Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Its Official!

We closed!!!  As of Monday, April 1, 2013, we are the proud owners of another house!  This will be our new street.

It took the bank sixty days, yes 6-0, to get us the financing and they couldn't have made it much more painful than it was.

One issue is the fact that, on paper, we are moving from a large four-bedroom to a large four-bedroom. Shaun had to write a detailed explanation for that to convince them we are buying the house for our family's use and not as another investment property.  Here are some excerpts from that letter, which I found to be very touching:

The property on B Street is a magnificent property and an appreciable upgrade over the present property we own on N Street. B was formerly owned by Dr. C and is still referred to around town as the “C house”. It has been featured on the Victorian Home Tour and has recently been valued as high $450,000, which, given property values in W, lends credibility to the claim that it is one of the more desirable properties in town.

To fully understand our move it is imperative to understand our family and lifestyle. My wife and I have three biological children including a 3 year old son and daughters of 6 and 7 years of age. Additionally, we have a 10 year old foster son who has been placed with us since April of last year and will be with us for an indefinite period of time. The state has questioned us about our willingness to be a long term solution for him (adoption) which we have agreed we would be willing to do. He is still very much “in the system” and resolution to his situation is likely many years away. The state has also taken it upon themselves to regularly use us as respite care for his siblings and other children in the state system.

We also have an open door policy for friends and family at our house and entertain on a regular basis. Most holidays we have overnight house guests and it is not uncommon for 30 or so to grace us for holiday gatherings and meals. On any given night there are between 6 and 12 people staying in our home.

Our present home is a blessing and a beautiful house in its own right, but it does have some VERY glaring limitations. One of which is the lack of bedrooms. While 4 bedrooms may be more than enough in most homes, it is inadequate for our life style.

For example, this weekend we did respite care for a 16 year old girl. Regulations mandate that “therapuetic foster children” have their own bedroom. Each of the foster children gets a room, my wife and I share a room and my son ends up having to sleep with his sisters....less than ideal at this age, not possible in a few years.  The B property has 6 bedrooms with one easily dividable to make 7.

I live with my wife and 2 girls, who in the not too distant future will be teenagers. We have 1 1⁄2 baths. Family getting ready for school and Dad getting ready for work is quite the comedy circus. Add in house guests and respite children and we need a sign­up sheet for the one shower in our house. B has 3 1⁄2 baths. Imagine my health improvement with the lowered stress.

The N Street property desperately needs the front porch replaced. Given the chaos that is often our family, the thought of adding a major construction project while living on premises is virtually inconceivable.

Both my sons are athletic and love to play with any kind of ball. Our yard is not large enough to throw a baseball together...we have to walk to a park or the local high school to do that. N St. is a thru street with lots of traffic on a steep hill. A wayward ball outside our front yard rolls 5 blocks down the hill until it stops in traffic on Main St.

B is on a gorgeous huge double corner lot on a flat connecter street with nothing but residential traffic and the usable yard is about 10 times what we presently have. Last week we were there for an hour and not one car passed the house. Both boys have put in requests for the installation of full court basketball at B, lots of open flat yard for that with plenty to spare.

Those are the some of the quality of life improvements that will occur with our move to B, but there are a few additional features not found at N St. worth noting:

1) Three car detached garage with openers 
2) Central air conditioning 
3) Hot tub 
4) Semi ­ finished usable basement
5) Massive dining room for our entertaining 
6) Eat-­in kitchen with desk/homework area 
7) Screen and Storm windowed front porch

My wife and I are both very sentimental and the thought of moving from the house where all our children were born is very difficult and I am sure tears will be shed. However, we will retain N St. as a rental and be able to visit it during vacancies and perhaps we will have a family move in that we can be friends with and share the memories that do exist for us there.

When I told my wife that my realtor friend had asked me to go view a house on B with him she asked if it was the one with the beautiful landscaping and the stone columns framing the driveway with the screened in front porch and gorgeous yard. I said that it was. She replied, “Riley (our deceased labrador retriever) and I used to go by that house most days on our walks together, it was on our main route. I’ve always loved that house, can we go see it today?” How else could I respond? “Sure, we can go see it today.”

They asked for the craziest scraps of paper and information, stringing it out over the two months.  In a former life I was a Bank Officer and originated loans and Shaun has vast experience both as a tax preparer and buying, selling, refinancing property.  We consider ourselves to be fairly savvy with the process, and the mortgage company.....was not.

Shaun devoted hours and hours and hours to getting the application to go through and lost many nights of sleep.  He made suggestions and complied with the requests being made.  He laid down his pride in order to get the job done.

It was so frustrating and so not smooth that we both did some soul-searching, questioning if we had truly heard from God.  We didn't set out looking for a house, it came to us.  So why the pain and heartache getting the loan?  Were we trying to go through a door that wasn't open?  But we never pushed the mortgage company, just gave them what they asked for.

As recent as late last week we had both resigned ourselves to the fact that we might be staying in this house and we were both ok with that.  Better than ok...we were happy about it!

Though I didn't think it was possible, my respect and admiration for Shaun grew through the process.  He was ever patient, ever calm, always diligent and timely.  He remained polite but firm with the people involved.  To know what he went through, it would seem impossible that any human could do that.  He is truly remarkable.

And so, the twisting and turning of the path to this home seems to be over.  We went over as a family and prayed over it, dedicated it to God, asking Him to use the home for His glory and that lives would be affected because they'd walked through our doors.

Now begins lots of hard work!  If you are looking for us this spring/summer, you know where we'll be.  :)

AND...if you know someone looking to rent a gorgeous Victorian with "only" four bedrooms, its available!


LuAnn said...

Congratulations !!!!!

I am happy for your family and their new space inside the house and outside with the yard !!!

Blessings on all your future work on your new home.

Melody said...

YAY! Congrats to all of you!
What a sweet letter. I am now bawling in my office :)
Your family has such a gift of hospitality, and I, and many others, are so grateful for that.

The Bug said...

Yay! That's excellent.

LOVED the letter - but who are we kidding? All THREE boys want the basketball court :)

Ashley Beth said...

How exciting to be embarking on this new adventure as your ever-expanding family rallies together to be content wherever God places you. May this new home bring much joy and blessing upon you and yours!

Jackie@Our Moments, Our Memories said...

Lisa, congrats!!! I'm so glad this worked out for you. I noticed you had been pinning all kinds of new paint colors, and now I know why! You'll have to post pics sometime. :)

Meg A. said...

YAY!!! So glad that long process is behind you! That Shaun...such a way with words!

Amy Joy said...

Congratulations! SO thrilled for you all. Beautiful letter, Shaun!

Laurie said...

Congratulations Lisa!!! I am tickled at the thought that God knew in advance how He was going to bless you with a house that you have always admired... which is probably why you always admired it in the first place... because He was setting you up!!! Sooooooo cool!!

Stephanie said...

So exciting! It was fun to read this peek into the heart of your family. Your husband did a beautiful job of writing that out. Congratulations on the new home!

Elizabeth said...

Hurray! Congratulations on the new house. I'm sure it will house incredible new blessings each and every day. Enjoy that yard and quiet street!!

Michelle said...


Michelle said...