Thursday, April 26, 2018

H - O - M - E - O - W - N - E - R !!!

Praise God, today I closed on a little 63 year old fixer upper dream (to me) home! It's a 1955 Bungalow on 1/2 acre in Pinellas Park, FL. It's 1750 sq ft (including nearly 500 sq ft of a somewhat finished attic conversion). It also has an 850 sq ft workshop / garage. Basically it has all the ingredients for all my needs. Of all the 30+ homes I visited this was the only 1 that my heart leaped at. As my awesome Real Estate Agent, Debbie Schmidt, said, "Your heart finds the home then after that it becomes a business decision." I loved that gold nugget of advice!

This has been a wonderful learning experience and spiritual journey. Every time I prayed about this house God kept telling me to keep moving fwd regardless of any legitimate concerns. I've been at total peace about whatever happens. If I get it - GREAT! If I don't - GREAT! I personally loved the house. I personally wanted the house. But more than any of that I want to be wherever God is at... even if that's without the house... or in the house with termites... or whatever =). It has been such an awesome journey. I'd move fwd then come to a stop sign. I would pray about it and God would say, "It's only a STOP sign. It isn't a ROAD CLOSED sign. Stop at the STOP signs, acquire knowledge and wisdom, seek wise counsel, inquire of Me, use discernment, wait for the traffic to clear, then proceed fwd." It has been such a wonderful spiritual journey. Each STOP sign ended up reducing the price more and getting needed things done or scheduled. I started to like the STOP signs hahaha!!

In the end, after a few series of negotiations, I got the house for $224k. It's surrounded by a new housing development of $400k homes. Everything about it says wise investment to me. And the feedback that I've received from experts was unanimously and overwhelmingly affirming. This appears to be a wise investment. I think Chip & Joanna Gaines as well as Dave Ramsey would give me 2 thumbs up on it =)

I've made a very humble salary for many years so it looked like I was going to need my Dad & Mom as a co-signer in order to qualify for anything larger than a refrigerator box. My parents didn't hesitate when I talked to them about it, but I didn't want to go that route and expose them to any kind of risk. And at 47 years old I really wanted to take on this responsibility without a co-signer. I have a humble salary, but I have very few bills. Thankfully, in the end my AMAZING Lenders - Adam & Heather Zima of Champions Mortgage (BEST Lenders EVER!!) - worked and worked and worked with me so that I could qualify for this loan on my own. I've known them for many years and I was beyond blessed to work with them on a professional level. I can't begin to explain how great they are at what they do. They literally make dreams come true!

I have so many people to thank who have patiently taught me so much about the complex process of buying a house... the single largest purchase in most people's life. I especially want to thank my brilliant cousin, Dana Ward, who coached me through the whole process and helped save me thousands of dollars (as well as a few mistakes).

From the moment I received the news 6 months ago that I had to move from my current location I was filled with an inner confidence and anticipation that this was a God thing. I was eager for this challenge. I wanted this fight. I wanted to contend against all the hurdles that were in front of me as well as overcome past personal limitations such as a small history of hasty decisions, reluctance to ask for wise counsel, a tendency to lose balance by becoming too absorbed with the mission (I never missed a workout or a Sabbath with my mom or strayed from my nutrition plan or overworked or turned down an opportunity to take my Dad to the Dr's). This journey was so much more than buying a house. It was a hundred different challenges within the time consuming process of finding a home. I wanted all of these challenges... every last one of them... and if the closing fell through today I was ready to rejoice for the next round in this heavyweight fight and return back to the drawing board. But, glory to God, it appears that I will be heading on to the next phase of this awesome contest... the renovations!!

Thank you to my friends and family who have cared and asked about and prayed for this home search and me! I'm forever grateful!!

Now it's time to get on to the renovations!! I'm eager for the next contenders, obstacles, and battles!! I simply love to contend =)


"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." - Psalm 127:1

"Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." - Psalm 84:10