we're home!

Big news! We finally found a home that we love and we moved in over Father's Day weekend. (We haven't had Internet hooked up yet, which is why this is a bit late!) And of course, we've been a bit busy unpacking and getting a few projects taken care of so I haven't had much free time to sit down and update the blog. But the story of how we bought the house is such an incredible answer to prayer that I have to write it down so I don't forget it.

So the listing for the house popped up on a Monday afternoon. I remember sitting outside watching the boys play and checking the real estate apps *again* when I saw the listing added. There were no pictures yet but the description was good and the location was great. Around 10pm, photos of the house were added to the listing and I told Deric that I could buy the house sight unseen-- the layout of the house was just what I wanted. Our realtor set up a showing for that Wednesday (the seller blocked out showings for the first day) and we came to look at the house at 2:30pm. When we stepped out of the car, our realtor told us it was "highest and best offer by 7pm tonight". There were 11 showings of the house that day and by mid-afternoon, they'd already received a few offers over list price. My hopes were dashed because the house was already at the top of our budget--but it was listed well under comparable homes in the area, which is why there were so many offers already. We looked at the house and loved it, but I felt like there was no point even making an offer when we knew we wouldn't go over the list price. But Deric (thankfully) decided to make an offer and Deric wrote a letter to accompany the offer as well.

The seller had until 8pm the following day--Thursday--to choose an offer. Our realtor called us mid-morning and let us know our offer was rejected; we had submitted the lowest of six offers and of course, the seller had chosen the highest offer. Deric and I were both disappointed but for some reason, we both had a peace about it. I just kept praying that God would somehow work it out; after all, our offer was still good until that evening!

That night, we were reading books to the boys before bedtime when Deric's phone rang. It was 7:45pm. He jumped up and told me it was our realtor, then left the room to answer it. I tried to stay calm and finish reading the book--in soothing tones, get these boys to sleep quick!--and in about a minute or two, he came back in the room and said, "We got the house!" Y'all, I thought I was going to throw up. I quickly told him to tell me everything about the conversation and it was pretty straightforward. The financing for that highest offer had fallen through and the seller had liked our letter and decided to accept our offer. He didn't even go with the other higher offers! We put the boys to bed and went to the living room to go over every detail of Deric's conversation with the realtor and I tried to get myself to stop saying "This can't be true!" I texted my family and a few friends who had been praying with us for a house and I just couldn't get over the shock of it all.

Fast forward through inspection (great!), financing paperwork (smooth!) and we sat down at closing with the seller. He told us that he had accepted that first offer before reading our letter. After reading it, he said he wished he could have accepted our offer but of course couldn't go back on the other offer. And later when that buyer's financing fell through, he said he felt like God wanted him to choose our offer. We'd been praying for that same thing and all I can do, even now, is to thank the Lord for providing a home for us. Not just a house, but the first place we looked at that really felt like a home for our family. We hope to stay here for a long time and we pray consistently for God to show us how we can use our home to take care of others.

Three weeks in, the majority of boxes are unpacked (except for the room I'm currently sitting in!). The boys love having a playroom of their own (and I love that too, no more toys in the living room!) Deric's already learned how to cut screens for windows and we've made a few runs to the hardware store. We've met some neighbors and taken walks around the neighborhood. We discovered a greenway on the edge of the neighborhood that runs through most of the town. All in all, we are so grateful every day for this home and look forward to raising our family here! (House tour coming next!)

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