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House-Hunting: Could this be THE house?

Last week, I left you hanging after we’d been house-hunting for six months and were getting kind of tired of hearing the question “Have you found a house yet?” We were also becoming a little lax in our finances because we didn’t have a big goal to work for. So, we sat down and had a Money Meeting to make new financial goals for the following year.

One of the things we talked about seriously at that Money Meeting was “How long are we willing to wait to buy a house?” Meaning, is there some point in looking for a home when we’d feel like it was time to lower our standards and just go ahead and get the best house we could find in our price range at that time instead of waiting it out for something better?

Our reason for contemplating this was because we’d looked at two different houses that week which were both in our price range and in an area we liked. But both of the houses were far from ideal. There were so many issues with both of them that we didn’t like and they’d both need some pretty extensive work before we moved in. We wondered if this was going to be as good as it got. They were adequate and we could make them work, but we certainly didn’t like either of them.

Maybe we were being too particular? Maybe we just weren’t going to find what we were looking for in the price range we’d set?  We really wanted to get a house we both loved, but were we being unrealistic? Perhaps we should just settle for something less-than-ideal, even if both of us really didn’t like it. After all, we’ve rented plenty of less-than-ideal places before and been perfectly content!

At the same time, we both didn’t want to fork over pretty much our entire savings account for something neither of us really liked. Something just didn’t seem right about that!

So we both agreed that we’d wait it out another six months and then re-evaluate how things were going. We also prayed together — for the umpteenth time! — that God would give us specific and clear wisdom and direction in this process.

Less than two days later, a house went on the market which met a lot of our criteria. It was in our price range and in an area we really liked, it had three bedrooms on the main floor and a master bathroom.

The bizarre thing was that there were no pictures posted online. We’d never looked at a house that hadn’t had pictures posted online, but for some reason this one caught our eye. And in a very uncharacteristic mode, we went and drove to the house to check it out. And as soon as we saw it, we both almost squealed: it was beautiful.

Surely there’d been some mistake. A house this beautiful couldn’t actually be in our price range.

So we figured there must be a reason there were no pictures online. It must have been gutted on the inside or something. But we still both just had to wonder if maybe this was THE house? However, we had no idea what the inside looked like nor did we have a clue whether the kitchen was anything decent so we tried our best not to get our hopes up until we’d actually seen it.

They weren’t allowing showings for a whole entire week because they were painting the inside. So what else was there to do but wait?

Never before in the house-hunting process had I felt like I was on pins-and-needles, but that whole week, I couldn’t seem to focus on anything else. I was terribly anxious to get to go inside the house, or see pictures or something. It was an excruciatingly long week.

Finally, the day arrived. I tried hard to prepare myself for the worst as I didn’t want to have my hopes dashed.

However, I could have hardly prepared myself for what the inside of the house looked like. In fact, I almost felt like crying: it was utterly gorgeous.

And then I walked into the kitchen. And I, who am usually terribly composed and rarely get dramatic about anything, had to suppress a squeal. The kitchen was amazing, just amazing.

The whole house was absolutely perfect. Everything we’d said were essentials, everything we’d hoped it might possibly have, all the little things that we’d always thought would really nice to have, but never expected we’d actually find in a house in our price range — this house had it all.

It felt like a dream and I was about ready to burst with excitement.

But of course, we had a few more hurdles to cross… so I tried my best to contain my excitement before it was really real.

To be continued next week… (I was hoping I could finish the story in one post, but alas, there’s too much to write!)

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  • Carol says:

    Can’t wait to read the rest of the story! This is exciting! If this is it good luck and I’ll pray for you too.

  • Prathee Selvam says:

    Was up to read this story!! Thanks so much. I can see how you felt when you see the house at first.

  • Julie says:

    your great at leaving us hanging! 😉

    would love to see a pic, but know there are protections you must take.

    so glad for you…God is so good. amazingly enough He even cares about what house we live in. He gives us those little graces that He doesn’t have to, but does to hear the squeals of delight as we delight in Him and all He has done for us!

  • kris says:

    What a cliffhanger! I was all ready to read about your new house if in fact it is yours. Praying for your family…

  • Jodi says:

    God always has a plan! Congrats! We had a similar situation with our new house…of course we didn’t but 100% down, but that was before I found this wonderful blog. Thanks for all your hard work. Your blog is very encouraging.

