also knew God had a plan. And we kept reminding ourselves this isn't terrible, devastating news. We are healthy. We have a home. Our needs are met. We are okay. 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair. 2 Corinthians 4:8

The waiting continued and we prayed hard for another buyer to come along and that we'd be able to sell the house before the end of the year despite the odds being against us. Real estate sales are slooooow during November, December, and January. Well, the house showed again in November and we were back under contract a week before Thanksgiving. Yay!! Ecstatic again! We just knew this was the one. It was what we'd prayed for and the timing felt like a miracle and we trusted God would work everything out with this buyer. We were scheduled to close New Year's Eve. Happy New Year to us! 

Only God had other plans still. Shortly after Christmas, we discovered we wouldn't be closing New Year's Eve after all. We were so bummed. Our 3rd contract to fall through. There were issues with the buyer's loan. There were issues with a low appraisal. There were issues that might prevent the deal from ever happening even though at first we thought the closing was just being delayed. Soo frustrating and discouraging.

My faith was tested big time during that stretch. Unfortunately I became like the Israelites wandering in the desert. Lots of complaining, moaning, and groaning. We were stuck in a rental house where the walls were closing in. We were overwhelmed with the burden of paying a mortgage, utilities, and maintenance of a house we no longer lived in. We were just discouraged. Finally, God closed the door on the possibility of that contract ever working out so we moved on. And we were at peace with moving on. Disappointed but holding on to our faith and ready for the family God had chosen for our house.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Shortly after moving on from our 3rd contract, another good offer came in and we went under contract once again. This time with a couple who would be purchasing our house as their 2nd home. Again, not exactly what I'd been praying for all along in a family, but knowing God's plans might be very different than we expected, we waited with anticipation for our closing date to arrive. In other words, we held our breath and prayed hard that this was the one.

Unfortunately, while we were under contract, we had an issue with the busted pipe from last Winter. We actually got the news the day of Layton's birthday party. I felt so defeated after that. Like we were doomed. The buyers eventually decided to get out of the contract. Not necessarily because of the issue with the pipe but because this would be their 2nd home and they didn't want the risk of future repairs. 

I don't know how to describe the way we felt after our 4th contract fell through. On the verge of panic? Over it? An emotional mess? Laughing at the craziness? Perfectly at peace? I think it was all of those at some point. 

After that 4th potential buyer walked away, we prayed for the specific family God wanted to buy our house. We prayed for the details. We prayed they would find our house soon. We prayed there would be NO issues or interference that would cause us not to sell to them. We prayed for every detail we could think of. We prayed for an ending to this chapter. 

But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. Jeremiah 17:7

Shortly after, God sent us the first family to be interested in our house. My father-in-law, our real estate agent, showed them the house multiple times before they made an offer and we went back under contract for the 5th time. 

Even though we were very nervous, we trusted that if this was the family, God would work out every single detail. And He did! The closing was postponed twice (three times if you count the time being pushed back the day of, ahhhhh!), BUT, the inspection went perfect, the sell of their house went smoothly, their loan approval process went great, we got an amazing appraisal on our house, everything fell into place. There are so many songs I could burst into right now just writing about this. Hymns of praise. Hymns of thanksgiving. All the hymns. =) 

Friday was such a special day. We saw God's faithfulness through to the very last document signed. It was amazing being back where we started our family and visiting people and places we loved while we lived there knowing we were done with this chapter. The burden was lifted once and for all. That made the whole day full of joy and excitement. Especially after we closed. 

For those of you who have known this story well and especially those who have lived this story with us, thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement. God has blessed us tremendously and we give Him the glory. We are thrilled to move on to new chapter and a new home and are trusting God's plans for us as we do so. =)

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

1 comment:

Lauren and Eddie said...

Congratulations! We are currently in our 16th month of being on the market. :( Hoping someone comes SOON!