Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Housing Update: When God Answers

It's been six weeks since I've given you a housing update and it's not because I didn't want to share. I did. But the things I would have written would have been speculation and hope and a whirlwind of emotions, not a sure thing. Until today. Now I know what to say.

Back in March, our lottery number was drawn for a brand new condo I mentioned here. It was drawn! Out of hundreds of numbers, ours was picked! There were 11 total units and ours was the third one. We were stoked and a little bit scared. This was a huge answer to our prayers! And then all the "buts" and "what ifs" started. And the lack of understanding the process would hit us day after day.

Even though we were third on the list, there were several other applicants ahead of us due to a couple of laws in our city government. Those that live in the same neighborhood as the available condo are given first priority and those that were evicted under the Ellis Act are also given priority. And then us -- the ones who just want to stay in the city. So after weeks of waiting for it to be "our turn" and doubting that there would be a 2-bedroom even available we continued trusting (and trying to wait) that God would indeed work this whole thing out.

And the waiting was a blessing too. In that six weeks, Chris went to several interviews (remember his employer ran out of funding? So we've been living on savings since February) and today he starts a new job! We couldn't very well get a mortgage if we didn't have an income. This is another answer to our prayers! But let me back up.

"Our turn" came up last Thursday. We received an email that our application was approved and we could move forward with the process. The process being, viewing and selecting our condo out of the available units and then working with our bank to get our loan. There were four 2-bedrooms available when we went to the viewing on Sunday afternoon. Another answer to prayer! After looking at them (some more than once) we made our selection and drove home, not at all excited. What?!

You read that right. We just didn't feel comfortable with the space. It is a brand new condo in a really great neighborhood with beautiful parks and a library all in walking distance. But that two bedroom, two bathroom condo felt so tiny. The bathrooms and designer kitchen were stunning and made me a little giddy, there was even a fitness center on site. And having in-unit washer/dryer and garage parking were things I've had high on my priority list for years. But the bedrooms were tiny and picturing our two boys sharing one tiny room (where two twin beds may or may not even fit) was just depressing. And the living room/dining room was fairly small too. There wouldn't have been space for a couch and a dining room table. Hosting has been something Chris and I love doing and the thought of having to get a small table for the four of us in order to have space for a couch was hard to consider. None of our current furniture would fit well here. And where would the toys go?

We currently live in 600 square feet and we have a lot of open floor space for the boys to play. We wouldn't have any floor space in this new home even if it was 850 square feet. The layout left us wanting more. We can get rid of a lot of stuff and go all-out-minimalist and even go broke buying fancy "tiny-house" friendly furniture . . . I've come up with a few ideas so far.

Was it worth going into debt to live in a space we would most likely outgrow in a few years? (Even with the below-market rate price it is still expensive.) And then there is the HOA which just sounded snooty. I understand they want the building to look and stay a certain way but telling me which curtains I can hang made me want to scream.

The weight of this decision sucked the air out of me and left me even more sleepless than the previous weeks of insomnia I've suffered. Chris and I talked it out over and over and kept coming to the same conclusion. It just isn't for us. And that stinks. We've seen God answer all of these prayer requests in the past six weeks and then to come to this conclusion? Are we crazy? Can beggars be choosers? Shouldn't we be grateful for this opportunity and just take it?

Over and over again we said "no." We don't have to take this. God is still in control and can still provide for our needs. And wouldn't you know it! There is an older 3 bedroom/2 bath below-market-rate condo available for resale. The lottery for this unit (there is only one) is next month. Please pray that somehow our number be drawn again! 

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