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The house that almost wasn’t, part 2

So last time, I left off with the acceptance that this house just wasn’t meant to be. I grieved a little bit but was able to pull myself together and move on. I also felt bad for being selfish, when here this family trying to sell the condo must have been just as crushed as we were, especially since they put a lot of time and money into making the necessary repairs for us. Our mindset became that something better just had to be out there for us and now just wasn’t the time for this to work out.

But then, Josh got a phone call.

Apparently, our real estate agent was just beside herself with what had happened. And of course, the deal fell through for her too and that’s her livelihood. So she spent days on the phone, online, talking to people in her office, just doing anything to find a solution to this problem. It turned out, one of her co-workers knew another mortgage broker at a different bank who was promoting a new type of loan that isn’t really well known by agents yet.

Basically, it’s the same as an FHA loan, only it’s conventional, not federal. We would still have to put 3.5% down but it would be accepted by this condo association and the perks were we would not have to pay PMI (mortgage insurance) so our payments would be lower too. I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe everything that happened after this was the plan for us all along.

Josh and I talked it over and I have to admit, part of me just wanted to say no. After the ordeal we had been through up until this point, I wasn’t sure I was ready to even attempt this whole process again. But we decided to try, on the condition that neither of us got excited about anything until we had the keys in our hands.

It was brutal.

We had to start all over again. We filed a contract extension with the sellers which was easy because they wanted this to work out as much as we did. Then we had to apply for a new loan, re-send all of our info that we had sent to the other bank, take online tests, print out certificates, get our tax information, bank statements and everything together. We signed, faxed, scanned and emailed so much that I was ready to just give them a blood sample and be done with it.

Also, the broker was a little wishy-washy with us, which did not inspire much confidence from me. They took forever to tell us whether or not we’d been accepted into the loan program (you can’t make more than a certain amount of money). Then we waited…waited…waited, faxed some more paperwork and then waited some more. Just when we thought they were calling to give us good news, it turns out they needed more things signed.

But finally, everything went through and we ordered another appraisal even though we had just done one a few weeks prior (and did not get refunded for it). Oh well, if it worked out it was worth it, right? We both had a good laugh over the fact that the two appraisers came up with different amounts, a difference of $7,000 I think! How does that happen?

We still didn’t get too excited until after the underwriter’s report came back — that is where we got caught up the last time.

Then we waited almost two more weeks to find out if we were even going to make it to closing. Just to give you a timeline, we first put an offer on this house in late April. We found out we “lost” it May 17th, we started the process again about a week later and then found out we were “probably” going to close in late June/early July. Really, a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things but to us it felt like an eternity, especially because we had to go through the process twice. But I have heard of people getting hung up much longer, even a year! So I am glad that didn’t happen to us.

Anyway, as soon as we found out everything was in order, we breathed a sigh of relief. Closing was FINALLY scheduled for July 1st and we had a final walk-through the night before. Everything looked great, all the repairs had been made so just one more sleep and it would be ours. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well that night.

We showed up to closing at 10 a.m. that Friday and it was so surreal. I was so anxious that I didn’t even eat breakfast, which is the opposite of how I usually am (I’m normally an emotional eater). Everyone who has ever bought a home that we know had warned us how grueling closing was, how much you’d have to sign (“Don’t use your right hand the day before,” Josh warned) and how everything you had to do up until that point was nothing in comparison.

Well, our experience was totally different. I only remember signing a few things and we were there less than an hour. Perhaps it’s because we had to go through the buying process twice or because we were just so happy to finally be getting this place that it didn’t seem that bad. And for all the wishy-washiness leading up to closing, the lawyer handling the deal had everything ready to go and sped right through it. Closing was definitely the easiest part of this ordeal.

We ended up not having to put as much money down as we originally thought and our mortgage payments ended up being less than we are paying for rent right now! Throw the condo maintenance fee on top of that and we only went up $30 a month total. If it hadn’t been for the original deal falling through, we could have been paying a lot more than that. It was hard to grasp at first, but it all ended up being worth it.

We walked out of there, got in the car and immediately updated our Facebook statuses to tell the world that we were officially homeowners!

For the past few weeks we have been gradually bringing stuff in, we’ve cleaned, painted, replaced a bunch of stuff. And you know what? That first condo we looked at (across the street from us now) is still for sale and we’ve heard the house flipper guy is mad and had to lower the price. Hmm…

We truly believe that we were meant to get this second condo and this second loan. Even though parts of the experience were very hurtful and frustrating, we made it through much better off. We both believe that God is in control of everything and was looking out for us the whole time. We had just recently starting giving to the capital campaign at our church even though we had very little wiggle room in our budget.

But finances are the one area of our lives where God says to test Him (Malachi 3:10). We have in the past and we did again. God has blessed us, not just through us finally getting the house or getting a lower mortgage payment but also blessings that have come from family and friends. I believe this came about because we stepped out in faith with our giving and because we (eventually) graciously accepted that the original deal was not going to work out and found contentment again. That should never be a motive in what we do, but I do believe it to be true.

I am just feeling so incredibly thankful and overwhelmed right now. As we move into our new home this weekend, I am confident we can look back on this whole experience and see that it has been an amazing ride. And this was just the beginning.