Our New House

This was submitted to our church newsletter in April when we first started working on the deal for the house. The church newsletter has been in transition for a while. We can't seem to find anyone who can devote the time to it. Therefore, this hasn't been published yet. I thought I would post it here so it could be seen.

April 22, 1999

Kathy Anderson told us to go look at the house up the street. But it looked like it had to be out of our price range and besides, I didn't think our expenses were under control enough to allow us to buy a house. I kept telling Karen that I wanted to see the credit card payed down and some money going into savings before we could start looking at houses.

A few days later, Karen called me at work to tell me about the latest incident with our landlady. The accusations she made to Karen were beyond our belief. She's treated us very well over the seven years we've been in South Bound Brook and we were very surprised to hear what we were being accused of. Since our relationship with her seemed to have been deteriorating slowly, we figured it was about time to start looking for a new home.

It took us a few days to get over the shock enough to start working on a game plan. During the next weekend, I asked Karen if we could go out to look at houses. The first place I thought of was the house up the street from the Andersons and Marreros that Kathy kept telling us to look at. We had taken a closer look at it just a week or two before and were convinced it would be out of our price range. It's an expanded Cape Cod on a very large lot and I've looked at North Brunswick home prices in the newspaper. But even if we couldn't afford it, we could at least talk to the realtor to find out what else might be available in the area.

We tried calling the Andersons and Marreros but they weren't home so we drove down to see which realtor was selling the home. We called them with our cell phone and told them we'd be into their office to talk about the house.

When we got there, they had already pulled out the file. We were seated in the conference room and they brought in some forms we had to sign to state that we understood what to expect them to do for us. Then they opened the folder and I saw the asking price.

I was amazed! It was a little higher than I was hoping to spend but still within our range! I couldn't believe it! I couldn't wait to go have a look inside.

The inside had just about everything we could have wanted. There's plenty of room for all of us and some of the things you most worry about failing had been recently replaced.

We went back to the realtor's office and started filling out paperwork. The realtor said that someone else had looked at the house and was expected to send in a bid that evening. Since the other party was working with a different realtor, they would rather work with us (they would be able to keep the entire realtor's fee). We decided how much to bid and started filling out the paperwork. Then we had to sign all seven (seven!) copies. The realtor told us they would present our offer to the owners that evening. A few hours later, they called us to tell us our bid was accepted.

The deal hasn't been completed yet but I am amazed at all God has done for us so far. I think much of this started when we moved into South Bound Brook. Even though we are having some clashes with our landlady now, she has been extremely generous with us over the years. She has kept our rent low which has helped us generate some amount of savings.

Also, our neighbors Valerie and Brian Tarantino brought us into the church. It is the faith and friendships built here that have kept us together and gotten us through some tough times.

At church, we made many additional friends including Kathy who pointed the house out to us. I am convinced that Kathy is in tune with God and recommend that anyone receiving her advice should accept it. We also met Joe Palumbo who set us up with some investments that helped us save the money for the down payment.

I also think of how God broke through my stubbornness. We had acquired quite a bit of debt and I was insistent that it be dealt with before we started shopping for houses. It was going to take something major to break through that stubbornness and God provided it in the form of our landlady's accusation. Pastor Mark and others have said that in order to hear God speak to you, you need to provide some quiet time. I personally think this is true for the most part but sometimes God does yell. I think God yelled at Jonah and he used my landlady to yell at me (although maybe not as loud).

The timing was also good. The house had just been marked down a little because the owner has already purchased their next home and they need to sell this one. If we had been a day later, another bid would probably have eclipsed ours. Our closing is scheduled for mid-June which will allow the kids to finish out the school year in their current schools.

And if this isn't enough blessing, the house has most of what we were hoping to find in a house in a town and neighborhood we already know fairly well. We will finally get the girls out of this troubled school district and into one that we've heard many church families speak highly about. We'll also be much closer to church and we hope that allows us to participate more in activities other than Sunday morning's service. And I don't even have to change my internet service provider!

We ask that you pray with us for healing with our landlady and for smooth passage through mortgage applications and lawyers to closing. And if you're not doing anything on Independence Day, stop by the barbecue!

August 12, 1999

Just for an update....

We closed on the house on June 22 and moved in on the 26. And it was one heck of a barbecue on July 4! Hope everyone enjoyed the home-made ice cream. Thanks to all who helped with the move.


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