House hunting is not as glamorous as I imagined. This is no HGTV. I have not met Chip or Joanna, but I have asked myself numerous times, how do so many people buy houses? The process is exhausting.
Maybe it’s my own personal brand of stress that has me going crazy. I seem to do that around all major life events, but on to the real story here.
We thought we found the house.
The neighborhood was so idyllic, it was practically straight out of Pleasantville. It was picture perfect. We even saw a bunny for goodness sake. (In other news, I’m now obsessed with bunnies. They are everywhere in Texas.)
The house itself was in need of a number of updates. It had laminate flooring and multiple flavors of carpet that made me cringe, but the floor plan was great. It even had a sweet little office.
The price was more than we’d originally settled on spending, but come on, the neighborhood was one step away from Leave it to Beaver.
After seeing the house in person, we went home and prayed about the decision. We still felt good about it and made a call to the realtor to make the offer.
Then, I remembered seeing something above the garage and texted my dad to ask what he thought it was. He called me immediately. Apparently, there’d been some sort of repair done to the mortar on the bricks above the garage and they hadn’t matched the color of the orginal mortor, so you could tell the work had been done.
That was it. That sounded like the answer to my prayers. Something was wrong with the brick facade.
But how could I know for sure if that was the answer?
Of course, I turned to my mom. She knows a thing or two on praying about purchasing a house. After seeing an incredible option for her first house with my dad (there was even a secret prohibition-era basement!), they prayed about it. Let’s just say they got a very clear answer and did not buy the house.
So, I asked my mom if she thought the brick issue was an answer to my prayer. She said, it’s not a stop sign, it’s more of a yield. You need to find out more about it.
While I was a little wary of ignoring what appeared to be a pretty blatant answered prayer, I went along with the idea. We asked our realtor to talk to the sellers about what the issue was with the garage. They came back with a story about how the cracks in the mortar were caused by the conversion of the attic into the office. We weren’t too convinced with that story.
I was pretty torn at this point. This house was a fantastic way to get in a great neighborhood at a good price. But I still felt terrified of ignoring an answered prayer and doing what I wanted anyway.
So we scheduled a time with our realtor to look at the house again. Last time, we hadn’t looked at the outside very long. I took the picture of the problematic area only as an afterthought.
We showed up early and watched the owners run out with their three dogs so we could see their house again. While waiting for the realtor after the owners left, we took a real good look at the bricks.
The number of issues with the area over the garage was insane. The repaired mortar had cracked. There were 6 cracks coming up with the garage and after staring for fifteen minutes, I found two cracked bricks. It was like the brick facade of your nightmares.
We prodded our realtor for his opinion and after getting multiple assurances that he wasn’t a structural engineer, he told us that it looked like a pretty big issue and he wouldn’t ever consider buying it himself.
And then I felt relief.
It seriously felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. This was definitely a ‘yield sign’ and an answered prayer. Finding more about the problem confirmed to me that this was not the house for us. I mean, who wants to worry about their brick facade crumbling onto their car in the middle of the night?
Both Garrett and I felt great about walking away and continuing the house hunt. We don’t really have a deadline of when we need to get into a house, so that makes it a lot easier.
What I love about looking back at this experience is that our prayers were clearly answered! Isn’t it fun to see this stuff in action? There must be something with my family and getting crazy answers to prayers over possible houses. I wouldn’t put it past the Wood genes.
Figuring out what the answer to a prayer is can be really hard. Most times, I think it comes down to whether you feel good about making a decision or not. We’ll drive through some neighborhoods and just get this bad feeling. We avoid those places even when they have great deals…which is much harder than it sounds.
Whenever my family members have any kind of challenge, I always ask them if they’ve prayed about it. For me, it’s the first thing you do when you come up against any obstacle. While my own house hunt continues, you can be sure I am praying along the way.
Wish me luck!