Well, if by some miracle you haven't heard the news yet...
WE GOT A HOUSE!!!!
Of course, there is still the long process of home inspection and a multitude of tests, waiting for taxes, and all the paperwork that happens between now and closing on April 27. So continued prayers for a smooth process are very much appreciated.
Now on to the juicy details I know you are all waiting for on the house.
It was listed as a four bedroom, three bath, which is what attracted us to the house in the first place. We were only looking at four bedroom houses, because Randy wanted to make sure Ryan had his own room. The fourth "bedroom" is actually not a bedroom, but an additional separate room in the basement. In fact, the home is assessed and is being taxed as a three bedroom, two bath (a permit was never pulled on the building of the bath in the basement). Ryan is not interested in making this room into a bedroom, because he does not want to sleep in the basement. He does, however, have no problem continuing to share a room with his brother, especially given that the new room is much larger than their current room, and we plan to build the boys loft beds with desks underneath in order to optimize their space even further.
One of the "little" things where we see God's hand in this home for us: if the home had been listed (accurately) as a three bedroom, we never would have seen it.
As long as we're discussing the basement, let's start there. It is a finished L-shape with tile floor, making it great for a rec room / play room / gathering area for get-togethers. We also plan to put the piano down there (with the dehumidifier nearby of course), as well as the craft desk and craft storage. The basement is also a walk-out, first to a railed/gated patio, then to the backyard. There is a storage shed built to the side of the patio. Then, the BONUS: the owner built the basement out under the (four car) garage and made it into a storage area and workshop. The laundry, water heaters, and well tank (oh, yes, did I mention it has a well??) are also kept there.
Another "little" thing where we see God's hand in this home for us: I had been keeping my eye out for houses that included outbuildings (knowing that this couldn't be a "must have" for us, or we might never find a home), because Randy loves to do woodworking. I had been secretly hoping and praying that God would give us a home with a place he could practice this hobby that he hasn't been able to for many many years.
On to the main floor. There is a lovely living room, where we can have an actual main floor family room (currently our living room is tiny and our family room is in the basement, which is fine but not very practical). The kitchen is amazing, with ceramic tile flooring, an island and two-year-old granite countertops (something I have always wanted but never had much hope that I would have), a lower "desk" type section (perfect for bill paying), and an attached dining room. The dining room walks out onto a beautiful deck (over the downstairs patio), which overlooks the back yard as if from the second story, since the basement walks out into the yard. The two kids' bedrooms are down the hall from the kitchen, with the bathroom between them. Now we've come full circle to the living room, where we find the front door and the stairway to the second floor.
The stairway - with it's contemporary black metal railing - leads up to a loft that overlooks the living room (matching black metal railing along the edge of the loft). The loft will be an office and library. There is a third deck that walks out off the loft - standing up there and looking over the backyard is like being three stories up. Very cool! Through the double French doors off the loft is the master suite - something I cannot WAIT to experience. Imagining a bathroom in my bedroom is heaven after
a) having to go downstairs from our bedroom to use the bathroom and
b) having one bathroom for anywhere from 5 to 8 people. There is also a walk-in closet (yes! finally don't have to keep our clothes in the kids' closets!), and the bedroom itself is about twice the size of our bedroom now.
The yard is HUGE and filled with trees, some of which will come out. The front yard is also decent and has a row of trees along the street, which is GREAT for us super-private people :). The driveway goes up, turns 90 degrees into the garage, or goes straight to a hill down to the backyard - perfect for sledding in the winter. There are also steps that go down to the yard or up to the main level deck.
This house is all kinds of perfect for our family - the main reason we know God's hand is in all of this! The other "little" things are in the way the offer process went. We wrote the offer on Wednesday after our second showing. We gave him til Thursday, but due to his work (truck driving) and the weather wherever he was at the time, he needed the weekend to look at the offer and make a counter offer. I spent the weekend panicking that we hadn't offered enough and he was going to find another potential buyer who would offer more than we had. Then Monday morning came, and our Realtor called to tell us the counter offer was coming that evening. Thankfully for my nerves, she already had the information on what he was going to counter offer (he's selling on his own, so doesn't have a Realtor working for him). All he wanted was to take the purchase price up slightly (much more slightly than we expected!) and to remove the part about him paying for a survey showing the property lines. We were so thrilled and happy with this that we didn't even have anything to continue countering with! We were more than happy with his counter offer and signed it right away.
We also received our W2 the next day and did our taxes, which came out to be quite a bit more than we were even hoping for - let alone expecting.
God is so good. Now I just need Him to give me the strength and determination to get the house packed and cleaned and purged (I intend to throw away A LOT while packing).
Please keep the prayers coming. There is still that little nervousness at the back of my mind, and probably will be until May 1, when we have closed and are moved and the old place is cleaned, etc.
We have a house!!