Look For The Signs

Ask God for guidance and He will direct your path.

Psalm 25:12 says,“Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.”

He will often give us signs.

We were looking for a house to buy last Fall. That journey is worth telling one day. After months of looking we found 2 houses in the same neighborhood that we liked on different streets in different sections. Both houses had their pros/cons. House A was on a wider street at the end of a cul de sac and had a big yard, but it was more expensive and the yard wasn’t fenced. House B was a former model home and was beautiful with a fantastic back yard setting. It had a covered open porch with a ceiling fan, a stone surround built-in gas grill, a fire pit, and fence. Just fantastic. However, the street was narrow and the fabulous backyard was exposed to 10 neighboring backyards. Great backyard. No privacy at all. What’s the point? But this house was priced $15k less than House A.

We went home that Saturday night and chose House B on price. We would plant trees along the fence line and wait 10 years for privacy. I called my agent, Pam Rains that night and asked her to set up another appointment for the next day. Bring paperwork to make an offer on House B. But let’s also look at House A again just to be sure, but no paperwork needed. So we planned to look at House A first the next day to quickly eliminate it and then spend some time at House B to scour it and write up the offer.

Things were going as planned. House A was great, but more expensive. That was a quick visit. Then we rode over to House B. As I pulled up I noticed something. The house across the street had a For Sale sign in the yard. It was not there just 24 hours earlier. I didn’t say anything. We gave House B another thorough once over and Pam pulled out the papers and asked if we were ready to write up an offer.

Well…

I told her about the house across the street. She checked and didn’t find the listing yet. Hot off the press.

“I’ll just walk over there and ask them if we can see it now,” Pam said.

Everyone needs a real estate agent like Pam.

She came back and said that they were watching the Panthers game but we were welcome to come look. This was when the Panthers were losing, so interrupting the game wasn’t a big deal.

The inside of the house was nice, but one step out onto the screened in porch and ahhh…the backyard was heaven. Really…it was incredible. I was stunned. I’m sure my mouth was hanging open. Complete privacy, the backyard was fenced and had two levels. The first level was spacious with a stamped concrete/slate rock look foundation with built-in planting beds, meticulous landscaping with lights. It was perfect for entertaining. It led down to the second level of the yard which was grass and space for the kids to play.

Pam knew that she wasn’t as close to being done with us as she thought. This house just threw a wrench in our plans. I am a picky buyer and the backyard environment was very high on my list. And this backyard was the best we had seen.

Pam called the listing agent for the price and she got his voicemail. We went home that night without a signed contract on House B because of House C. I had to know. Pam called me back later with the news. The listing price was much higher than we would pay. It was out of the ballpark. It was really out of the ballpark for the entire street. I looked at sales on that street and House C was listed $35-40k higher than every other house. Just out of line with the other comps. The sellers evidently wanted to recoup their expenses on the outdoor heaven they created.

What now, Pam wondered.

I’ll let you know in the morning.

That was a restless night for me. It should have been an easy decision. I was going to buy House B before being distracted by C and when C fell through, go back to B. Nope…

I prayed that God would give me clarity. I awoke with it.

It was all about math. Houses A and B were separated by $15k, but House A was on a wider street and the overall feeling on that street was that the houses were $100k better than all of the houses on B street. Wider street, bigger lots, more elbow room. House A also had one of the biggest lots in the neighborhood and much more privacy.

So an additional $15k gets us a $100k upgrade; at least the feel of a house $100k nicer. Amortized over 30 years, $15k isn’t very much.

It was an easy decision now. But the point of this entire blog is that God directed our path. We were going headlong and headstrong into House B and God sent us a sign, a real estate sign, to slow us down. House C caused us to put on the brakes just long enough to consult Him once more about our final decision.

And once it was all said and done, we got House A for the same price as House B.

God is good. Be on watch for His signs.

And here is the sign that was already above the fireplace of our new home. Apropos. I should have paid attention to it earlier.

good to be home

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