Authentic Conversations with Andy Mason

150 Change Your Expectation - NEW hope

June 30, 2022

After a six-month process and some last minute twists and turns, we just found a new home in Pennsylvania. We had to navigate our expectation of timing, property size and property location. We also had to navigate all that we heard from God translated into what that looks like in a transaction. What is faith in this situation? When do we just wait? How long do you wait? Here's the ups and downs of the story and what we learned in the process.

Firstly - here's what happened this week...

We pulled out of a deal at the last second

After months of looking and resetting the family (see episode 148 You Reek of Stress and 149 The Insiders Perspective) we were left with one property that met the needs of the family and fit our budget. The alternatives - air bnb or renting for 9-12 months, were either too expensive or non existent (or a flat out 'no way' from the family).

The property fit the expectations of rural location and peaceful setting and perfect for our older daughter's desire for independent living. We could make the bedrooms work for us with a minor renovation. But my wife hated it. When nothing else was available (rental property was U G L Y or unavailable), we prayed about it, and all agreed to move forward with it adjusting our expectation. As an alternative to renting it was a good deal.

So we put in an offer and prayed that the Lord would lead us in the process or rescue us if needed! 

The sellers came back with a very minor counter offer. But overnight, Janine hadn't been able to sleep. She got up, praying saying "Seriously Lord, is this the best you have for us?" The response that immediately came to her was "If that's what you have faith for."

So, based on her conviction and after humbling ourselves with the agent and our family, we withdrew our offer.

As we said to the kids, it's better to walk away at the altar than realize two weeks later that you made a mistake (ie. too late).

We re-examined our expectations

We then reset with the family of what was non negotiable and what it was we love. This looked like writing up a large sheet of card, taped to the wall, a list of the things in a property that were a priority. The second sheet had what we would love but were not critical for the season.

We cast our cares on the Lord and recruited His Agency

We then prayed and cast our cares on the Lord and asked for his care in the way of Jesus being our Real Estate Agent and finding us the house. We had done this all through the process but this was another level casting on Him our frustration, anger, irrigation, impatience, fear, dreams and desires, hopes and needs...

We relooked at the market

We then had a quick look with the new parameters online and found three houses, NONE of which we had looked at before. Actually two of these were brand new to the market - 2 days and a few hours, respectively.

We then jumped in the van and drove the hour and half to inspect the property's.

The first one was ok. We could live there.

The second one looked really good but we couldn't line up the agent to look through and there was a degree of road noise.

The third one was in a beautiful neighborhood (note: we had not been looking in neighborhoods - we had been looking for houses with more than an acre of land). When we walked inside, INSTANTLY the kids lit up and took off around the house to look around.

(As an aside, our own agent was away on vacation so a random agent from the listing company was letting us in for no personal gain. She just wanted to help after I called their office. She then put in a positive word for our family when we subsequently put an offer in.)

The feeling that we all had was the same as when we purchased our previous homes in Redding, CA. Unanimous "Yes!"

We put in an offer

Actually we put in two offers. First offer was slightly above asking price, following professional advice given that it was only 2 days on the market. 

Then we heard there was another offer going in so we needed to put our BEST offer forward and they would be presented side by side.

No pressure! Is this our house or not? 

I had to trust God again that He truly does lead.

We talked as a family what would be a price we would be happy to pay and at what point would we resent paying too much. We then took 30 seconds to be still and ask the Lord for His insight on price.

Without hesitation EVERY ONE of my family had the same price and it was $2,500 LESS than what we had talked about moments before. 

So we put in the offer, agreeing to the desired short settlement that suited us.

And our offer was accepted

We are now in process of finding furniture, doing inspections, getting the loan and moving to another (TWO) air bnb until move-in date (July 28/29).

So what did we learn?

  1. Following the process, walking WITH God = continuing to listen and take action and trust the outcome. The Good Shepherd kept us from messing up.
  2. The process of delay was painful but was necessary to adjust our expectations to see differently. If we hadn't gone through the process we would never have reset what was non negotiable. AND the house wasn't yet on the market.
  3. The importance of listening to your spouse! What would have happened if I didn't listen to Janine's hesitation? Or, if I hadn't been gracious in the process?
  4. The Good Shepherd has indeed led us to good pasture and the house we have found is above and beyond what we could ask or imagine. Not only does it meet all the non negotiable needs for us to thrive, it also ticked off 90% of the list of what we also love.
  5. The Good Shepherd's timing is perfect. Don't try to understand, that MAY come later. TRUST His nature and character and leadership and keep walking with a listening ear and a ready step.

Oh... and the address of our new house? NEW Hope, Pennsylvania.



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