Above and Beyond… to a House for Us!

by GfG on December 16, 2013 · 11 comments

How do I summarize the amazing gift God brought us in a house and the way in which He did it?

Paul and I have been looking for a house to buy since February.  I shared a prayer request back in March about it here (just FYI: three times, we went to make offers on houses and we were too late).

It has been heart wrenching and marriage testing.  It has been frustrating and hope stealing.  It has been ridiculous and eye opening.

We have never been house owners, since we lived in camp housing.  This job changed that.  House hunting is… well… it’s… difficult.

We learned a ton about our marriage, our relationship, about how we each view a house/home, and about the real estate options in this area.

It started out simple enough: find a house big enough for the eight of us, plus room to grow.

Ha!  It never stays that simple.  The mandatory list shrinks.  The wish list grows.  The over my dead body list multiplies.

It has been a roller coaster ride for me, involving tears and prayers.  Paul, well, he is much more easy going so it was more like a Sunday drive for him.   A long Sunday drive.

Honestly, after all of the heart to heart talks and the number crunching, I was left convinced that we would not find “the house”.  The one with over 2100 square feet, in the East Mountains, with four bedrooms, at least two bathrooms, with a living area and an area we could do school, and with a garage… and wish upon wish: a view.. all for about $180,000.

Nope.  I gave up that dream.

At one point, I let Paul look by himself because I just couldn’t look at the houses in that price range.  They made me cry.  Literally.

I started looking again… and… well… I found a house that practically screamed for me to come look at it.  Nope, it wasn’t in the price range.  Not even close.

Yet, there was something that shouted Brouse House.  So, I peeked in the windows.  Looked in the cellar.  Set up an appointment with our realtor.

As soon as I walked into a specific room… I screamed.  Literally.  (All homeschooling moms pick it out immediately!)

So… we put an offer on the house.  Our top dollar.  Our top dollar that was $45,000 less than the listing price.  They declined.  Imagine that.

I watched the listing like a hawk.  Every few days I would check to see if the house was still available.  I even showed it to Autumn when I went to California, saying, “I know I could be wrong, but I think this is our house.”

Naturally, she said, “You mean the one that turned down your offer?”

“Uh, yeah.  That one.”

I watched and waited.  My plan was that we would put in an offer again as soon as the first big snow came, since the house was sitting empty.  On the mountain.  Literally.

Three weeks after our offer was declined, the house dropped in price.  Again. (It had been dropping every month since it was first listed in the summer.)   Our realtor told us at church.

My eyes widened and I walked over to Paul.  Or ran.  Whatever.

We went and looked at the house again, but for the first time with all the kids.  They loved it.  I loved it.  Paul liked it lots.       ;-)

We prayed.  We talked.  We talked to my dad.

With the money from my mom & Papalou (sort an “inheritance” from my mama) and some (actually a very nice amount) wonderful gift money from my dad, our down payment was in the range that we could make an offer again.  (Honestly, my two dads made this possible!  So grateful for them.) And even increase it a tiny bit.

So we sent in our offer.  And a family photo.  Literally.

Yes, I’m serious.  I included a family photo with the offer we made on the house.  We went up only $5,000 and they came down double that.

I wept.  Literally.

I truly couldn’t believe it.  It’s a fantastic house.  No, it’s not new and it’s in need of some cosmetic help on the insdie, but the “bones” are great.  Take a gander.

House 1

House 2

Dining Room

Dining Room 2

Family Room 1

School Room 2

In all of our searching and studying for over ten months, we learned that when your budget it low, you have to choose: updated, acreage, or square footage.  We went with square footage.

One fantastic way I believe God saved this house for us is that it is a three bedroom, but there are three rooms that were not mentioned in the listing and don’t add to the square footage for the listing.  Two of those rooms we are converting to bedrooms, making it a five bedroom.  Granted, one of those will be tiny, but it will be all HB’s.          ;-)

On top of the wonderful and unique lay out and THREE bathrooms, He even gave me the view!  Not only does the amazing school room have it… (which you can’t see in any photos yet)

but so does my bedroom (via a private balcony!)!!

Master View

We were supposed to close on December 12.  Yes, two weeks before Christmas.  Yet, God blessed us with an amazing realtor and lender.  They worked late hours, got up early to come to a 7:30 am closing, and even called the vice-president of the title company to get us in the house last weekend so we could start doing some work, clean it, and get going.

They went above and beyond for us.

Last Saturday, friends came to help us clean the house so it would be move in ready.   Awesomeness!

Yesterday, friends helped us move.  Actually, friends moved us.

It was amazing and left me in tears at the end of the day.  Sure, moving is always tear producing, but usually because of stress.  My tears were due to the amazing generosity showered on us.

Not only did people load our entire house (including the garage that was half full) worth of furniture and boxes (and remember… eight of us… homeschooling materials for preK to graduation… and we’re Americans), but they unloaded it all and even placed each item in the color coded area.  People set up our beds, unpacked boxes, and set up rooms.

Young ladies and one mom (Hi, Nicole!) stayed behind and cleaned our rental while the new house was being filled.

Seriously.  Above and beyond.

It didn’t stop there.

Meals were provided.  Esther and Paul Louis were cared for all day (so I could focus on the delivery truck unloading).  Snacks were brought.  Decor was set up.  Living room was arranged.  China was placed.

Friends went above and beyond to help us move, yes.  It was awe inspiring!

They also helped us set up house a bit to feel at home our first night here.

I wept when they left because I was so overwhelmed at their loving generosity in serving us.

It didn’t stop there.

A friend who had just spent the entire day lugging our heavy stuff into a truck, out a truck, and up stairs, showed up bearing a practically new twin mattress.  The wife told him as he came home that she needed to get rid of a mattress.  He grinned and then told her about one of our mattresses that is falling apart.

They didn’t even call to ask.  They just loaded it and brought it.  They also brought a trundle bed, which is on our wish list!

AND…. the friend took a look at the spiral staircase and my desire for gates that match (one at the top and one at the bott0m).  He all casually says, “Oh, I can do that.”   He says he will get those gates made and set up for me by Christmas!

(I had a guy come look and give me an estimate for custom gates and he bid $650!  Eeeeeeek!!  I’m sure his work and price are the going rate, but that rate isn’t anywhere near my budget.)

The fact that God brought a kind and generous friend to provide this wish was tear producing.

It didn’t stop there.

Sometime in the evening, I noticed a light outside where there hadn’t been one before.  I walked to the window to see luminarias lining our parking area and our deck. My jaw dropped and the tears flowed again.   I was grinning and shouting, “Kids, come look!  Look what someone did for us!”

About an hour later, a knock on the door brought us a neighbor.  He introduced himself and his teen son and said, “We come empty handed, but we see that trailer full of items and we’d like to offer our help in unloading it.”

Seriously.

At bedtime, Paul mentioned that the wonderful couple that loaned us the trailer also gave us a Lowe’s gift card.

I just sat on the floor and wept.

It was just too much.

An above and beyond kind of day from start to finish.  For a house that is above and beyond what I ever thought we could buy.

I’m so stinkin’ grateful.

Thank you for those of you who prayed for this search.  God answered your prayers in a mighty way!

{I’ve promised a “tour” of the house to friends, so I’ll post it here too.  I need awhile to clear the boxes, but you’ll get a full [possibly silly again] tour!}

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