Monday, August 24, 2009

Journey Through Home Buying

We are almost entirely unpacked from our move. Of course we still have lots of stuff stored at my parents'. They gladly bring a load of items everytime they visit. They'll enjoy the extra room!

During our house search, we put bids on several houses available through the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door program. We did not love any of these homes, but the program offers them at half-price to teachers. So, we would have gladly purchased one of them at a 50% discount. We did not win the lottery on any of these houses because there were a lot of people competing for this good deal.

We then looked at houses available through the general HUD listings and private sales. We found a couple HUD homes that we liked and put bids on them. On neither of these did we have the highest bid. We weren't really discouraged because although they were very nice houses at great prices, we didn't fall in love with them.

We then found a home in a short sale in a beautiful neighborhood. We really liked the floorplan and yard. We put a low-ball offer because we had heard that often great deals can be had on a short sale if you are willing to wait it out. So, we put our bid in and waited.

As we continued to look, we found the home that we loved, a foreclosure fresh out on the market. We had been looking in a price range for which we could afford a fifteen year mortgage. This one was a little out of that price range. We felt like this was the perfect house for us, and it was the one God wanted us to have. Writing our offer, I felt like God was telling me to just submit to Ryan and go with the amount he decided on. On a Friday, we put a bid a little higher than the list price and decided to go with a twenty year note.

On Monday we learned that the selling bank had received three offers after ours. Each bidder was asked to submit their highest and best offer. We increased our offer by a few hundred dollars. Again, I listened to Ryan and didn't give any input.

Several days passed, and we didn't hear anything. I fretted about whether our offer was high enough. Again, I felt like God was going to provide this home for us, and if so, our offer was good enough.

On Saturday morning, we got a call from our realtor. "Are you sitting down?" he inquired. Surprised, he told us that even though our offer wasn't the highest, the bank had chosen ours because we were using a conventional mortgage. Both he and the listing realtor had never seen a bank take a lesser offer. We believe that God works in unconventional ways to accomplish His purposes.

It is a great responsibility living in this home that God provided. Since He worked it out for us to be here, we need to use our home to serve Him by loving our neighbors and blessing others as they visit.

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