If you’re just now joining in on my #31Days series, you can click here to read all the posts. I suggest reading them in order because they build on one another :)
If you have read so far in our story, the Lord has provided in amazing ways in our times of need. This time, our time of need is in a big moment of stupidity. God’s provision isn’t contingent on the situation being right, and in this instance, we were the ones who put our family in a bad season.
About a year after we got married, Joseph and I started feeling the itch to buy our own home. The market was booming and we were worried we would never be able to buy a home if we didn’t snag one before the prices kept creeping up. So we started looking around. A realtor showed me some listings but in the end, I really liked this one specific patio home [stand alone house but no yard…just patio]. It was in the neighborhood of some friends of ours and we really liked the area. To be honest, I still really like the area!!
After finding out that because our realtor didn’t visit the property with us on our first visit, the builder would not let him negotiate for us. That should have been our first clue, but we pressed on. Then, the house we wanted sold. Second clue. So we found a layout that was the same but the list price was $4,000 higher. No big deal, the sales lady assured us. $4,000 will only raise your mortgage by about $20 a month. Third clue, but we pressed on. On closing day, we had to fork out an additional $2,000 to get our keys [not sure what for, but we were excited kids and did what we were told — insert head shake here and sad face]. Yet another clue, and yet, we were way to excited to stop. Looking back, I want to scream at how naive and clueless we were.
We got our keys, moved in, had the entire interior painted, bought new things to fill in, and started life in our new home. For a while, things were great. And don’t get me wrong, it was a great house. I miss it sometimes. We brought Jael home there. It had an amazing kitchen. But it was the wrong decision. A few months after we moved in, the market crashed. Our house was worth exponentially less than we paid for it. It was devastating, but we determined that since we could pay the payments, we would be fine. It would just be a while before we could sell it and move.
And then, through some confusion, our lender being bought out by another lender, and taxes, our mortgage went up by a few hundred dollars a month. And we didn’t know what to do. We contacted the mortgage company and told them we couldn’t afford the new amount. And you know what they told us??
Default for three months and then we can help you.
Worst. Advice. Ever. Any money we sent would just be absorbed and wouldn’t make any difference in the situation. So we defaulted and started the long and painful and emotional process of short selling our home. As I type this, I am devastated all over again. I miss our little house. And in the time it takes to short sell our home, God starts a season of radical upheaval in our lives that changes us forever.