I think it is a good idea to start from the beginning of our adventures on 17th Street. Several years ago we purchased property with Mr. Visionary’s brother and his family with plans to build. As we got closer to building, it became very clear that it was not God’s plan for us. Mr. Visionary wanted to do the subcontracting himself to save money and since he has never done it before, we only had once choice for a loan, and they offered us a terrible loan with sky-high variable interest rates and 8k+ in closing costs. When we made the decision not to build, we were both oddly at peace. We discussed how surprised we both were at how ‘ok’ we both felt about not building, God had definitely given us each a clear peace about the situation.
So a “For Sale” sign went up at the land and we started house hunting. We found several that we liked, but they kept going into a sale pending status before we could get a second look. Then we found the house on 17th Street and we both really liked it! It sure was ugly, and a little smelly, but we could see the potential. So we put an offer in, a low low offer (since it was a bank owned home). This offer was rejected, then the house was pulled off the market so the bank could “re-asses” the home since the bank had received several low offers. Our realtor called us when it was back on the market and we put in another (higher but not full price) offer. A few days later the realtor called us back and said their were multiple offers, and to make our best offer. So we offered full price. All through this process our emotions were just such a wreck, it was up and down. Our realtor seemed to think that our final offer was high enough, he told us he thought we would get it. We were making plans, a bathroom here, laundry there, our kitchen cabinets would fit well.
About a week (or eternity to us!) we got a call from the realtor, the other offer was cash, and the bank took the cash offer over our offer (we need a conventional loan). We were crushed! All the plans we had, the timing, I was asking God, can this be right? It must be a mistake! I had many faithful friends tell me that God had more for us, he was keeping us from something, that there is a house for us out there, we just needed to be patient. They were right of course, God is always faithful (and I am thankful for faith-filled friends).
It was still hard, we couldn’t imagine another house for us. We took a few weeks off from even looking. Then we made an appointment to see a house, and when we got there you could see three (3!!) biker bars from the front picture window. And when Mr. Visionary checked out the basement he said it was caving in. Yikes, a total no-go for us.
Then we went to see a house that was about 150 years old, it was a crazy maze inside, you couldn’t tell where the kitchen should be, the bathroom was insane, oh it was a mess. We didn’t have the 100k that the house needed to get it back in shape.
Next we found out about a house that was in a different area than we wanted, but was a big house, with a two car garage, and about an acre of land. I went to go see it and liked it, then we went back as a couple. Turns out it is a historic home in the area, and we liked it. But then the realtor did not bring the paperwork to put in an offer, and this realtor was all around strange. She constantly was telling us how she has “been in the business for 20 years” but she just didn’t act like it. I am not sure if something was off in her life at that time, or what was going on. Mr. Visionary and I looked at each other, and we walked out without putting in an offer.
That was probably our lowest point, just feeling dejected and defeated. Mr. Visionary’s mom had Lego Man and Princess so we decided to head out and drive past a house that a co-worked had told him about. On our way back, we had to go right past the 17th Street house, so we decided to see what was going on over there. We had not been able to forget about this house, even though it seemed like a clear no from God.
When we pulled up there was a man mowing the lawn. We flagged him down and asked if he owned the home. He said no and Mr. Visionary asked him if the owner had bought it to live in or to flip? The lawn guy said flip, so we asked for the new owners phone number. Mr. Visionary called him and while chatting he said he offered the bank 11k less than what we did, no one could believe they took his offer over ours. We discussed it and decided to offer the new owner 5k over everything he had spent (closing costs, ect) providing he did not touch the house (no changes or improvements). The new owner said he had been flipping houses for a while, and had never had a call or offer like this one and that it was an offer he couldn’t turn down. So we said, “So don’t turn us down!” and he called the next day and said yes! So it turns out what we thought was a ‘no’ from God was really a ‘not right now.’
And now, the work begins. There is a ton of ripping out, updating, cleaning and painting that needs to be done. I will keep you updated as the house progresses!