Narrowing Down Non-Negotiables

We’ve been hunting for a house. I don’t know much about hunting but if the metaphor holds up, hunts are about a goal attained by patience. I went into the whole process with 3 years of  occasional anxiety about whether or not our house would sell.  Living in our house for 8 years instead of 5 was not all anxious fretting however. Not at all. We have loved living here. Especially grateful, we cherish our neighborhood and neighbors. When it sold in 4 days of showings, we were blown away, grateful, and a little shell-shocked. We were really going to leave?!

So we started hunting. We dressed in  (read: I took showers and did my hair to go out with the Judy, our agent, on several occasions), and brought our ammo (read: we were pre-approved and had our house sold, making us a desirable buyer should the right house present itself).

Our initial list of new home hopes:

Where: A house east of I-29 in the Park Hill School District with a neighborhood pool.
What about the house:
-4 bedrooms
-not a split level (preferably a 2 story)
-level entry to home- not up a lot of stairs, or a house atop a huge hill
-master bathroom (2 sinks!!! 🙂 )
-Flat driveway for basketball
-a nice back yard
-not on a busy street
-2-3 car garage
My biggest hope was that it could be a house that could host:  I wanted room for a big table for sitting with lots of fun friends and space to host my Christmas party or a baby shower, room for our kids to grow up and spread out and have their people over.
-Drew wanted two living areas and NOT a North facing driveway.
Andi wanted a garden, Eli’s hopes were often nonsensical (a race track inside etc..) but he did settle on wanting to continue to live on a cul-de-sac, and Oaks just kept saying “ball” or “nanas”.
Judy and I went out on multiple occasions to search. Friends joined the second weekend and Drew and I saw just 2 houses together before this past Saturday. We had ruled out everything we’d seen in the first 15 houses. All those trips and hours just looking and knowing, “Nope, these are not it”, got a bit taxing.
Speaking of taxing, all of this is happening in the throws of tax season. With Drew’s brain bursting with credits and withholdings, his office piled high with bulging manila folders, he was also searching websites for listings and listening to my reports and helping us stay on top of our role as sellers, not only buyers.
The more we saw, the more it became clear what we could let go of and for what we would keep looking, continue a double move, and wait. From the list above, we would become okay with letting go of a flat basketball driveway, a cul-de-sac, and two master bath sinks.
Yesterday we found a house that feels like “the one”.
We have the prize in site. Today we take aim.
Making an offer was enough to keep me up last night and wake Drew up with nerves. We have hoped, dreamed, SAVED, waited, and searched…today we take the giant leap of saying, “What has come before, has lead us here…and here, is hopefully HOME.”
Offering an offer is a huge but small step in the process we hope takes less than the next twenty days. We need to be out of our house on April 27th.
As the calendar turned last Tuesday, Eli caught himself up on the month ahead on our family kitchen calendar. He got my attention and said, “Mom, do you think we can handle this? We have to move (April 27), then it’s Andi’s birthday (April 29), and then we fly to Utah (April 30th)! That’s 3 big things in 4 days!”
Sweet buddy, he read it right. We have a big ending to the month planned. What Eli forgot to mention, but surely feels the effects of, is that between now and those busy 4 days, we have Tax Day, April 15th and the days leading up to it, I am traveling this weekend for Young Life, and we will celebrate Easter. For my propensity to be overwhelmed, this might top the list. Yet, I shan’t be overcome. An extrapolation of Romans 8 reminds me, I am not overwhelmed, instead, I have overwhelming victory in Jesus.
Alas, its not just me affected here. Eli saw the stress on the calendar; Andi is feeling it in her deep and strong emotions.
She has had outbursts and attitudes so uncharacteristic of who she normally is, it seems the giant changes ahead are overwhelming her young psyche. Parental patience, wisdom, mistakes, and moments of “getting it”, have peppered our interactions with precious Andi-girl lately. Yesterday afternoon, Andi and I played Barbie’s together on the family room floor. First the girls had a birthday party for a puppy. When we were switching scenes, Andi said, “I know, let’s play like the Barbie’s are moving!”.  I probably know less about child psychology than I know about hunting, but perhaps it was a bit of play therapy. She’s coping and holding up. It was fun to see her excitement yesterday over the fact that the house we might buy did indeed have a garden.
That’s where we stand…in trepidation and faith, with hope and holding hands, because we want to steward good gifts from God above, and share what we have with people… today we offer signatures and a bit of our future. We are going with what we know right now (a lot and in some ways, so little!) and with faith for what we cannot know. We are grateful for our community who has joined us in the hunt and we look forward to enjoying a meal with you all soon, around a big table in our new house.
Our real estate agent is calling…Finger’s crossed, hopes open. Here we go.

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