Posts Tagged house hunting

House Hunting Part 2

Furry friend we found on one of our house visits

Over a month later, I’m finally sharing part two of our house hunting story. I’m sure the few of you who read this blog were on the edge of your seats with anticipation. 😉 I do want to do a better job of keeping this blog updated though.

So I left off with my uncle offering us the possibility of renting a house he would purchase in Illinois.We were extremely excited about this and started working with our realtor again but this time upping our budget and looking at detached homes (opposed to townhouses). We looked at so many homes online (Redfin is a great site) and spent a lot of Saturdays visiting potential homes. There were a couple we visited that we really liked and thought my uncle should put an offer on but he and his wife decided to wait. At first this was hard because we had to remember that it wasn’t our money so it wasn’t exactly our purchase, but there were also things that we didn’t necessarily love about the house (small bedrooms, the kitchen is not open to the family/living room, etc. So in the end it was a good decision.

Finally after a couple months, my uncle decided to withdraw his offer to buy a home as an investment property because the Canadian dollar was no longer stronger than the U.S. dollar. Gerald and I were disappointed. I wondered why God would let us go through all this only to come up with nothing and to end up renting our condo for another year. Looking back though it helped us to do a lot of that house hunting because now we have a better idea of what kind of home we like (and we discovered a suburb we both really like…although it’s pretty far from where we both work).

So maybe in about 5 months or so we’ll start house hunting again, but in the meantime our goal is to save for a bigger down payment. The goal would be to put at least 20% down on a home (something I got from Dave Ramsey’s site). Whatever happens though, we just have to trust that God will lead us to the right place to live–whether we buy or rent again. Yes, it’s nice to own a home, but I had to realize that it’s a luxury. It’s not a necessity. As long as I have a roof over my head, I have all I need. I don’t always believe that, but I’m trying to work on being content with what God has given me. I already have more than I need.

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House Hunting Part 1

I meant to write this post months ago, but I’m finally getting around to it now. This has just been a whirlwind summer. This past spring, Gerald and I started thinking about where we should live. The lease for our condo was going to be up in June and we weren’t sure if we should rent another place or if we should try and buy a place of our own. We talked to a guy who works with our realtor friend and explained our finances, concerns, etc. to him. He told us now was the time to buy and we could definitely do it in our situation.

So began our house hunting adventure. Luckily our realtor is our friend, so that makes the process a little more fun. We were looking mostly at townhomes and trying to figure out what location would be best for us. I work in the Western suburbs of Chicago and Gerald wasn’t sure where he’d be working the next year if he got a teaching job. At the time he worked in the Northern suburbs (our work places are about as far apart from each other as you can get…not completely true, but it’s FAR). We would find things we liked about different places, but we couldn’t find a place we absolutely loved and that felt right.

Finally after about a month of looking, we each individually decided that we should just stay where we were and continue renting. Part of me didn’t want to do that because there were things I wanted in my own home that we didn’t currently have (like a washer/dryer in our living space rather than coin laundry – even though we just go to our parents’ houses to do laundry for free every weekend). But I was at peace with the decision once we made it together.

The same day we made this decision to stop house hunting, we went out to dinner with my uncle from Canada. My mom casually mentioned to him that Gerald and I had been looking to buy a place (since my parents went to look at homes with us that day) but that we decided not to continue. When my uncle found out how much real estate was here right now, he was really impressed because real estate is so much more expensive right now in Canada. At the time, the Canadian dollar was also stronger than the U.S. dollar.

Turning to us, my uncle asked, “If I were to buy a house here, would you want to rent it from me?” I think our jaws dropped when he asked this.

Are you serious? I asked. He was. He’d actually been thinking of buying an investment property in the U.S. anyway and now Gerald and I would be the perfect renters for the home. It looked like God was giving us something better than we could’ve imagined (as He usually does).

So the house search continued! Now we were working with our realtor to look at detached single family homes for my uncle/us.

This isn’t the end of the story, and the end result isn’t what you might expect from what I’ve said so far. Stay tuned for Part 2 later…

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