Thursday morning I had to get going early to take Charis and Tobin to their first home school P.E. class. They have been looking forward to this for over a month, ever since we went to a "Meet the SAINTS" day that gave an overview of the program. I'm super impressed with it but will probably write more in a different post when I'm not so pressed with other concerns. Anyway, I dropped the kids off at the park while Ted was home with the younger two, then got some groceries and bubble wrap and packing tape at Walmart.
Once home, we packed a few boxes to kill time until we needed to pick the kids up again. After a full morning of exercise, they were treated to a fast-food lunch from Sonic so that we could fill our bellies as we drove to meet Adam to see the first house of the day, which was actually House #5 on our hunt.
House #5 turned out to be absolutely gorgeous but had a small backyard and absolutely no carpet in the main living areas...not so good for little knees learning to crawl. Also, the price was a bit much for us.
House #6 was a nightmare. There was a paper taped to the door that turned out to be a plumbing permit, and one whiff of the air inside the house was enough to indicate that we would NOT want to get ourselves into that situation.
House #7 likely housed smokers from the smell. Plus it was backed against the 215 beltway and was quite noisy. I did, however, like its location on a cul-de-sac with a great area for the kids to ride and learn to ride their bikes.
House #8 could definitely be my dream house. Two stories, gorgeous staircase, 2 bedrooms downstairs, 3 bedrooms upstairs PLUS a good-sized loft area, beautiful kitchen, dining room plus two sitting areas, a huge back yard--what's not to love?! Well, for one thing, the location is farther away from our "life," and for another, it's priced at $1645 per month. Also, they wanted first month's rent, last month's rent, AND a security deposit of the same amount, plus $300 non-refundable cleaning fee, plus the application fee and key deposits... Well, Adam did negotiate striking the last month's rent out of the picture, but they wouldn't budge on the rent amount. I guess it was recently dropped from $1700. I can see why it needs to be that high. It's a great house.
The kids, however, did not like any of the options from Day 2 of our House Hunt, not even the last one with all of its space and the fun upstairs layout. Their little hearts are set on House #4. This surprised me, because our first day of house hunting we heard, "Oh, can we PLEASE get THIS house?" four different times! Each time we walked into a house, they fell in love with it. I figured they'd keep wanting different houses, because each one would have something different that they would like. I was surprised that they kept talking about one we had seen the day before.
We came home to crunch numbers. After evaluating our budget, Ted and I decided that it just would not be wise to go higher than $1500, which is what we've been paying on this house. We had worked our budget beautifully, and while theoretically we "should" be able to afford a higher rent payment, it would likely leave us stressed out and stretched a little too thin for comfort. We talked about me doing more workshops to bring in more money through my business, but I love what Ted said: "I don't mind you doing extra workshops, but I don't want you to HAVE to do more." Don't I have a fantastic husband?! He's definitely a keeper!! He wants me to be able to focus on God first and my roles as wife and mother after that. I love that he helps me keep my priorities in order.
So the next thing we did was ask Adam if he could negotiate the owner of House #4 down to $1500, as he is currently asking $1550. In the meantime, we looked again at some listings Adam had emailed us the day before. We had selected about 7-8 that we were interested in, but we had only actually looked at 3 of them. So now we're waiting to hear the answer to our question about House #4 and planning to meet Adam at 10:00 this morning to look at a few more.
All in all, Ted and I could definitely be happy with House #4. It's just a much tighter squeeze than we might like. Granted, anything is going to be downsizing for us--we've been blessed to be in a 4,000-square-foot house for 16 months now. But with adding a fourth child, plus home schooling and running a home business, we simply have need for more space than an average family. I can tell Ted is ready to just sign some papers and get this process going.
I guess I was hoping that God would reveal without a doubt what His "something better" is. That we would walk into a house and all five of us in our family who can talk would say, "YES! This is IT!" That we would find something that simply has everything we're looking for, not just parts.
Well, maybe it will happen today. If not, I feel like we will "settle" for House #4 (assuming the owner will come down--if not, we'll have to discuss whether $50 a month is worth quibbling over). There are things I LOVE about House #4 (location, lot, and balcony being a few of them), but I'm having a hard time getting over how tight the downstairs area (with the kids' bedrooms, office, and school room/play room) would be.
Lord, help me to wait on you. Your Word tells me to be of good courage and you'll strengthen my heart...so I will wait on you.