  • Angela says:

    pictures…we want pictures!!

  • Liza says:

    lol.. I was totally expecting a pic of your new house not a cliffhanger hahah.. god bless… I am hoping someday I can also found my dream house…=)

  • Congratulations on buying your house! Can’t wait to find out the rest of the story!

  • Heather Tenney says:

    I love it! God did the same thing to us six years ago. We had an inheritance from my grandmother with the stipulation that it had to be spent on a house. We looked and looked. I was pregnant and every time we thought we’d found a good enough place, we’d pray and make an offer. Every time something fell through. One day we stumbled upon a house online with no photos, but just around the corner from church. It wasn’t on the market yet. The day we got an offer on our home, it went online. We can’t believe this house–everything we ever dreamed of and then some!! Over and over again, God has blessed us in this house. He’s so amazing!

  • Lisa K says:

    We just got our first house 6 months ago. We prayed and tried to be patient and we almost jumped on a couple of houses (like the ones you were talking about) for the sake of just getting a house as the market started to go back up a bit in our area… but then God intervened in a way that echoes your story! 🙂 It was exactly what we needed at the right time and was less than expected, but far nicer than what we had seen till then! We knew that was the one and it easily went through for us.

  • We felt the EXACT same way when we found our house. It had all of the criteria that we wanted and was far and away much better than all we had seen before.

    I remember when you listed your criteria for looking at a house and you said you weren’t looking at ones without pictures. And lots of people in the comments tried to change your mind. Aren’t you glad you looked???

    Can’t wait to see pictures – especially the kitchen!

  • Letty says:

    I am also hoping you could post a picture of the kitchen! That was the most important room in our house-hunting as well- and I was so excited when I saw (our) kitchen- it was my dream kitchen! (in our price range- anyway!)

  • Helen says:

    Wow, I really needed to read your story….what a wonderful God we serve.

  • teresa says:

    what a cliff-hanger. =) looking forward to more of your testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision.

  • Danette says:

    And you did the post without pictures! Gah! Perhaps you want to put your readers through the week without knowing what it looked like since you had to? Can’t wait for the rest of the story – and hopefully a picture or two. I’d LOVE to see your kitchen!

  • Rebecca says:

    I just began reading your blog, and I see this totally being God moving on the scene because of your faith in His provision! I love your series “Saving 100% Down for our First Home”. Just reading part 1 convinced me that this was possible because you prayed through it all!
    What a lovely testimony this is to our Lord’s unfailing care for His children! God bless you!

  • Kellee says:

    Ahhhh!! I want to know!!! Sounds soo great

  • kristen says:

    So glad you got your house! We fell in love with a house as well, which was beyond our wildest dreams. And while we weren’t paying cash we have a very large down payment and felt confident with our bid. Unfortunately we did not get it, and are a little heartbroken. We are trusting that another one will come along but it’s hard not compare everything to ‘that’ house!

  • Ott, A says:

    On another note, I just blogged about my one and only freezer meal and linked up to you Baking Day linky party. A friend of mine told me about it so I was happy to participate in your party. thanks for hosting and I look forward to the next make ahead meal day in August.

  • I am sooo excited for you Crystal! The house sounds awesome!

  • Oh, my excitement is building as I read this!

  • Kimberly says:

    People told me when we were house hunting 5 years ago that when you find “THE” house, you know! I remember walking through the doors of my house for the first time. We were in the neighborhood because I had found a few houses online. We went in all those and none felt like the right place. And then we found our house. I actually got goosebumps as I walked in! It was in our price range and when we made our offer, we found out that the price listed online had been entered incorrectly by the webmaster. The company ended up having to honor that price, so it was like we had a huge coupon!! ha ha.
    I knew God had led us to this home, because I realized that our street name was a book in the Bible…and the house number matched a verse in that book that totally represented how my husband and I feel about raising our family! We keep a Bible open to that verse on top of our entertainment center!

    Can’t wait to hear how your story ends up!

  • christina says:

    This is an encouraging post. I feel that I am doing everything “right” to the best of my ability, yet sometimes feel undeserving to ASK for what I really want. I’m struggling with this in my work life right now, but after reading this I had a new approach to talking with God about what kind of job I want & have faith that he will help me find it.

