Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Discoveries on the House Hunt

Every morning since we've been under contract, I start out the day with "Okay, Lord, this could be the day your house is listed..." Hope floats.... until about 5 minutes later, the realization sets that nothing is out there. Spring can't get here soon enough...

So, new epiphanies -- as we've been searching, I have been very surprised to find out about myself new things as it relates to the ideal property. The Lord is moving in my heart.

I don't want to live in an established, wealthy neighborhood. For our price point, we looked at great townhouses in Potomac Falls, Ashburn and Leesburg with 3-4 bedrooms and perfect floors, kitchen, everything---but it was just so.... cookie-cutter. All the design choices were made for me, and the neighborhoods were just so..... pristine. You're like, um...what's the issue? Move in! But, I feel like the Lord is calling us to an area where we can meet needs of people who actually have needs. An area that is more poor. How can you be the light when you're not even in proximity?

I want a fixer-upper. A fixer what-er?In light of a third baby on the way, that sounds ludicrous, but every time I see a property at our price point, that an investor has come in and changed -- not only is it overpriced for the work, but nothing they selected, I would choose for myself. Plus, half of them do a shabby renovation job. So, why not find something DIRT cheap and renovate and customize it perfectly to make it home?

I've got the itch to not only fix it up, but flip it. Before you freak out, of course, we'd buy it simply because we love it and we'd stay in it if the market wasn't profitable, but...we've seen HUD or bank-owned townhomes that nobody but investors want where we could buy for $250K, and put in $50K renovations and make it stunningly gorgeous, and then sell it for $350K. If we do this, it has to be good locations, with 1/2 the work already updated like roofs, HVAC. windows, etc. and having good contractors under our belt.

I think a small village in Africa would love a check for $50,000 at the end of one year! To minimize resale costs, I would need to become a realtor and broker, but that's what I was going to do anyways, at least part-time. My passion for interior design and Patrick's desire to learn how to fix houses (helping as labor for our contractor) could really benefit the poor. Plus, it is so much fun that I can't tell you how I stay awake at nights thinking how I'd knock down this wall, and then do this flooring...and this tile...oh my gosh, don't let me get started!

So, we're on the lookout for something cheap and ugly and in a neighborhood where we can make a difference. Hmhh....God is changing my heart and Patrick's. I pray we are headed in the right direction, and haven't fallen off the deep end, as many of you probably think we are nuts already. You won't believe me, but despite the daily emotional roller coaster, this still feels right. We are ready to go wherever He leads.

Baby Bump Update - 29 weeks

Just had my glucose test this morning. Disgusting. I thought I was going to yack from the sweet syrup. They also took more liver & bile bloodwork to check my levels concerning cholestasis.

Best parts of being pregnant right now is the miracle that I am. A third boy on the way to irrevocably change our family, and our lives forever is both exciting and humbling. I'm just plain grateful for this gift. Worst part - I'm getting so big I don't feel like I have much room to breathe. Aside from my usual discomfort most of the day, and just starting to loose sleep at night and the regular bouts of itchiness, I promise to endure for 2+ months until the big arrival. Poor Patrick has to put up with me until then.

Despite my complaining, I am tough and I can take it. Everyone says you should be glowing and happy during pregnancy, but consider that logic when it's your third baby in your last trimester! Being grateful is the best I can do right now, sorry.

What's more stressful is trying to find a house before son #3 arrives. At this rate, this is unlikely to happen. There's just nothing out there. Patrick and I found one house that we liked, but it was a short sale that had 10 other offers on it. It was four bedrooms on 1/2 acre and listed for $318K (pictured above). Amazing price, and we were going to do a lot of renovation. Apparently, we came in second,which you know, I wish we never knew that part because I'm sure it was a difference of $5K or something. The loss of it was a blow, and part of me is still in mourning over it. I need to let go and just trust that God has another place He wants for us. Or hope the purchasers will back out. Is anything too big for God? Nope.

In finding this property, I have discovered some things that I didn't really know I wanted, and I think Patrick feels the same way too. I'll blog more on that later. I'm in a blogging mood, so watch out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lily Turns 3!

My sweet niece turned 3 over the weekend and the cousins got to spend the morning together doing a Build A Bear Workshop. The boys had never done it before, and they enjoyed in tremendously!

You get to pick a bear and then you formally named it. You get a birth certificate, too. Micah's bear was called Astro-bear and Caelan named his Iron Bear, after Iron Man. Um, they're not that creative yet.

Next, you get to stuff your bear with feather fluff. Caelan is standing on the pedal to fill up his bear. Then each bear gets an air bath and a good scrubbing.

After the bear is stuffed, you get to put a heart in your bear. For Lily, everyone put an extra heart of love from her 2 brothers and 2 cousins in her bear. Then, the bear gets sewed up.

Lastly, you get to dress the bear with any outfit imaginable. What did my boys choose? Matching star war outfits with light saber accessories. Geez, Louise. Afterwards, we went back to the house and celebrated with pizza, cake and horsie rides from Uncle Seyla.

Happy 3rd Birthday Lily pants!
I can't believe you are already three.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Glory to God in the Highest! We are under contract. Yipppeee!

We can't wait to tell you this God-story in person, but I can sum it up with - God is Jehovah Jireh, our Great Provider. Never forget what He has done in your life in the past, and what He continues to do for you. I am holding back tears at His provisions and continual deliverance.

Not one, or two, but three offers came in at record time of four days. Despite our realtor setting expectations of "low activity" for this weekend because of weather and Superbowl, our God is on His timing. Get this: What started out as offers BELOW asking price, escalated into a bidding war and contingencies were removed right and left and all parties were increasing their offers in increments of $1000 until the final offer we accepted - 10K above asking with the most important thing to us: NO appraisal contingency! We close in a month.

We can hardly believe the abundance of this blessing. We are on our knees thanking a mighty God for only miracles He can do on our behalf. My realtor said, you are REALLY REALLY lucky. I was able to say, "No, this is ALL GOD." From his perspective, it's not even the Spring market yet---and a house exactly like ours with the same amenities, 4 doors to the left of us, sold for $45,000 less only 5 months ago. Most single families in this area were going for the same price, and so we felt that we'd price it like a SF and just "wait" since we could. We didn't dream we'd have a bidding war, and we even have a back up offer in the event the one we accepted falls through!

Wow. Such a confirmation to us of God's great power in our lives. He is good. Now, we pray for a property that He wants us to be in, a neighborhood where we're supposed to be planted. And for Soryda, one that is before her due date....oh and a charming house on a culdesac backing to trees with um....half the mortgage. Hey, I'm still asking for big things from a BIG God. I believe.