As many of you know, the journey to finding our new home has been a long and dramatic one. Thank y’all for being such supportive friends and praying for us during all of the ups and downs!
It all started when we moved into corporate housing…a tiny 3 bedroom apartment in Anderson, SC. Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful Chris’ job provided 3 months of free housing, but it was TINY. The living room was so small the coffee table took up most of the space. We had no intention of staying in it the whole 3 months anyway, we were going to find a house as soon as we could.
We moved into the apartment in early December (well the first apartment…which had mold in it. A few weeks later we were thankfully moved to another mold free unit) and by Christmas had found THE house.
It was a 1920’s brick home that had a grand staircase, original clawfoot tubs and floors. And all of the wooden doors were unpainted and had the antique door knobs! If you know me at all…you know this was right up my alley.
It was about a mile from the historic downtown in Anderson and although it was still and hour and 10 minute commute for Chris’ work, we were only 30 minutes from our church in Clemson. Our goal was to be as close as we could to our church family and community in Clemson.
We tried to make an offer on December 26th. The house had sat on the market for over a year so we figured even though it was the holidays, the seller would be eager to sell. I even wrote a letter explaining how much I loved the home and all of the original details and that I would do my best to preserve those things.
Well no such luck. We didn’t hear a response from the seller until the first week in January. She countered back to our offer with the asking price. A “screw you” if you will. ha
It took us 3 weeks to get to an agreement and be under contract. She told us if we paid the asking price for the house she would put in a new HVAC system, since the current one wasn’t in working order. With the house being 4,000 sq feet, that seemed like a fair deal to us.
Ahhh at last we were on our way to having a home.
Then the inspection report came back.
The electrical was all tube and knob and needed updating. This would be a $30k job at least. We decided to try for a renovation mortgage to cover that cost. We loved the house and were trying our best to preserve it and have it in the best shape possible. So new electrical would be an asset if we ever needed to sell it.
We had electricians come out and quote the project, which took a week. Then we realized the seller was only going to put a small HVAC system in the house…one that would cover a typical 2,000 sq foot home. We were SO frustrated. We had agreed tp pay full price and now we felt they were not holding up their end of the bargain. And I for one do not want to live in a sweltering hot house in the South in the summer…
We told them we would get the HVAC system ourselves if they would pay for all of our closing costs (which for this house was a decent amount). They agreed and we now had to get HVAC guys out for quotes, which took even more time.
Finally we were a week away from closing. It was the end of February…which was cutting it close since our apartment lease ended March 7th. We asked for another month in the apartment and were granted it, due to the work (rewiring and HVAC instillation) being done on the house. So we were all set! Everything was lined up.
We then got a phone call from our lender. The house didn’t appraise for enough for us to get the renovation mortgage we needed. And we couldn’t afford over $40k the repairs were going to cost. I couldn’t believe it. We were going to have to say goodbye to this house.
I shed a lot of tears. We had 6 weeks to find a completely start over.
As I searched Zillow and Realtor.com for homes, there were not a lot of options in Anderson. But there were several we liked in a town closer to Chris’ work…but further away from our church.
Would it be worth cutting Chris’ commute in half and having a home we would love…but also having to start over from scratch when it came to church and friends? Chris’ commute was starting to take its toll and I was not a fan of him basically only being involved in our lives on the weekend.
We called our parents and asked for their advice. Would moving away from our church be a mistake we would regret?
They both told us the same thing: having a commute that long is going to be really hard to sustain over the long haul. Having Chris in our lives more would help our family immensely. We need him.
So we started the search in this new town.
We looked at this white farmhouse 3 times before we made an offer. I don’t know what it was but I struggled to be sure this was it. Which is weird…because I’ve always wanted a white farmhouse! But I was worried it didn’t have enough bedrooms for us to grow as a family and would need to move again.
But at last I was sold and we made an offer and within two days were under contract!
Everything in this process was normal, the inspection and appraisal were done early and game back great. It seemed we had smooth sailing!
The day before we were to close, Chris got a phone call from our lender saying he wasn’t sure if we would be able to close the next day due to an insurance issue. We called them every hour trying to get updates because this time we really were down to the wire.
We had all of our furniture being delivered two days from closing and only had 10 days left in the apartment. If this fell through what would we do!?
That night was horrible. I tossed and turned all night. Why was this process so difficult?? Were we ever going to be able to buy a home and start getting settled. We were going on 4 months in this tiny apartment and it was wearing on all of us.
I asked for prayer on Instagram and I was blown away by how many messages and responses I got from you guys saying you were praying. It was truly humbling.
The next morning felt like a lifetime. Chris was texting me with real time updates as he got them from the lender and around 11:30 we got word that it had been resolved and we were still good to close! (our closing was at 2:30 so juuuust in time!)
I cannot describe the feeling we experienced when we drove away from the attorneys office and it was done. DONE. We owned our home and this nightmare was over!
I kept freaking out randomly on the way back to the house. I would smack Chris’ arm out of the blue and say things like
“CHRIS WE OWN A HOME!!”
“I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE A FARMHOUSE!!”
It scared Chris every time but I couldn’t help myself! haha
Even though a part of me will always love that old brick house in Anderson, God knew this one was the one for our family. This house is more “me.” It’s less formal and pristine…it’s more casual and charming. The green roof feels like a wink from the Lord to me because I grew up on Anne of Green Gables and the house was always my favorite part of the story. And now I have my very own Green Gables…and Gilbert 😉
So that my friends, is the story of how God brought us our farmhouse. It was in a totally different area than we were looking and yet He closed doors to lead us to open ones. And I’m so at peace and thankful. He is so good to us.
(For a video walkthrough watch here)