Waiting For My Dream Home

April 20, 2017 5 Comments

Waiting For My Dream Home

The tough thing about the home decor industry is looking at gorgeous homes all day, every day, and wondering when my dream home is going to come along. I talked about it in a recent post. I have learned to love my rental home. But we have been in the in-between for so long. Today I’m sharing our whole (not-so-pretty) process of hopping from home to home, our home buying process, and our battle with contentment through it all.


Ryan owned a townhome when we got married, so we spent our first few years of married life in that little home that we loved. But in 2008, Ryan lost his job. Our only daughter (at the time) was four months old, I was a stay-at-home mom, and we were stuck. Then, to make matters worse, the economy tanked. We drained all our savings to try and save our house, with no luck.

So we decided to short sell. We were instructed to stop paying our mortgage, but we didn’t know that the foreclosure process started the minute we stopped paying.


 


That ugly F word. Foreclosure.


So it was a race to the finish. Would our short sell buyer come through or would the house get foreclosed? It was all a guessing game. We started getting all this mail about our foreclosure dates, notices of auctions, and letters instructing us to vacate NOW. So we would snap pictures and text them to our realtor. “Are these real?” “Nope, you’re good, everything’s fine.”

Everything wasn’t fine. One day I walked up to my front door with a toddler in my arms and another baby on the way, and there was a pink slip on our door. With an auction date on it. Somehow the agent was distracted and wasn’t receiving the notices. “I dropped the ball, sorry.”


It was November, we had no money, no house, and we were about to be a family of four. I can’t even count the amount of hours I spent sobbing: a panicky, pregnant mess. We looked high and low for rental opportunities, but no one would even look our way with our destroyed credit and ridiculously low income statements. Thankfully, this amazing older couple was willing to let us rent their house. They hardly knew us. Their generosity still blows me away whenever I think about it. There was no promise that it would work out well for them. We just needed help.



So we stayed there a few years. Our “get out of debt” house. This is where I learned the value of a dollar. There was no extra. I crafted my home decor, I started my Etsy shop, I worked HARD with two little kids. I was literally sewing all the time! The business was working, people were loving the pillows, and things started to even out a little bit. Ryan got a great job opportunity, that eventually transformed into a partnership. His dream job.

 So we dug ourselves (slowly) out of that awful foreclosure hole.


Eventually we grew out of that house, moved into our current rental, and whipped out baby number three. We have amazing landlords and it’s been so perfect for us. But we still want a home that’s ours. Ryan has had a stable job for about six years now, and I work too, but trying to convince a bank to give you a home loan when the F word is on your record? Impossible. It takes at least seven years for them to even look your way. But a friend of ours recommended this small credit union to us, we sat down with them and showed them all of our statements and income reports, and miraculously, we got approved!!! We can finally, for the first time in over six years, think about owning a home again. We got the news when we were on vacation. We celebrated BIG TIME.



We thought the hardest part of the process was over. We were so, so wrong! We’ve been talking about buying a home for over two years. And that whole time, we have never been on the same page. Ryan wants a sunny destination, I want to be wherever my friends are. Sometimes we want to move an hour away, sometimes we can’t imagine moving away from our community right here. Sometimes we want to take off to a beach. We’ve been all over the map.

Recently, it seemed like the stars were aligning for us. We found this development down the street from one of my best friends. It was in our budget, the home was completely customizable, and in the perfect location. So we came in with a full-price offer. Ryan and I were on the same page, we found the house we want, we could afford it, and then silence. The price changed, the terms changed, and now we’re back in limbo. Right now the doors are closed for us. We’re not picking up and moving anytime soon, it seems. But we’ve found a place of contentment that we haven’t had before.

We’ve been going through a series on pain in church for the past few weeks. I’ve heard story after story about lost babies and broken families and horrible tragedies, and each one of them talked about the impossible goodness of God that they saw through it all. And it put some things in perspective for me. I don’t have my dream home yet. But I have my husband and my three babies and a life that is absolutely incredible. And I’m so, so thankful.

The answer right now is “I don’t know”. I don’t know where we’ll live. I don’t know when we’ll move. I don’t know where my kids will go to school. I don’t know how close my friends will be.


But I’m seeing the goodness of God in the process, and that is enough for me.





5 Responses

Sarah
Sarah

May 08, 2017

Thank you for sharing! We too took a direct hit 2008-2010 and we lost our home in 2011. While I was reading your blog I kept think, yes! That is exactly what happened to us!! We kept being told we were fine, ignore the notices, it was an oversight. The only difference was we were still making partial payments. Then bam. Evacuate, here’s the auction date. It took its toll. It’s public record, I worried about judgement and our image. I worried that people thought we were just irresponsible. It was embarrassing and disheartening. We were doing our best and we “failed”. But people didn’t know our story. The bank didn’t care, but we did. We have been renting ever since and we are finally approaching homebuying. It’s liberating! It’s like a weight is lifted off of us! There’s no shame in what happened, we did our best and we know that. There was no way to foresee the hardships we fell on. But we learned and we grew. Our spending habits changed, our savings habits changed and we are much more aware now. We were blessed all along!heres to us and too all others who have gone through the same thing! We will rise above and carry on with our dreams! xo

Natalie
Natalie

May 08, 2017

I have considered starting a blog sharing our life stories to encourage others like this. Life can be raw, it can cut deep, and take your breath away, but I could not imagine living it without His strength, His mercy, His love, and grace. He truly can give joy in the middle of our storms, in the stillness of our waiting…..waiting….and waiting when we wonder when our prayers will be ever be answered. I can identify with your story as we lost our income and home during the evonomic crisis in 2008-2010, and in the middle of medical crisis. We also drained all our resources to save our home only to lose it. We also tried shortsale only for it to be foreclosed. I have desired to get a business off the ground and wanted to when we were going through it, but due to health issues had to wait. We just bought our first home since our loss 7 years ago. I understand the joy. I am not yet in my dream house per say, but the joy of owning our own home and the blessings that come with it are truly a sweet celebration! The time has come where we can begin to build new things for our family, and that adventure is exciting! Celebrating with you! ☺️

Janice
Janice

May 07, 2017

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband and I are also ‘waiting for our forever home.’ Due to unseen financial circumstances early on in our marriage, we sold our first home and have been in rentals ever since, paying off debt from a business we owned (man do I ever regret that we didn’t just claim bankruptcy) Sometimes the wait seems eternal and I am tempted to give up the dream of owning again. But then I read books like the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson that remind us that God loves when we dream ‘foolishly’ because He can show up BIG …. and I stumble across a blog like yours … and I’m hopeful once again. That regardless of the ridiculously high housing prices, my husband and I WILL own a house again. Thank you!

Jordan Lamar
Jordan Lamar

April 20, 2017

Kendra- thank you SO MUCH for being willing to share the ‘not-so-Instagram/Pinterest-worthy’ moments of your life. This right here is transparency. This is encouraging because this is REAL LIFE. We are all in this together and the more we share the tough times and the MIRACULOUS ways that God delivered us through them, the more disciples we will make. I am praying for your family during this time but also praising God for opening your eyes to what you do have. Joyce Meyer said something one time that I’ve never forgotten, ‘What you focus on, you magnify.’ My prayer is that you will magnify Christ and His goodness. Bless you sister!

Nancy
Nancy

April 20, 2017

God Bless y’all. God is great and there are great things in store for you and your little family of 5 in the future. You are right, we have to be content with what we have now because other people have it worse. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with the rest of us.

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