  • Susan J says:

    So exciting! And you’d “better” give us some pictures, Girl! =)

  • heidi w. says:

    I’m so excited for you Crystal! We move into our dream home today in 4 hours! I can’t wait to see pictures!

  • Amanda says:

    Ah, you are too good at cliffhangers! I am dying to see pictures! This is too exciting. 🙂

  • Anna says:

    Crystal, I got goosebumps reading your post because it is so similar to my family’s story!

  • Jenny says:

    I’m with everyone else – we need pictures! At least of the amazing kitchen 🙂 Congrats!!

  • Tammy says:

    How times have changed.16 years ago we bought our first house.There was no internet therefore no pictures online etcc….

    Have fun moving and decorating.

  • Chrissy says:

    Congrats! We all knew this process would be an exciting for you. I’m sure God is squealing in excitement right a long with you 🙂

  • Stacy says:

    You’re killing me with the suspense! 🙂 I love reading about your experiences with God’s faithfulness.

  • Lisa says:

    I really don’t want to be a downer and burst your bubble, but PLEASE be careful. This shound so much like my personal experience with my “dream house”. As soon as I found it, they were not showing because they were painting. Paint can cover a lot. We bought the house and it has been nothing but trouble. Even with a thorough inspection, we were unaware of so many things that were covered by paint (and our excitement).

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks, we were really thorough, got some excellent outside counsel from those who are much more experienced in real estate than us and spent lots of time in prayer — as you’ll see in the next installment. 🙂

  • Bobi Ann says:

    You’re killing me…I need the rest of the story!! I just love your blog!

  • ShorterMama says:

    Will be praying. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

  • Jenae says:

    Please post some pictures!

  • Autumn says:

    Gosh Crystal I was pumped up to see some pictures and hear the end of the story. I’m so happy for you guys. Same time next Friday morning ..?? I love all your tips and your story telling is killing me but your a great story teller. 🙂

  • Carol S says:

    You are killing me. 😉

  • Diana says:

    I figured when the non-deal type posts had been fewer over the last few days it meant you were dealing with all the busy-ness that comes with buying a home 🙂

    Congrats, and I definitely agree that it was wise not to settle for a home you didn’t like. After saving up all that money! Like my pastor says, pray, and then what happens is the answer. Our God is GOOD!!!

  • God is ever faithful! Your trust and faith in the Lord is inspiring, Crystal. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

  • Olathe Mom says:

    Congratulations to you! Dreams fulfilled are such fun! Praise God!

  • Kara says:

    It sounds like God has blessed you with wisdom on making such an important decision and patience to wait for your dream to come true. I was so upset when I didn’t get the house we wanted (someone outbid us) but now that we are in our house. I love it more than the one we bid on. If it wasn’t meant to be then it won’t be. Take your time.. Perhaps you can find a foreclosure or reduced house on the market. Good Luck!

  • Cherilyn says:

    How exciting! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story and would love to see pictures!

  • Shannon says:

    Keep us hanging on your every word, why don’t you! haha! I hope this is the one!

  • MaryEllen says:

    Don’t do this to me! I have to know, I have to see! I’m about to cry! Can’t wait till next week!

  • Connie says:

    God always provides more than we can imagine.

  • After reading about your journey to pay 100% down, I would love to see pictures of “the home”! Congratulations! You have truly changed the way our family thinks about money!

  • Cyndi says:

    ok so you’ve been on pins & needles, so you think we need a dose of that????

  • Crystal,
    God Bless you. It is such a treat to have a helpful and encouraging website to read everyday. Also, the hope that we could buy our own home someday…cash!

    Thank you for your good work!

  • MNDY says:

    You know an extremely similar thing happened to us when we were searching for a home. But, God led us to the right house and he will do the same for you. I think it is very important not to settle when you consider a house. Be picky, very picky because you will regret it if you aren’t. Just remember that paint can be changed or flooring, but it’s hard to change floor plans and stuff like that.

  • Jaycie says:

    I’ve been following you for years and watching you save up. I really hope you get something perfect for your family!

    When we bought our house, I learned something important. Be careful the criteria you put when searching online. We didn’t want a house w/o 2 bathrooms and almost missed our house cuz we put that in the search. We never thought that a house would be completely finished, except for the extra bathroom. We just stumbled upon it driving around. When we go to look for our next one, I’m really going to limit what we put for criteria in our search.

    Just thought I’d share in case it might help someone else house searching.

