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    Home Sweet Home?

    June 10, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Well. We won. At least, it looks like we won. In these sorts of auctions, the bank has a right to rescind, so technically there is a waiting period that we are currently in. But our understanding is that the banks accept 85% of the highest bids, and since everyone there seemed to have the same budget we did, I don’t see any reason for them to come back with a negative.

    So it looks like it is ours, or will be once we close escrow.

    And all I can say is wow. We “bought” a house in less than sixty seconds by waving a card with a red number on it. How strange is that?

    I will tell you exactly what I told family when I emailed them last night:

    It was so overwhelming to be in a real auction {put on by Texans, nonetheless}. It was like listening to music. Really fast music. Thankfully, there were two pages of homes to be sold before ours came up. This gave us plenty of time to prepare and learn the ropes.

    Si did a wonderful job, and the auction worker in our section was an advocate for us. He tried to coach Si a bit, too, which was nice. We couldn’t believe how fast the auction went. The price on the house we wanted skyrocketed quicker than any other property. We think this is because, in comparison with the other properties {which were investments}, this was a house people actually wanted to live in themselves!

    At one point, my heart just sunk. I thought the price was going up too fast and we would be priced out. In the bidding, Si finally hit our highest price. We’ll call it x. I think our advocate friend realized this. Bidding had slowed down, and our friend tried to get the caller to lower the gavel and give us the price. But the caller egged on a woman in the crowd and got her to bid x+$1000. My heart sunk. Si look at me and said he wasn’t going to let $2000 stop us. He’d up the price a tiny bit, and then that would be it. He bid x+$2000.

    And we won!

    So it was $2000 more than we had planned to pay, but it is ours, and we are thrilled.

    The photo above is of the actual house. It isn’t that clear, since I snagged it from the online MLS listing. But it gives you the idea. It’s a basic tract house. I never thought I’d buy a white house, and I couldn’t believe how clean it looked considering the color. I discovered its secret: rain gutters. Wow does that make a difference! No yucky splashing stains all over the paint. Very nice.

    A couple other perks worth bragging about {with photos, of course}:

    This might not look like much, but I am already thanking the Lord for it. This, my friends, is a tankless water heater. Or, as I like to call it, the magic box. Water goes in cold and comes out hot. It is energy efficient, partially because it never heats water unless you’re actually using it. But with six {and possibly seven if Si’s sister really moves in} of us trying to shower, wash dishes, and do laundry, it’ll be nice having this baby take care of us.

    This is the view from the farthest corner of the backyard:

    I’m not sure what the baseball-diamond looking thing is. Someone tried to do something out there. It’ll be yanked out, though we might use the wood for something if it is worth salvaging. The property is slightly shy of 19,000 square feet, which makes it just under half an acre. We figure the backyard comes out to be about 16,000 square feet. This back corner is where I hope to put our fruit orchard {in time…we mustn’t hurry good plans or they become merely okay plans, I think}.

    So that’s it. I told Si that, since we are starting from scratch here, especially with the landscaping, we will have to document everything in photos so that we can see how it changes over the years. I’ll try to show before and after shots as things progress.

    But for now, I thank you all for your prayers. We feel tremendously blessed. And this morning, I also feel a tiny awareness of how unworthy we really are. My prayer is that we are good stewards of these new things the Lord appears to have given us.

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  • Reply Rahime June 11, 2008 at 7:47 am

    It’s lovely!!!

  • Reply Brandy June 11, 2008 at 4:52 am

    Jeana & Lydia, Thank you for rejoicing with us! We do feel honored that the Lord has granted us our request. 🙂

  • Reply Lydia June 11, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Oh, that is wonderful! I am so excited to see that you won the bid. I said a quick prayer for you all yesterday.

    I am praising the Lord with you. Isn’t it wonderful to see how the Lord answers prayers in accordance with his will? Have a blessed week.


  • Reply Jeana June 10, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Congratulations! How exciting!

  • Reply Brandy June 10, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks, Michele! And congratulations to you, too! I took a look at your house photos on your blog and might I say…NICE kitchen. 🙂

  • Reply Michele@Philoxenos June 10, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Congratulations! As two-week owners of our first home the whole buying process really stressed me out. Like your husband, when it came to negotiating I said that we couldn’t let a few thousand dollars stop us, considering in our case the seller paid all the closing costs. And now that we’re in it, it’s worth every penny!
    And I must remember what you said about good plans becoming mediocre plans when rushed. Excellent advice.

  • Reply Brandy June 10, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks, Ellen! I don’t know why the photos are so tiny. On the MLS website, they are quite large, but when I moved them to Photobucket, they were little. Hopefully, once we start escrow, I’ll get over there and take some of my own. I am sure the front yard is much browner by now since it has been sitting there unlived-in for so many, many months. 🙂

  • Reply Ellen June 10, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Congrats! It looks like a wonderful place! I’m all about a big back yard myself. For some reason, I couldn’t click on the pictures and make them larger. Any reason for that? Anyhoo, I’m really happy for you. You’ll have to tell me how home ownership feels once you start feeling it. =)

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