Wednesday, January 25, 2012

News Flash Part 2

So, in part 1, I shared our happy news of being homeowner's again, and how we found our dream house.

Part 2 is how I believe God was working through the whole process. 

Way #1 - was, of course, our friend's prodding to look at this house, which had been empty for about a year. 

Way #2 -  the broker that our real estate agent (let's just call him MM) worked with knew the homeowner. And if memory serves me correctly, and that is a rarity, I believe he came into the office while MM was trying to find information on the house. MM was able to represent both us and him, and kept things moving.

Way #3 - In some "bizarre way" two different banks held the title to the house, and the wrong bank had started the foreclosure. Because it was the wrong bank, this stopped the proceedings and gave us a small window for a short sale. And because it was a short sale, we made an offer on a house we had not even walked through! 

Way #4 - If MM had not been our realtor, we may not have gotten to square one. His persistence and know-how kept the process from stalling. He had stacks and stacks of papers to fill out, and most of the time he had to send the same papers over and over again. (your government at work.)  Our case went from one person to another person to another person, each with a ridiculous title, and each required 7 - 14 days to make a decision, and they were in no hurry. (Again, your government at work. Think "health care".) Add to that the fact that we had to work around Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. 

Way #5 - Everytime we started to feel discouraged, we would pray for a tidbit of encouragement. Without fail, sometimes before the "amen" was said, we'd get a call from MM with an update. He would tell us that everything was still "a go", we just had to wait on the process. Hubby had no doubts that this was the house the Lord would bless us with. I remained cautiously hopeful, but still kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It never dropped.

Way #6 - Finally, the time came for the appraisal. Our offer had to be 88% of the appraisal. While we were hoping for a really low appraisal due to all the work that needed to be done, it did work out to be in our price range.

Way #7 - In order to do the appraisal, MM had to leagally break-in because for some reason, no one had a key to the house. This gave us the opportunity to buy a lock and have a key.

Way #8 - A few days after the appraisal, an inspector came to inspect the property and when he left, he turned off all the electricity. This would not have been a problem except that the sump pump needed electricity. Shortly after that, we had a torrential downpour. This resulted in having three feet, literally, of water in "our" basement. Now, you may question me as to why this is showing how God was working. I was asking the same questions.

Hubby and I had gone to a wedding that weekend, but, as God would have it, MM had stopped to check on the house. He called to tell us we had a wet basement. He had a friend who had a pump, and we had a hose, so we mad arrangements to meet at the house the next day, which happened to be on a Sunday, to get the water pumped out.

Way #9 - Do we have an awesome realtor or what?

Way #10 - After the water was pumped out, Hubby took our dehumidifier over and plugged it in to dry up as much moisture as possible. We didn't need mold growing.

Way #11 - So now we're getting near to the end and I am confident that God will not bring us this far only to snatch it away.

Way #12 - We're  finally on the last leg of the journey which started in September. But now, suddenly, the case is turned over to H.U.D. More paperwork. More delay. And, let me just say, that during all this time, the weather has been absolutely beautiful and unseasonably warm. There was so much we wanted to be doing outside, but couldn't. Now, according the H.U.D. regulations, we had to have the electric put in out name, and we had to prove that we had taken occupancy! Ever hear of anything so crazy?? This had to done and proven BEFORE we could have confirmation on the house! Thank God for the flooded basement. We were in possession of the key and had the dehumidifier running.

Here's another crazy government regulation - There is some fee (I don't know what) that every bank always pays at the sale of a house. H.U.D. was not going to pay. They said they can only pay it if it's a tax. So, MM, our fantastic realtor, says, "So, if I re-word this to be a "tax" you can pay it?" Yep, you got it. The fee became a tax and they gladly paid it. Every "i" has to be dotted just so, and every "t" has to be crossed precisely, or you'll find yourself back to square one. 

Last week we signed the papers, and it officially became our house! It's been a wild ride with lots of ups and downs, and we can't wait to finally get settled!

So, do you want to see a picture or two, or three? 
It looks better at a distance

Our Dream House 

From the back, the dining room and living room

Ghosts? Or maybe just our reflections in the window,
while doing our Peeping Tom impersonations.
The office which Hubby has graciously offered to share.

The back view

The poor, pitiful front "porch"

It ours all the way back to the trees
Well, there you have it. We have our work cut out for us. If you don't hear from me for a little while, you know where I'll be, slappin' paint on the walls. I can't wait for the "after" pictures!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

News Flash!

I do have a bit of news to share with you, my friends. It seems that 2012 (do you say 20-12 or two thousand 12? Just curious.) is getting off to a good start. Our very mild winter (so far!) is one example. I have not missed the snow, ice, or blustery wind one iota! (I woke up to five inches of snow on the ground this morning. BLAH!) But, the best reason that 2012 is going to be a good year is that Hubby and I are going to be homeowner's again. We are very excited about it. In fact, you might say that we are downright giddy about it. Tee hee.

I'll share how our dream became a nightmare at a later date, but now it seems like the nightmare is dissipating, and dreams are back in our lives again.

For the past three years, we have been renting from Hubby's sis. She has been anxious to sell her house, but has graciously held off until we found a place. We have been searching for three years hoping to find a place where we could finally settle. We've been to umpteen thousand (it seems) sheriff's sales, auctions, and foreclosures. Each place seemed like a good place, and usually nearly perfect for what we needed and wanted to accomplish. But, every place, for one reason or another (usually because we were outbid) went to someone else.

We trusted in the Lord, sometimes got a little discouraged with the Lord, trusted some more, asked, begged, and pleaded; questioned, and trusted some more. 