  • Tina says:

    I’ve been waiting all week to read this post!! Can’t wait to read the other one next week!

  • Emily says:

    Great news! That’s how we felt when we saw the house we put an offer on! (Our home now, that is)
    We were frustrated because houses were too big or too small or had akward layouts, not-great additions finally, just the right house appeared!

  • abbie says:

    Hey Crystal-it’s too late for this year, but does your new yard have a spot for a garden? Are you planning your first harvest? 🙂

  • Megan says:

    I need some inspiration like this. Our plan is for me to save as much money as I can until January, then cut down to weekends at work and finish my degree. Then when I get a career in the field, my fiance to cut down at work and do the same by earning his degree. In 5 years I’ll be 30 and he’ll be 26, by then we’re planning to (hopefully) buy a house in Texas – we live in Indiana now. Crossing our fingers and working hard to achieve our dreams. This site is what gave me the inspiration to really go through with it!

  • Malia says:

    Ugh! You gave me a cliffhanger! On a FRIDAY!! Please post quickly next week (and maybe you can include some pictures?)! God bless you as you decide. Of course, for all we know, you’ve decided already and we can’t find out until Monday… 🙂

  • Kelly T. says:

    Congratulations to you and your family. I hope everything works out for you. After all your hard work to save 100% for a house, you deserve nothing but the best. You inspire me to save money and set high goals. I can’t wait to read the rest….

  • Amy says:

    you’re killin us with all of these cliffhangers! We want pictures! We want pictures! We want pictures! lol i’m so excited for you!

  • Angel says:

    Congrats to you and yours! On pins and needles waiting for the rest of the story…. 🙂

  • Renee says:

    Next week?!!! We can’t wait until next week!!

    Congrats on finding the perfect house!! It sounds amazing!

    It sounds like you already did, but make sure you Thoroughly investigate everything in the house. A friend of mine bought an amazing house and found that the foundation of the house was rotting and it was hidden behind newly installed walls. But as you said, I’m sure you already investigated everything!

    Can’t wait to see pictures!!! (whatever you feel comfortable showing us)
    Enjoy your new house!!!

  • wow this is sooo exciting! I think all your visitors are pretty happy and excited for you, all your hard work paid off. You are so kind to offer us all your insights and information and posts for free on your site and have probably helped out a ton of visitors with all you do, so I think we really like to see that all your work actually helped do something great for your family!! I can’t wait to read the rest, congrats!!!

  • Lisa says:

    Congratulations! Very, very happy for you. What a testimony that you have done this the right way – no debt!!!- and continued to give it over to God for His direction.

  • SaraR says:

    I just came across your site today. I can’t remember now from where, the Simple Blogs perhaps and have been sitting here reading your story. I wasn’t paying attention to the dates and when I got to the end of this one wondered why there wasn’t another link. Now I have to wait to hear the end of this great story. What an amazing story it is too. I’m feeling inspired and wanting to share some of this with my husband.

  • Tracy says:

    Congrat (I’ll write the other half when it is yours – don’t want to jinx anything)…. May the good lord continue to watch over your family and may all things possible happen (which from the looks at it, they are). From reading your post I can feel the excitement in your writing. I truly am happy for you and your entire family. If this house is meant to be, it will be yours. Sending prayers your way…..

  • Wendy B. says:

    Hello Crystal, I am so happy for your family & inspired by your story! Congratulations & happy settling in!

  • katharine says:

    i’m so excited for you! can’t wait for that day for my family 🙂

  • jenny says:

    I would love to see pics! Love your stories as well!

  • Luana says:

    God is good, all the time! From reading your blog and seeing your
    Christian faith shine through, this is no surprise. God has said over
    and over in His word to wait for Him and you did. Reminds me of
    Eph. 3:20.

  • Lisa O Shea says:

    Yes dont leave us waiting, im soooooooooooo excited for the next installment!Please tell me its just a two parter!!

  • Brenda Adams says:

    Just went through this whole thing so know what you are going through,,,,if this isn’t the house (home) for you it just means something better is on it’s way….CONGRADS. if it it’s what God wants for you

  • Heidi says:

    This is way too cool! I can’t wait to see pictures, I can only imagine how awesome it must feel to OWN your first house!! 🙂

  • jan says:

    Around here if a house is listed with no pictures it means it’s in bank foreclosure or sheriff’s sale.

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