Monday, September 13, 2010

The signs

Jimmy and I have each been on a budget for well over a year. And in case you have forgotten, I have had a few lows and highs that have impeded the progress at times but in April we made the big leap and were pre-approved for the mortgage. Next step - finding a realtor and figuring out our must haves!

To get an idea of the communities we liked and what might possibly be available, we went for a Sunday afternoon drive. Wildwood was our most favorite location, and there were numerous listings but once we came home and looked them up on MLS, very few were actually within our budget. There was this little yellow house in particular that we quite liked. From the exterior - it fit all our criteria including being a 4 level split. (Sign #1 - the perfect house in Wildwood)

Jimmy and I tried to keep our chins up; we had talked at length and were both comfortable that we had lots of time to find the perfect house. In the meantime, we were not going to stress about it. Rather we would enjoy our summer trip back to Nova Scotia and plan to start looking seriously in September and October.

The Sunday before we left for Nova Scotia, we called our realtor (who, if anyone is looking, is absolutely amazing - I am quite confident we wouldn't have necessarily had the same success with many others), Tracey and forwarded over the master spreadsheet I had created (okay, I am a bit of a spreadsheet geek . . . ). This was all done in hopes that by the time I got back from Dallas (4 weeks later) we would have a few places to check out. I was ready - I had made us spreadsheets for everything. The deal breakers, the nice to haves, the important details we needed to check out when we looked at the house!

It took a couple days for our registration to kick in to receive the automatic property matches and so when the house we had spotted in Wildwood showed up, it was the Wednesday before vacation and we were leaving first thing Friday morning. Incredible - it had dropped a hundred thousand dollars! (Sign #2 - our dream house was within our price range after a crazy price drop) I emailed Tracey to let her know that if it was still free, we would like to look at the house.

Then we were off . . . both of us were sooo excited for our vacation and the warm weather in Nova Scotia that we really didn't think much about house shopping. In fact, I had totally forgotten about the Wildwood house. It wasn't until a couple of days before we came home that we had any further discussions.

We were only supposed to have 2 nights in Calgary together before Jimmy left for a golf trip to Vancouver Island and I was leaving for Dallas less then 7 hours from when he was supposed to fly back into Calgary. This didn't leave us any time for checking out places but through a few random events his golfing trip was cancelled. (Sign #3 - we were able to look at houses together)

It worked out perfectly as this opened up Wednesday night to go house shopping. Tracey was leaving Thursday morning for an extended weekend and we just wanted to get out with her once so that she could have a better idea of what we were looking for.

I sent Tracey a list and at the last minute, remembered the house in wildwood and went searching for it (Sign #4 - God wouldn't let me forget about it). We had a list of 6 houses and Tracey asked us to sort them in order of preference. Since 5 were in Dalhousie I thought it easiest to start there and so put a couple of houses in that community at the top. As luck would have it - our top pick and then our second top pick were both conditionally sold by the time we headed out. (Sign #5 - the houses were conditionally sold earlier in the day so that we didn't 'think' we were in love and rush into an area that wasn't our first choice) The first 2 we looked at were quite a disappointment and I was trying really hard not to get discouraged.  The next one was okay. The fourth house we saw restored my hope as we quite enjoyed the living, dining and kitchen area. Then we headed to Wildwood.

About half way through checking out the house, I ran into Jimmy and we both expressed how much we liked this one. (Sign #6 - without speaking to one another we each felt that it was 'the one') We each went our ways again and circled back to talk to Tracey about it. By the time we left the house, Tracey had a feeling there might be another offer on the table and so we briefly chatted about next steps. (Sign #7 - Tracey had an intuition that we needed to seriously consider putting an offer on it soon) We went from 'let's sleep on it' to 'okay Tracey will head home and pull some comparisons and we may put in an offer tonight' to 'Tracey will go to her friend's house to pull comparisons' to 'Tracey will come to my apartment to pull comparisons and we will put in an offer'!  (Sign #8 - throughout the process, Tracey's intuition got stronger and stronger) None of us were prepared for all of this to be coming together so quickly.

The next two and a half hours are a blur. It involved signing a stack of papers, agreeing on a price, Tracey calling in the quote, Tracey handing in our official offer as they were about to sign the other offer (Sign #9 - our timing was impecable - 5 minutes later and we wouldn't be at the table), Jimmy and I heading over to sit outside the house and eat A&W in the van with Tracey, the sellers realtor coming out and asking us to each put in our best offer and that 'God will decide' (Sign #10 - assurance that none of this process was in our control), the sellers realtor mentioning how emotional the couple were; Tracey telling the sellers realtor about our new engagement (Sign #11 - Jimmy's timing was also impecable) and driving past the house wishing upon it, the sellers choosing us (Sign #12 - need I say more - they chose us!!!) - - - financed offer for less money then the other ladie's offer - - - all because they wanted to give us a break! I still get goose bumps!!! This story has God's gracious hand all over it.

p.s. It happened so fast we didn't have time to bust out my spreadsheet once . . . hee hee

p.p.s.  Possession is in two weeks from tomorrow

p.p.p.s. I haven't started to pack yet . . . eep!


Mom said...

It amazes me how when we leave it in the Lord's hands things work out so beautifully. There definitely will be enough room for future grandchildren!!! Very anxious to come and visit.

Jen Glen said...

Hey you. Last time I checked, you didn't have a blog you updated regularily. Now, I see you do! And that is why you should comment on my blog more often!! :) I would love to add you, but do not have your email address. I guess I could get it from my mom...but that would be too much like work!