Monday, December 12, 2016

The rest of the story

So it's been a few months since I last posted and that post was all about how I felt God was calling me to sell our house in Florida. I was NOT excited about this idea at all initially. I cried. More than once. But whenever I prayed about it, I felt very clearly that the Lord told me to sell it. So I didn't delay. I listed it right away and began getting it ready for photos and showings and all that important but not so fun stuff that involved putting money in for some fixes to things I knew needed fixed and so on. Meanwhile, as I mentioned, the mortgage had increased and my van was having issues and needing repairs left and right and finances were honestly tighter than ever. I prayed and prayed that the house would sell fast and the stress would be minimal. Well guess what? It went under contract after only 2 days of showing it. 2 days!!! Crazy awesome, right? I was so happy. And I got what I had hoped to get from it. Praise the Lord.

Now the next 30+ days were pretty stressful with some drama I won't mention during the selling process, a whole bunch of extra costs involved in repairs I ended up having to do and a delay in closing that meant me having to borrow money from several very awesome and generous sources to get through one more week without those funds. But people helped me and reminded me of how God blesses us with community and how humbling it is when that community comes alongside to hold one another up. I'm so thankful. And the house did finally close and praise the Lord I was able to pay off a ton of debt with the very nice profit I made off that house. So thankful.

The really cool part of the story is the part about finding us a new place to live. I'll try to keep it short but there's a lot of fun little details I don't want to leave out so here goes...

So right after the house went under contract and had passed inspection and we had agreed on repairs and stuff, I started my search for a place for us to move. One day I set up appointments at a bunch of condos in the area and set out to start looking. Several were decent but didn't really jump out at me. One I really, really loved but the price was crazy high. Prices here are high enough but some of these places for rent were insane. I came home discouraged and frustrated.

The next morning I got up early and went in the prayer closet. Through tears, I was asking God to show me and to help us find a place that I would like, that would be a good fit for us and most of all in a price range we could even afford cause I surely didn't want to end up right back in a tight spot after all that. After I finished praying, I hopped on zillow.com to look again. I was reading listings and hiding ones I didn't like and searching some more. I kept zeroing in on the place where several of our friends live and refreshing the screen to look there. I also hopped on to other sites and cross checked to see if any other ones came up that weren't listed on the other sites. All of a sudden, when I hit refresh, a brand new listing popped up in the condos I was wanting and in the literally EXACT dollar amount I was hoping for but did not think we would find for a 3 bedroom condo. I picked up the phone and called right that moment. The lady who answered started laughing and said "I just posted that less than 2 minutes ago". Come to find out it was a 3 bedroom PLUS a loft. And the price was perfect. And it was in the same condo developments as two different friends of ours and that's where I was hoping to be all along. Especially since we already knew people and I already knew this place has a lot of families with kids and dogs.

So the story gets even crazier. I couldn't get in right away to see it cause the people still lived there. So it was going to be a few days and I was kind of worried someone else would snatch it up. I had come across a scam on craigslist - a place I had looked at the previous week was posted for way cheaper, using the same exact pictures but turns out it wasn't the owner at all. She was shocked when I told her I saw someone was using her pics and details to post on craigslist. When I did a test email to them to see what they said, of course they said someone had just backed out and I coudl be next on the list but had to fill out the online application and pay the deposit first. No way. I bet those people made a lot of money just doing that. Total scam. Anyway so I had just discovered that and didn't want to send any of my info through email or otherwise. But I wanted this leasing manager to know I was serious. I had her send me all the paperwork and was just going to bring it already filled out when I came to look at it. She mentioned she used to work at the main leasing office for these condos but now managed some of the units for individual owners. So I texted my friend Kait to see if she knew of her. Turns out she rents from her too. She totally knew her. She confirmed the email and phone number was indeed her and so I went ahead and sent her my stuff.

Monday I got to go see the place and loved it right away. Still can't believe it was the price it was. Total God thing and I know had I not been online at that exact moment it would have been taken cause it is awesome! This part of the story gets even more awesome - I'm serious!!!!

So I'm talking to the leasing manager and she says "I have to tell you - I wasn't so sure about you when I saw your application and it said you didn't have money in savings and you had debt and all that so I googled your name and I found your blog and read your story about selling your house and know I know the whole story and totally get it. And your faith is really inspiring." I'm standing there with my jaw down like "seriously!!! You read my blog and that cleared it all up and you're ok with renting to me because of that?" Wow, just wow. Talk about a God thing!!!! I'm still in shock about that. Just goes to show you never know who will read stuff you put on the internet - good or bad. Ha ha

Anyway, of course she also ran a credit check and all was good so we got the place. I felt the favor of the Lord over that whole thing and we were able to borrow some funds to get in here and then of course pay it back as soon as the house closed. We got moved in a few days before closing on the other house and other than our dog having a heck of a time adjusting which is a whole other story - we absolutely LOVE the place. And the part I love most is the sense of community. We literally hang out with my friend and her kids like 3 or more times every week. And through her we've met other people including another single mom with a little girl that we adore. And so we all 3 single moms and our kids hang out all the time. Our kids play outside. We take turns having each others kids over. It's something I've only ever dreamed of. I love, love, love it. Hopefully our fur baby will come around too cause she's not loving it just yet.

After all that and getting moved in and paying off debt - my van stranded us again. Actually on moving day - it was a crazy long, tiring day and I had picked m up from aftercare and the dog up from doggy daycare where she went during the day so she wouldn't run off in the move and our van died right there in the doggy place parking lot and we were the last ones there, even the workers had left. My friend from small group came to our rescue and sat with us in their car until the tow truck came which was like 9:20 at night. I think I was so exhausted and overheated because as we were sitting there, all of a sudden, I had to jump out of the car because I knew I was going to throw up. I sure did - like 10 times right there in the lawn of the doggy place on moving day with a dead van and waiting on a tow truck. That day was just crazy. But we got all moved and we got the van towed and I got it fixed the next week (and it wasn't cheap). Of course I found out a few weeks later that it needed another $1800 in repairs. Mind you, this van had stranded us at home twice and out away from home twice in the past 6 months (once in Tampa), was a 2002 with 180k miles and had begun having issue after issue and was literally worth hardly anything if I were to try and sell it. Finding out it needed another $1800 in repairs was the final straw. Thank God I sold the house and paid off all that debt or I would not have been able to get a different vehicle. But I had been obedient to what I felt like He told me today and so I was able to get a different vehicle. I got a used 2010 Dodge Caravan with 97,000 miles on it for a really great price at a place only a few miles away.

All that to say - I am SO glad I sold the house. I literally haven't even missed it. I've actually loved not having to take care of the pool or pay for the lawn to be mowed or worry about stuff breaking. And I LOVE the community we have here. Mihretu is doing amazing and loves it too. He has kids to play with whenever he wants and it's so lovely. And I'm thankful to be free from all that debt and to have been able to get a different vehicle. And that's the story on all that!!! God is good!!!

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