“Dream house 2018”, says my husband.
Over and over again I heard this statement from my husband early this year and late in 2016.
I would roll my eyes and list all the ways in which we wouldn’t be buying a house in 2018 and how I wasn’t going to expect a house in 2018.
We don’t buy houses, we buy businesses.
I won’t ever get my dream house.
You’ll find something else to buy with the house money.
Good things don’t happen for us, there will be no house in 2018.
Debbie Downer, that’s me. Especially in the housing department.
Why am I like this?
We have tried to buy a house many times over the last 8 years and they have always fallen through. We’ve rented houses that we were forced out of. We’ve moved away from black mold and landlords unwilling to do anything about it. We’ve had some bad luck but we haven’t been homeless, thankfully.
My husband told me while we were engaged that his financial plan was that we would rent for the first 4 years and then we would buy a house with a good down payment.
4 years?? I gasped. I couldn’t believe this was his plan, no one waits 4 years. I was sure to tell him this. But he wouldn’t budge. He refused to make a bad financial decision when it came to buying a house.
We found a cheap foreclosure about 3 years later that needed a lot of work, we tried to buy it but it fell through after the inspection. There were just too many issues with the house that we decided to drop out of the contract.
At the 4 year mark, what did we buy? A Subway franchise. A brand new build out even, not even an existing store making sales. My husband built 80% of it.
My husband had this brilliant idea that we would benefit more from a business than a house. So he spent all of that money we had been faithfully saving for 4 years and started a Subway. To say that I was a little put off would be an understatement but there was no talking him out of this plan.
About 9 months after our Subway store had opened, he said we could buy a house. I was shocked it was going to happen so fast since it took so long to save up before. We found a great house, we were super excited. We had 3 kids in a small 2 bedroom townhouse, we were ready for a house.
But a few days before our closing date, CVS let my husband go. Since he had opened up the Subway they were gunning to let him go as they said it was a conflict of interest. We were devastated on so many levels and we needed to let our house go. Again.
That one hurt.
Then my husband sold the Subway to open up our pharmacy. Now we were solely entrepreneurs and ineligible for a mortgage for 3-4 more years. Talk about a devastation. Bad luck seemed to follow us in the housing department for sure.
We moved into a rental house that I believed to be my dream house. I honestly loved this house! We knew the owner was looking for a buyer and we were upfront with them that as soon as we could we would buy the house. But now we’re at the mercy of the state and taxes.
Fast forward just shy of a year and a half and that landlord no longer wanted to wait for us, we needed another year and a half before we could buy they wanted to sell that spring. We were devastated. We thought for sure that we were done moving. We had already been dreaming about the different things we were going to do once we bought the house. The blow of having to move was a hard one. We tried everything that we could to stay but nothing worked out. So we moved out and into yet another rental home.
This time around, I knew better than to get attached. I didn’t decorate, didn’t hang pictures. I had a hard time even liking the space I was in since I loved the previous house. And I knew that we would be moving, again. We signed a 2-year lease on this place because we wanted it to be our last move, we knew that 2 years would get us to the point when we could buy a house.
Fast forward a year and we were in the same situation. We had another landlord that wanted to sell the house we were living in and legally he could despite our lease agreement. So we started looking once again for a new rental. We still weren’t at a financial spot to buy a house, we still needed that last tax return from the state to buy. So we started searching. But there was nothing on the rental market. No houses. Not even a townhouse.
God intervened and placed a complete stranger into our path that was wealthy enough to buy houses in cash. He basically funds the mortgage until we can buy the house back from him. We pay the down payment and have a contract with him to purchase the house from him at the price he bought it from. He’s basically our personal bank at the moment. He does these deals to help people like my husband, good men making a living but who own their own business. The government makes it so hard to buy a house when you own your own business and he knows that.
After talking to this man on the phone, he told my husband to go ahead and start looking at houses and he would help fund it. Without even meeting us in person. It didn’t feel real, we thought that there was a still a good chance that this would also fall through. But we started looking at houses, as well as keeping on eye on the rental houses that might pop up.
We looked at 4 houses the first time around. The first 3 were not what we were looking for. We were getting disappointed and we knew that we weren’t going to settle for anything less than our dream house once we bought even if meant skipping out on the help from this man. When we walked through the door of the 4th house we knew instantly that this was our dream house. Whenever we discussed building a house or buying a fixer-upper we described the house that we standing in. Everything was exactly what we wanted, what we pictured. It was the perfect house for us. But we still had one more house to look at the next morning. We looked at that house and again it wasn’t what we were looking for. Nothing compared to the 4th house.
When my husband and I were waiting on God to give us peace about this situation, he put this stranger into our path after we looked at that last house that morning. We went to breakfast at our local Dunkin Donuts and wouldn’t you know that this man, whom we never met before, was there eating breakfast as well? He noticed my husband’s name tag (he was on his way to work afterward) and introduced himself. We basically ate breakfast with him that morning and we walked away with complete peace knowing that God was at work. We knew that He was opening this door and we needed to walk through it. So with faith, we did.
Fast forward 6 weeks, we had the keys to our dream house, our forever home. We still stand in amazement at how God worked everything out. We did not believe or couldn’t have even imagined that within 6 weeks of being told we needed to move out that we would be moving into our forever home.
God knew our dream home was on the market so He needed to create a situation where we needed to move. At the moment it was another tough blow. The uncertainty of the entire situation was hard to handle for me. We felt burned by landlords and physical and financially exhausted from all of the moves. I was afraid we wouldn’t find a place to move in time (we were told the house we were living in would sell in 3 days after it was listed so we were looking at needing to move out in 45 days at most). But God showed up in big ways. God provided above all that we could even ask or think. God answered our prayers, He gave us our dream home when we were not even expecting it.
During those 6 weeks, I felt so many different feelings. But I walked away from it feeling more loved by God than I have in a long time. I needed tangible ways of God’s love at that point in my life. It has been a hard few years and I was at my breaking point and God knew it. God took me under His wings and covered me with His love.
As I walk through this house each day, I am constantly reminded of God’s love towards me. I feel so blessed and amazed at how the story unfolded. My hope is that if I ever feel unloved, or lacking in the blessings department that I will just walk through my home and remind myself just how much God loved me.
Friend, God loves you too. If you are in what feels like a dry season or a hard time, remind yourself of just how God has shown His love towards you in the past. And know in your heart that He will show you just how much He loves in due time. We all need to go through the hard seasons because it’s in those hard times that we grow closer to the Father.