Monday, April 25, 2011


If I could list the number of houses that I've set my heart on since moving to Washington, it would be kinda funny. It's not an exorbitant amount, but it is an indicator of how fickle a heart can be.

There was that one house. A house right on the Puget Sound, with land and a chicken coop and a guest house. It was offered to us as a rental, but we were resisting the thought of renting for a short time and then having to move again when we found a more permanent place to abide (who likes to move their stuff and then move it all again?). That home passed us by.
The Victorian was, so I thought, the one for us. It was nestled right in downtown but still had some land. It had a brook running through one corner, a HUGE garden, a tree house, a shop, a green house, an attached guest cottage, and a chicken coop replete with chickens (do you sense a theme here?). But, alas. That house was out of our price range. Then there was the house that was on 2+ acres. It also had a bubbling brook running through the property. My heart leapt at the first sight of this property. I remembered all my fondest childhood memories of wading in the creek by our house, looking for crawdads and dreaming I was Diana, Anne's bosom buddy. All my dreams for owning land seemed to be coming to fruition in this piece of property.
The bridge over the brook. So Anne-of-Green-Gables-esque.
Views of farmland.

Cross over the brook and take a jaunt up to the barn.
The big barn with the chicken coop.

And here we go strolling back down to the house.

The house that was 3,700 square feet, people!

That didn't include two other outbuildings.

And then... the horror. When we walked through the house, we saw room after room that didn't make any sense. And some rooms undone. And three hallways in a row. What were they smoking?!

Even if we had been able to get the house for, say $100,000 (it was a foreclosure), we would have had to sink another huge chunk of time and money into re-modeling it. Which, on a sunny day, sounds like a fun idea. Seriously. We love to take the old and make it new.

But, if you'll remember with me, we have a baby due end of August. And four other munchkins who need to be loved and homeschooled. And then the remodeling idea doesn't sound so grand to me. Not at this time in my life.

Oh, how the wait has felt endless. Just when I thought I'd gotten to be pretty good at being patient, I find that I have a looooooooong way to go. Just when I thought the waiting was unbearable, I'd have to wait some more.

Yet, the promise still remained.

{The view off the front porch}

Then there was the house that we actually put an offer on. It was in a stellar neighborhood, had a circular driveway, two acres, and lovely arches inside.

The offer was refused.

And so, we waited more.

The ironic thing is that, somewhere in the middle of our wanderings, probably six to eight months ago, we were offered a house. The owners happen to be friends and they had bought it one year ago to fix up and sell. We walked through the house when it was just newly sheetrocked (is that even a word?) and thought it was cute and quaint, but too small a lot for us. And it was on a corner. With neighbors (gasp!) nearby. No chicken coop. No land with a brook to wade in. No space to roam and enjoy the quiet life.

So, we dismissed it.

A few months later, they asked us about it again and wondered if we would pray about it, because they had had us in mind when they bought it. We smiled and nodded, thinking "It was nice of you to think of us, but... we have bigger dreams to follow."

Shortly after that, I was soaking in the tub one night. That seems to be a place where I can clear my mind, and often, I am able to listen to that still, small voice. That still, small voice left an impression in my heart that we were to "take the Turner house". What? I must've heard wrong. But the impression wouldn't leave me. I also felt that I needed to hide that word in my heart and not say anything to my hubby, for the Lord would take care of his heart. But, I shared it with Carter (he pried it out of me!) and unfortunately, I missed the timing. He, well, let's just say, he had his eye on a bigger fish.

Then, time passed, and we put the offer on the house I mentioned before, the bigger fish.

The day the offer was refused, I suggested we take one more look at the Turner house (I call it that because it's on Turner Street). He agreed. That night we ran into the owner and in the course of conversation let him know that the other house we had been pursuing did not work out. He inquired if we had pondered the Turner house anymore. We said, yes, actually. He said that if we were at all interested, he would put our name in the paperwork with an exclusionary clause stating that we would not have to go through a realtor to purchase said home. And, oh yeah, the house was going on the market the next day.

Seemingly fortuitous timing, eh? Well, I don't think chance was involved in this.
The very next morning we ran into him again, at a gas station of all places. He told us that his wife was at the house that very moment cleaning it and that she would let us in.
So, we went and looked. It was like a brand new house.
The very next day, we started talking price. Two days later we put earnest money down. Now we just wait for the final papers to be processed.

Take a peek at what the house looked like one year ago.
Yeah, Wow. U.G.L.Y.

Take a peek at what it looks like now...



It was built in 1947 and they were able to keep and restore the original wood floors.

It has five bedrooms and one bonus room. A nice and open kitchen which we've already bought an island for.

The bonus room.

They had to take the house all the way down to the studs, so it is essentially like a brand new house inside. As much as we love to move into a house and put our own fingerprint on it, this fact, that it is totally move-in ready, makes my heart happy.

There are still things I don't love about it, the yard for instance. The linoleum. Being on a corner. No formal dining area. But I can live with those things. I can live with the fact that we can afford this house and that it was meant for us.

Did I get my dream house? No, not yet. But there is still time, should the Lord tarry. We could build in three years if we wanted to. In all this time of waiting, we've learned how to save well. Something we were never good at before. Buying a parcel of land outright is now not an impossibility.

There's a line in a song that says, "So we never got to Paris and found the cafe of our dreams, but our table holds a whole world of memories. No, we never went to Venice and strolled the streets alone, but we built our worlds together and we got the best of both."

If we never get the house of our dreams, at least we have each other and we have a place to


~christa jean


Anonymous said...

Looking at that kitchen again, it doesn't have a lot of storage space. This is a good reason to get rid of extra, unneeded stuff. Can't wait to see the house in person.

The Everett Family said...

Love the fresh white moldings! So beautiful. The windows are gorgeous, too! Enjoy your blessed new home!

Rachel- Once Upon a Farm said...

Beautifully written and remembered, Christa! What a transformation- it is beautiful! Congratulations on your new abode!:) I missed you somehow when you were down for a visit- bummer! Visit again soon, OK!