House Goals

Can we talk about the housing market real quick?  It’s insane. I’ve never seen anything like it, honestly.

It’s a seller’s market in our area, there is virtually no inventory of homes so when a house goes on the market…. approximately 18,000 people all fight to buy it at the same time. It’s nuts. In fact, it’s the 2nd tightest housing market in the entire country (San Jose, CA is #1. Now you’re up on your current real estate trivia!).

I’ve been to open houses where there were no less than 30 other people in the house at the same time. Most of the houses we have seen get multiple offers (many are cash offers) within 24 hours. Almost every time we are scheduled to see a house, there are 4 other families scheduled at the same time. There are often investors lurking around, I even saw one guy who brought his general contractor with him. Half of the houses have gone under contract before we even have a chance to see it. At any given house I go to, there are typically at least 10 people in the street talking with their realtors and half of them are writing up offers on the hoods of their BMWs (ok, I might be exaggerating on that piece haha!). I feel like I should be a reality show on HGTV or something.

I’m doing my best to stay hopeful despite a difficult market and I’m trying my hardest to have a discerning eye without being a brat and demanding I have a perfect house that checks off every item on our “must have” list. It’s a fine line to walk and hopefully we will be rewarded for our persistence and hope that we can find a house suited perfectly for us.

At leat through the house-hunting process I am learning more and more about the things I like and the things I don’t like….

I’m finding myself drawn to smaller homes with larger yards. East/west facing windows that provide beautiful natural light always makes my heart happy. I like large trees, interesting floorplans, quiet streets and a little bit of character woven throughout. 

As we have looked at several houses in the area, I am learning that I feel a particular attraction towards a certain style of home…often they were built in the 1970s-1990s and have multi-levels (but not necessarily a traditional tri-level), uniquely-shaped windows, little nooks and crannies and weird kitchens that need updating. They usually have vaulted ceilings, mature landscaping and give off a vibe that the architect and builder were “experimenting” with a new concept. Sometimes the concepts fail miserably and sometimes…they’re pretty awesome.

I saw a house last week that was really cool. It needed a lot of work done so we passed on it. It went under contract 12 hours later. I’m still wondering if we should have put an offer in on it…

David and I saw another one a few days later that we both were intrigued by. It literally had 5 levels on the interior, but the exterior looked like your standard 2-story, the inside was like a maze where you kept discovering new rooms. It had 2 amazing porches on the backside of the house and a cute little tree swing. Sadly, the house had extensive structural problems from poor drainage issues which were causing the entire house to slope south 6 inches. The stairs were crooked and the walls were having upheaval problems. It was a bit too intimidating for us to undertake the kind of restoration it truly needed. Go figure, 1 day later it too went under contract.

There is a temptation to just buy the first house that we see that looks halfway decent. To just throw caution to the wind and overlook bad neighborhoods, no natural light, poor layouts, unfortunate lot placement and problematic structural issues just so we can get a foot in the door and have a place to live.

There’s a lot of temptation to just settle for good enough. And there’s a good chance we might do just that. Maybe God is preparing our hearts to live in a place we do not like. We may have more lessons to learn on being content no matter what our situation or surroundings are (Phil 4:11).

But. I think that I can hear God whispering that we should hang tight and trust Him. I hear subtle words that He may just have the perfect place picked out for us. And if we will just continue to trust His timing and direction, it will be ours. Yes, I am saying that I believe God has a home already picked out for us. Yes, I believe it is a specific place. I believe it will be a “I’ll know it when I see it” sort of thing. And I believe if we get impatient and settle, the opportunity might pass us by.

Maybe my house-hunting theology is whack. But maybe…just maybe I’m discerning those whispers of God correctly. Maybe He really will fulfill that desire in our hearts. Maybe He really does have the perfect little home picked out for us with beautiful natural light and a brick fireplace or maybe even a porch in the backyard where we can watch the sunset. Maybe there is a house out there that is perfect for us. A place that we don’t just like, but love. A place we are excited to call our home.


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