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SCOT BELLAVIA: We Closed On A House

If you recall my outlook on the housing market expressed three articles ago, you’re probably surprised to hear we got a house; we were too. Here’s what happened.

We dismissed our future house the first time we saw it listed; the inclusion of “AS IS” was a red flag. Then, we put offers on two other houses. It’s unprecedented, I think, how quickly one can put an offer on two houses in this market, since they can’t legally be simultaneous—par for this market, but unique in its history. Our offer on the second house was rejected on a Friday. That following Sunday, our future house went back on the market after the buyers dropped out because it appraised for more than they were prepared to pay.

The two houses we put offers on in the meantime must have lowered our expectations in the market as a whole and we confidently rationalized away the “AS IS.” Conferring with our realtor, we offered at asking price. We figured after the first buyers bailing, the sellers were ready to take what they could get. This asking price was the lowest we’d offered among the four or five other houses we’d placed an offer on.

Recommended by a couple realtors and a carpenter friend, we included a letter to the sellers in which we introduced ourselves and expressed what our hopes and vision are for the house. The next day we learned our offer was accepted! Not only that but we beat out a second, higher offer submitted 30 minutes after ours and the sellers disclosed that it was our letter that persuaded them to choose us. We’ve since heard mixed opinions on including a letter; consult your realtor for any personal questions regarding that.

Not only was our offer the lowest among our others, it was $100 shy of our anticipated ceiling when we set out to buy a house, when we were yet virgins of this savage market. On every other house we offered, we had raised the roof of our budget significantly. This specifically has been a reminder to us of God’s direct involvement in our home-buying process.

Another blessing was our offer being accepted in time for us to satisfy our apartment’s 60-day requirement for notice to vacate. Had our offer not been accepted, we’d have had a mere ten days of nail biting searching to avoid concurrent rent and mortgage payments for who knows how many months. At that point, however, we would have been okay with doing so. But as it is, we don’t, and we’re thankful.

None of this I recount to brag or shirk empathy due those who haven’t yet found success in this housing market. None of it transpired by our own doing unless you count the decisions we alone were responsible for. We only ever prayed throughout the process and followed the advice of trustworthy experts.

I understand a 3BD 2BA is a mansion to some, so this story is not evidence of a promise from God to let my family prosper but rather evidence that his eye is even on the sparrows and flowers of the field, meaning he deservedly gets the credit for even the minutiae of “success” in our lives.

– Scot Bellavia

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