Last Fall, our prayers began to be answered. A friend had mentioned that she passed an empty house every day on her way to work. But, we were busy with other things (mostly canning and Hubby working out of state) and forgot about it. A couple weeks later, she asked if we had checked it out. This time we hopped in the car and went looking for it.

As soon as we pulled into the driveway, we started to get that warm, fuzzy feeling of first love. A little hopeful, but afraid to think about the possibilities in case nothing came of it. Mind you, this place has a face only a mother could love, but we saw great potential. We started peering into each window like peeping Toms, and excitement grew with each glimpse. (Don't worry the house was empty.) Usually, when you look inside a foreclosure, you'll find that it either has been trashed, or is full of mold, or crumbling walls that it would need to be gutted in order to be made liveable again. But not this little gem. We walked around the house, peering into each window for another glimpse. With each glimpse, we fell more and more in love. The walls were all in tact, there was no animal feces lying around, the rooms were spacious. The outside needed more work than the inside.

It's in the country but close to town, which we wanted; it has acreage, which we wanted; it has an office area, which we wanted; a basement, a decent-sized kitchen. We checked everything off our mental list. We would have preferred a 3-bedroom, but we could manage with a 2-bedroom. The road is a little busy, and the view across the road is not too appealing, but before we left, we had already started making plans on how to solve that problem, and Hubby had already envisioned how and where he was going to lay out our garden, blue blueberry and raspberry bushes, and where the beef cow, pig and chickens would go.

We called our realtor and asked him to find out what he could on the house. We had no idea how much patience we would be needing. We had no idea how much we would see God working in this process. He was with us all the way.

To be continued....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Project 52

I've been sitting at the computer for nearly three hours, and I'm just now getting around to blogging. That is so wrong! Of course, blogging should have been the first priority!

Here it is Monday already, and time to give a report on Project 52. I'm sad to say that I have not found my original list. Hard to tell what happened to it. I'm positive I put it in a place I was sure to remember, but, of course, I have forgotten where that place might be. I even did some cleaning, and it never showed up. I suspect it might be hiding out with Papa Smurf.

Papa Smurf showed up as a Christmas present for Sweetie Pie. At first, she wasn't too sure about him, but she later befriended him. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had to play "Go fish" or "goldfish" as Sweetie Pie calls it, with Sweetie Pie and Papa Smurf, and I came in last place. Yes, Papa Smurf beat me at "Go fish"! I don't want to talk about that humiliating experience. It was the following night at bedtime that he went missing. Sweetie Pie was looking for him and he was nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere. The night is not happy when a tired little girl can't find her special new friend. I'm pretty sure that Papa Smurf came to life and ran away, taking my Project 52 notes with him, because neither one has made their presence known.

I have done #5 and #16. I know it may seem like cheating to put those two things on my list, but I like to be able to see that I'm making headway early on. Hubby and I also had our first date night in quite awhile. We went to see the Sherlock Holmes movie, something about "shadows" was in the title. As you can see, I don't get too bogged down with trivial things like titles. Any way, we enjoyed the movie, but the winter weather was rolling in, and so we didn't dilly-dally too much in getting home after the movie.

I'm going to keep looking for that darn list, and in the meantime, try to remember what some of my brilliant goals for 2012 are. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Believe it or not, I'm kinda outta words right now. So here are some photos for your enjoyment, hopefully! Yes, I realize that I am being wordy in explaining my wordlessness. Now, off to find something Wordless worthy...

Ahh, here are some pretty tulilps, nice and springy!
I hope this brightened your day. I love tulips. There I go being "wordy" again! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year and Project 52!

What? I'm a week late? How did that happen? Oh yeah, now I remember, my granddaughter, Sweetie Pie, was here for a visit. She's home now. Our house is quiet, and a total wreck, the Christmas tree is still up, but that should change today! (Or, at least, that's the plan!) The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the sky is blue, which is very unusual for a northeast Ohio January day. I love it!!

We had a great time with the family at Christmas. Sweetie Pie got all kinds of presents, but what did she play with the most? Princess Go Fish cards that cost a dollar! We must have played 500 games of Go Fish! (I might be exaggerating, but it SEEMED like 500 games.) I didn't mind spending the past two weeks playing Go Fish with a 5-year old. I didn't even mind losing to a 5- year old. (Not on purpose, mind you. However, I threw in the towel when I lost to "Papa Smurf"!) We played as soon as we woke up in the morning, and before we went to sleep at night. Game after game after game. "Just one more game, Grammy? Please?" At one point she even said, "I'll let you win." She lied.

On New Years Eve, we spent the evening with some friends. She took her Go Fish and Princess Old Maid cards. (The evil sea witch Ursula was the Old Maid.)
Sweetie Pie does not like the Old Maid, and unbeknownst to us, she had taken out the old maid card and left it at home. We discovered it when the game was over and no one had old maid. She said, "I don't like that card. I took it out."

So, now it's time to be thinking of what I want to accomplish this year. Truthfully, I haven't had much time to think about it. I did start my list for Project 52, but, I'm not exactly sure where it is at the moment! 

But here is what I have so far, completely from memory: (I hope you are impressed - that it's from memory, not my actual list)

1. Find my list
2. Finish my list
3. Take down the Christmas tree
4. Reach my goal weight. (Too many cookies over Christmas!)
5. Still be at my goal weight at the end of the year!
6. Read 12 books (I upped it from 10!)
7. Move into a new house

See how easy it can be to come up with 52 things? Come along with me, and Jennee, and Karen on our journey. It'll be fun!

Here's a few photos from Christmas 
She's learned how to read and was looking for her name

Making snowballs to throw at Grammy
There was enough snow for one tiny snowman
It's good to be back in Blog Land!
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