You know in “Say Yes to the Dress” the bride rings a bell when she’s found her wedding gown? There should be something like that when you close on your first house! Taylor and I closed on our first house on March 1st, but there was no bell to ring. Instead there were only papers to sign and keys to receive. Nevertheless, the feeling of responsibility, excitement, accomplishment, and happiness was enough celebration for me! This is the story of our journey to buying a house for the very first time.
Taylor and I moved to Boise, Idaho in November. We knew we wanted to buy our own house someday but we didn’t know the city very well or where our social circles would be, so we thought it would be best to rent until we were comfortable and knowledgeable enough to make that step forward. Soon after moving, we picked up a weekend hobby of going to open houses around the city. We thought it would be a great way to spend time together doing something we really enjoyed, plus it would allow us to learn more about the city and the neighborhoods we liked or didn’t like. We quickly realized that the city was growing fast, and the competitive house market was too. In order to get a house that was in our price range, we needed to act sooner rather than later.
Around the middle of December, we found a real estate agent. Actually we found a couple, husband and wife who worked together in the real estate business. Initially I was pretty nervous to meet with them because I didn’t know what to expect… I was just stepping my feet into the water of the housing market. During our meeting with the agents, they definitely eased my concerns and made me feel confident in their skill and also our choice to go with them in particular. They were very understanding and accommodating of our circumstances and also patient to explain some terms and processes that were completely new to Taylor and I. From there, we started to schedule some private showings of houses.
Our emotions might’ve gotten the best of us in the first two weeks of house hunting. We saw a house that we really liked and wanted to put an offer down. The house made a few strong points on our “pros” list, but for some reason we were hesitant in pulling the trigger. Thinking about putting an offer on that house made me anxious and my heart was not at peace with it, but I was so excited about the idea of finally owning our own house that I convinced myself to brush off those nagging feelings. I’m thankful that Taylor is the more level headed and logical of the two of us. He told me that he wasn’t comfortable going forward with this house… and what a relief! After we both agreed to continue on our search, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.
The search slowed down around the holidays and the beginning of January when I took my trip to visit family back in Seattle. You can read more about that trip here. When I got back home, Taylor took me to an open house and I fell in love. I absolutely loved everything about this house… well, just about everything. This house was at the very tippy top of our price range. We thought long and hard about if it was worth it to sacrifice the financial flexibility in order to live in a house in a well established neighborhood. Right before we wanted to put in our offer, the seller got a few more offers and accepted another. I was disappointed to say the least. How could God put this opportunity in front of us just to take it away at the last second? Unfortunately that same thing happened again, this time with a house that Taylor really liked.
Regardless of having the wind knocked out of our sails, we continued on with our search knowing that God will show us the right house in His time. Not too long after, we stumbled across a cute 1970’s ranch style house. It was centrally located to church, work, and our various social circles we’ve established. It had a really nice backyard with fruit trees too! We only had to visit twice to know it was the house for us. We put in an offer and it got accepted the next day!
The following month of being “under contract” was probably the slowest, longest month I’ve ever experienced! We signed a bunch of papers and legal documents over several meetings, got our mortgage officially approved after a few hiccups here and there, and had a home inspection. Since it is an older house, the home inspection was pretty lengthy. Luckily they were mostly cosmetic items that could easily turn into weekend projects over time. We were excited to take it on! After the thirty days of pending were up, and the final paperwork was signed and completed, we got the keys and the house officially became ours!
A few weeks prior to moving in I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and purchased a big sign to go above our new wood burning fireplace. Anyone familiar with The Bible will know this verse in The Old Testament, in Joshua. The second part of Joshua 24:15 says, “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”. This is the verse on the sign hanging above the fireplace when you walk into our home as a reminder that everything I do on this earth is to point to God. I desire to use what God has provided for me and my family to honor Him. God has blessed us tremendously with a house that suits all of our needs, and I don’t want to take that for granted! Taylor and I would love to use this house to have people over and cultivate meaningful relationships. With the space this house provides and the generous backyard, we can easily do that!
This journey of buying a home has been exciting but also nerve wracking and emotionally draining at times. Throughout this process, Taylor and I have grown closer and had more meaningful conversations about our future and what we would like our family to do to serve God. I’m glad we experienced it together! Although I’m glad to have learned so much about buying a house for the first time, I am even more excited to grow as a homeowner and learn about that responsibility. I am so thrilled and excited to be able to invite people over! For those of you who can’t visit us, I hope this blog makes you feel like you’re here with us. Let’s enjoy this journey together!