Thursday, September 15, 2016
I decided the ideal location would be East Palestine, Ohio. It would shave about 25 minutes and about 15 miles off my 45 minute/32 mile drive to work, and would get me as close to my Pennsylvania job as I could be and still live in Ohio - the state border is right at the edge of town.
It didn't take me long to find a place I was interested in that was well within my price. #1 answer to prayer. I requested a showing.
The real estate agent turned out to be a 23 year old kid who was raised in the business. He unlocked the door and let me look to my heart's content, where I was joined by my parents a few minutes later.
I loved the house at first sight. It is more house than I need, but that is OK. It has a concrete basement with a full bath that hasn't been used for a while and would need some cleaning and repair to be used...... but the basement is pretty decent.
The main floor: kitchen with hardwood flooring. It isn't big enough for much of a table, largely due to 4 doorways.
A fairly large room that will be a dining room, and another beside it that can be a living room..... that has hideaway doors on both doorways...... way cool.
There is a front porch that is decent sized, but has no railings... hence the plastic stuff on the porch for safety for showing the house. The back porch is walled in with waist high walls and an opening for the steps.
There is a good sized foyer where the steps go to the second floor where there are 4 - yes, 4 - bedrooms and a bathroom. I can fulfill a long time dream of mine - have a room for a library, complete with a lazy boy some time and hopefully a fake fire place.
And then there was the surprise. A door I opened expecting to find a closet, but instead found steps to an attic not mentioned in the house description. This is not a creepy, dirty attic, but one partially finished with paneling on most of the walls and a couple of small rooms partitioned off. Plenty of room for storage.
Add to it a one car garage - dirt floor, but it is a garage - and the place is awesome to me.
I told Evan (the real estate agent) I was interested. He told me I needed to get pre-approved for a loan and then make an offer. Yikes....there is that bankruptcy thing about 7 years ago, what if I couldn't get approved...... oh, and there was an offer on the house. Bleh.
On my lunch break the next day, I called a bank we have used before to pre-approved. Not only was the bankruptcy no longer an issue, my credit score was even higher than I thought - 742, 8 points short of excellent. I was pre-approved for $15,000 more than the asking price of the house. Answer to prayer #2.
I went to the real estate agent and signed some papers and gave them a check for $500, that wasn't to be cashed, but was just earnest money.
And then a couple of days later, Evan called me. Someone made an offer higher than the asking price. I upped my offer $2000, then quickly changed it to $3000 more... still way less than this house was worth..... then I started praying harder.
I started looking more, and did a drive by of another house I could be interested in that is also in East Palestine. I called Evan and left a message for him on Tuesday asking if he could show it to me, even though it is a different real estate company. He called me back a hour or so later, and told me he had good news........ could it be? Yes! My offer had been accepted. Answer to prayer #3. Wednesday, I got a cashier's check for $500 to exchange for the regular check I had written, and drove again to the real estate office where I signed several pages and handed over my $500.
If all goes well, the house should be mine - well sort of mine - on October 25, or possibly earlier.
There is one hurdle yet to be crossed, but I am confident God will answer that prayer also. I will need between $3000 and $3500 for closing costs and a down payment, unless the bank that has the house agrees to pay some of the closing costs. I don't have that money. I have a savings account that I may have to use some of to buy things for the house - blinds, stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer.......and who knows what else....... but not the money. But God has worked this all out so far, so I am praying He will help me find a way to get what I need.
And God willing, by the time next month draws to a close, I will again be a home owner....and this time with my own library.