Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Millers Pursue the Impossible

This week has been an emotional roller coaster.  (The part about me locking my keys in the car while it was running is a story for a different time...)

We decided to start moving in the direction of purchasing our first home.  As I'm thinking about it, I'm not really sure why we started this early.  We had always agreed on and talked about doing it later in the spring, even into the summer.  The lease on our apartment isn't up until the end of October, so we've got plenty of time.  But something made us both go, "Now.  We need to do this now."  And anyone who spends any amount of time with us knows that when one of us feels like we need to do something RIGHT NOW, even if it doesn't make sense, we do it.

So we met with a mortgage broker on Monday.  Without going into too much personal detail, there may be an issue with our ability to get financing right now.  A lot of this has to do with my being self-employed, which lenders often think of as "risky," despite the fact that we think of it as "awesome."  There are other issues that could impact that, but we are working with several different folks to figure out what our options are.  So that was a bit stressful.

And then...never to be deterred, we met with a realtor on Friday.  One thing I love about Adam and I is that we talk about everything to death, but when we are ready to execute a plan, we are ready!  We looked at 6 houses in 6 hours.  It was overwhelming.  We had an ice storm the night before, so it wasn't the best conditions to be driving around and looking at homes.  Many of the homes that we are looking at have land and out buildings (which Adam mistakenly calls "outhouses"), so we basically just traipsed around outside for 6 hours.  All of the houses were nice.  They were very nice.  But they weren't for us.

Except for the fourth house.  Oh, the fourth house...

A client of mine is currently looking for a new house, and she had repeatedly said, "Houses will speak to you.  You just have to listen."  Since we've never looked at anything bigger than an apartment, I thought it was as good of advice as any.

This house almost brought me to my knees.

We walked into the kitchen from the porch and the smell hit me.  It was comforting and something that I had longed for for the last five years.  We moved into the dining room.  Adam was leading, with his back to me.  The realtor was behind me, still in the kitchen.  I kept gulping the air, just hoping that the smell wouldn't go away, trying to make it a part of me.  And then I started crying.  Sobbing.  Big, heavy, wracking sobs.  The house smelled like my grandma's old house.  Old wood.  Old house.  My grandma.

Adam turned around and was, obviously, very concerned that his wife was now crying hysterically, almost out of control crying, in this house.  I told him what was going on, and we kept looking around the house, while I cried.  I was able to finally get myself somewhat under control, but I still cried quietly through the whole house.  Our poor realtor kept looking at Adam with the shifty eyes, and Adam kept saying, "She's okay.  She likes the house.  She really likes the house."

We went downstairs into the creepy cellar basement, and our realtor (who used to be a home builder) was pointing out several features in the basement.  There are a lot of things about buying a house that probably should be important to me, but aren't.  Because, honestly, I was going to fight like hell to buy this house simply based on the fact that it smelled like my grandma's old house.  It could have been falling down around us (don't worry, it's not)--I'm not sure that I would have heard anything the realtor said.  But, anyway, back to the basement.  The realtor pointed out this weird wooden tunnel thing that came into the basement from up above--a laundry chute!  Wanna guess who used to have a laundry chute that I thought was the coolest thing ever when I was kid?  My grandma!

And did I mention that the curtains in the dining room are the same curtains that we had in our living room when I was a kid, except ours were blue and these were cream?  And the ones that we had used to belong to (you guessed it!) my grandma!

I couldn't talk to Adam until later about it, but my experience in this house caught me off guard for one major reason.  Since my grandma died three weeks ago, I've really struggled with not being able to feel her spirit.  I'm not necessarily sure that I'm entitled to that, but I think I definitely expected it the instant that she died.  And it didn't come.  And I just miss her so much sometimes, and I was so astounded to find her all over this house.  (And in the aisle of Easter supplies at the grocery store last weekend.  My apologies to the nice people around me trying to buy their groceries around the Crying Lady...)

So, right now, Adam and I are going to pursue this house until someone else takes it away from us.  It may take us up to 2 months to get the whole financing thing squared away.  The house has only been on the market for something like 25 days, so we are definitely working under a time crunch.  We are praying constantly about this.  And I mean constantly.  The kind of prayer where you finish up and start right back in again.  Please join us if you feel so inclined.  

There are so many reasons this is impossible:
 1.  As of this second, we don't have a loan.  We're not sure how long or what it will take for us to be able to get one.
2.  This is an amazing house and anyone who sees it (in our opinion) will want to snatch it up.
3.  The house is a bit pricey for us.  It's in our range, but it'll be a stretch and a sacrifice.
4.  This house is huge.  We don't know anything about owning a home.

But here's where things get cool.  NOTHING is impossible with God.  NOTHING! 

I love Matthew 21:21-22:

 So, surely, if we have the power to tell the mountains to throw themselves into the sea, we have the power to claim this house as OURS.

And so we have.  

Stay tuned...


  1. Your blog has moved me to tears. For many reasons, but mainly because I want you to have the house that feels like home to you. I remember that feeling when we bought our first "fixer upper" of walking in and thinking "this is it." I remember having issues in the basement and not really caring. I also know too well about special people leaving us and feeling the presence of their spirit. Every now and then I open my mother's antique book shelf with the big, heavy glass, oak framed doors and just take a whiff. Or open one of her books and smell the pages.

    I wondered about your "self employed" status and how the lenders would view that. We had the same issue to overcome with our first house. I would call that a hill, maybe not a mountain. I will pray that the right lender is put in your path. Surely they will see what amazing, responsible, tenacious, hard working people you are! Oh and also the fact that you are quite established in your field.

    I will pray like crazy for all your mountains & hills to be moved.

    Love, Cathy

    P.S. I too had a laundry chute growing up. Coolest thing ever!

  2. Oh Cathy,

    Thank you so much for your kind words, prayers, and joining us on this journey! Can I just tell you how much I LOVE our realtor?! What a relaxed and reassuring guy! He just keeps saying, "Don't worry about it. This won't be an issue," in regard to the whole financing/self-employed thing, so we are staying hopeful and confident. And if the lenders ever ask for a character reference, I'm definitely coming to you!