And he removed from thence, and digged another well; and for that they strove not: and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
The Lord carefully orchestrates and orders the lives and steps of those who love Him and strive to serve Him completely. His timing truly is perfect and He has ways of preparing us for the next level and season. Jacob and I have seen this continually in our almost two years of marriage. In our quest for a house, He continually placed people in our path to help us and share their wisdom.
For most of this year we have been talking about and desiring a home of our own. Our little apartment had fulfilled its purpose by providing us with a place to live after we were married, but it seemed to grow smaller everyday. It was time for more room. My sewing business alone had caused us to outgrow the apartment.
Last July we began tentatively looking at houses. We never actually scheduled any viewings a realtor, we just looked at houses online and a drove by one or two of them. We were more than a little overwhelmed at the prices of most of the houses. We didn’t want the Taj Mahal, we just wanted a little starter home.
We discussed getting a larger apartment for the time being. We really needed the breathing room and more storage space. We contacted the apartment manager and she said just to let her know when we were ready and she would set everything up. We were going to have more room one way or another.
The very next day at church, Bro. Bobby (one of my husband’s mentors growing up) came to him and told him about a house that had become available to buy. Bro. Bobby buys houses, fixes them up and sells them. Jacob has helped him with a few houses before and had asked Bro. Bobby before we were married if he would keep a look out for us a house that we could buy cheaply and fix up.
We went with Bro. Bobby after church to look at the house and we liked it. It needed a lot of work to get it how we wanted it, but we were excited and went into it expecting to do a lot. After we looked at it, he encouraged us to get pre-approved for a loan, so that even if this house didn’t work out, we wouldn’t have to start from square one again.
It just so happens that we have a home mortgage manager in our church and he offered to help us through the process and handle everything for us. We decided to go with an FHA renovation loan since the house needed so much work.
And so the fun began! We started looking at flooring, paint, trim, you-name-it. We wanted something that looked like wood for the floor in most of the house and found some nice laminate that was just what we had in mind. I was finally going to get to paint my kitchen yellow and was thrilled because I’d found some antique-looking cast iron knobs and drawer pulls that looked just like my great-grandmother’s. Jacob was going to build me a clothesline in the backyard so I could start hanging out laundry again.
After we started the loan approval process and were approved, our mortgage company sent us a contract for the house. We read through it and were very confused by most of it. We didn’t know what options we needed or even what most of it meant. We were suddenly very overwhelmed.
Once again, the Lord provided the help we needed from another one of our church family. There is a lady in our church who is a realtor, in addition to buying houses, fixing them up and turning them into rental property with her husband. Jacob called her and asked if she could go through the contract with us and explain and show us what would best to do. She was happy to and was a great blessing to us. She further went on and offered to come look over the house with us. With she and her husband’s experience in buying houses, she had a good idea of what would and would not pass an inspection for the loan we were getting. Needless to say, we welcomed the help.
A few days later she went with us and looked at the house. After a lengthy inspection, she told us that she didn’t think the foundation would pass muster, as it was cracked, and that most banks will not approve financing for a house with a damaged foundation. We knew it was cracked, but had planned fixing it as part of the renovations. We didn’t realize it would have to be fixed beforehand. The individual we’d be buying the house from was not willing to repair before it was sold.
As we were leaving with slightly heavy hearts, she offered to take us by some property she and her husband owned that was almost ready to rent. She said that if we were interested, they would probably sell it to us. She went on to tell us some of the things they just done to the house, such as repairing the foundation and putting a brand new A/C unit in it.
We figured it couldn’t hurt to go look so we followed her to house. On the way there Jacob and I talked about that at least now we were pre-approved and could go house-shopping. We decided that the first house—although it was a disappointment—was the Lord giving us the nudge we needed to get everything started.
We arrived at the new house, walked in the front door and fell in love. Throughout the house were the original oak floors—they were gorgeous! We walked into the kitchen and were shocked by what we saw. They had just painted the walls yellow and the cabinets had the antique knobs and hinges that I’d wanted. Then, we looked out of the kitchen window into the nice-sized backyard and there stood a clothesline. Clotheslines are a rare find these days, especially in the city.
The living room was painted almost the exact color we’d picked out and many other details confirmed to us that this was going to be our home. Things that we had wanted to do in the first house were already completed in the second. We have stood back in awe at how the Lord has worked everything out for us.
We had to wait almost three months to begin closing as the house’s title needed to season, but we had that long to prepare and get the rest of the down payment together.
We love our new home! We have been in it almost a week and even though there are still boxes everywhere, it is already home to us. As I get more decorating done I’ll share pictures. The walls are pretty bare right now, as I was sick while we were moving and it is taking a little while to get my feet back under me.
Enjoying cooking the first meal in the new kitchen ;)Thanks to Jacob for the photo.
All things truly do work together for the good of those that love Him! (Romans 8:28)