We’ve spent a good portion of the last 2 years trying to find a suitable house to buy. The first one we almost hitched our star to ended up having a leaky roof, a really leakyroof – patched several times type of deal – which we found out 2 months after we almost plunked down a bunch of money on lease/purchase to buy it. Found it also had broken sewer pipes and a layout that ultimately didn’t work for us. It was a great neighborhood and awesome backyard – except for the flies (from the broken pipe). Found a way to control the indoor flies by the huge tub - http://www.ortho.com/smg/goprod/ortho-home-defense-fly-bait-decal-for-windows-indoor-insect-control/prod11120009
Really cut down the fly population – only bad thing was that I found it about a month before our lease expired . The landlord decided to up the rent by $75 after the 1-year lease expired – even though they hadn’t fixed the roof the whole time we were there. That meant all our stuff was stored in the backyard shed or stayed in plastic containers in case we got snow or rain which would leak in the office, garage, kitchen, living room,. front room, fireplace, bookshelf, etc.
We prayed for patience, for guidance towards the right place for God to put obstacles in the way for any property that we weren’t meant to have and to clear that path for where He wanted us. We looked at mobilehomes in very rural areas with 40 acres of land and only snakes and cows for company. We checked out old (1935 and 1958) farmhouses with 10 acres of land that consisted of 1/3 dead trees, broken down fencing and non-working and collapsing outbuildings. We checked out houses that turned out to have dried up wells. We looked at rundown mobilehomes with a few acres that had chicken coops and greenhouses with them. We looked at metal sheds converted to houses with 16 acres of brush-filled land surrounded by more acres of fenced-in scrub. We considered a previously rented mobilehome on 5 acres that was dirt cheap as Seller wanted to break even as he was away in military and couldn’t manage the place any longer.
We were keeping list of houses on 806homes.com, zillow.com, realtor.com, trulia.com, and a Keller Williams phone app. We made a list of all the “must haves” but started to think we would have to settle for almost everything, or everything but in the wrong school area, or a property with a decent price but more land or housing than we currently needed. We started the application process in July and found out that they wouldn’t count 1/3 of husband’s income (his bonus) until he had 2 years on the job. So then we were counting the months and then days until the 2-year mark arrived. Until then we worked on paying off stuff to improve our credit scores. We began narrowing down our selection and we were still getting almost everything we wanted.
Then we found an adorable place, right area, everything we wanted but our financing wasn’t ready and it sold in a week. Our spirits were crushed and we were back to “well there’s this one or this one”. We found a lovely home with almost the acreage we wanted, in the right town and school area and thought we’d make an offer. It was located on a quiet country road that dead-ended, out of city limits. Even took our visiting son to drive by to see it in September, sure that it would be ours soon. Scheduled a viewing and loved the place. Then found out the fireplace was capped and didn’t actually work and that even though it had 1800 square feet, an add-on breakfast nook,, workshop and detached garage, it was actually a manufactured home/mobilehome in good shape . The payments would be great but the credit scores had to be even higher than brick and mortar home, higher than we could get them in order to buy this cute little place. Found out age was 20 years old and almost past what the lenders would loan against – so basically impossible to get a loan. We were basically back to square one. The metal home was marked ‘pending”, the 5-acre rundown mobilehome was still available but mobilehomes were off the lender’s table and there were more expensive places, with more land than we could handle, that were $75,000 more than we budgeted. The mortgage payment was do-able but the down payment would be more than we had. While lenders often loan for mortgages at 5.5x salary, we were hoping to keep it under 2xsalary.
We saw a listing for a place near that 5-acre rundown mobilehome that happaned to have the size land we wanted, the size house we needed so I could work at home from my own space, the basement to hide from storms if needed, the fireplace, the barn and animal shelter, space for fostering rescues, space for a wood workshop, room for garden, room for a pool and a trampoline, wood floors, nice kitchen and it was just a smidge over our price range (but under the amount for which we had loan approval). We drove by and the whole family voted that it was okay and maybe we’d ask for a showing. We did schedule a showing and every agreed that the house was okay. We hemmed, hawed and debated about it for 2 days. But we made an offer and held our breath and it was countered but acceptable and we kept pinching ourselves all the way until escrow closed. Shortly after we made the offer, I took in 12 rescues in the same week – a mama and 3 pups that need a temporary place while waiting for transportation to Colorado and another mama and 7 pups who were too beatiful to be euthanized. We really needed to be in the new place!
The Seller stayed there an extra 10 days and then we began taking our things over after Christmas – slept there for New Year’s and moved even more over. Seller still has things in the barn and storage shed. Our freezer is defrosted. Rachel’s bed is moved, the loveseat is moved, one set of table and chairs is there and the lawn chairs and canopy are there. The 16 boxes of crafts from under the bed and all the coats and crafts in the front closet are there. The sondude flies here this week to help move the big stuff so that it’s not all on Rachel and Carl (my asthma keeps me out of the pic for big items – I pack and direct, unpack and sort.) The storage sheds are almost emptied and scheduled to be removed this week. TV is moved, internet and phone were not available at the company providing 200 mbps speed but a company that is a co-op for rural places that will have phone and 25 mbps speed (same speed as office is using so I’ve been spoiled). We are still amazed at God’s faithfulness – he said to test him and try him to prove it and we did. We were willing to take less than we wanted and he said no, let me show you what I can do
God put us in a place that was newer than what we thought we could get, under what the loan company said we could afford and not only that, it had everything on our “must have” list that we’d given up getting. (These are the listing photos, we were offered the donkey and horse but they moved down the street as we aren’t prepared for livestock yet).
Front of house and back view
Shots of the back pastures (split in half by fencing in middle)
Barn, chicken coop, storage shed and backyard (not our trampolines)
Sara’s bedroom, shared bathroom and what will become office/craftroom
Rachel’s bedroom with her own bathroom
Master bedroom and bathroom
Laundryroom off garage and kitchen – basement
Living room with door leading to basement
Dining room and entryway