Hello Blogging Family! This morning was the seventh morning we woke up in our new condo. My last post promised a detailed description of how we made it “home” after seven months and a devastating legal interruption, so I’m excited to be writing to you all this afternoon. Thanks for waiting me out! 🙂
“Personally, I think you guys should start looking for another condo. If you ‘wait this thing out’ like that construction rep is saying, then you could be sitting around for months. And I highly doubt that any builder could to finish that complex before your contract expires.” Ivan and I looked at each other. Dad spent twenty years in resort management before he became a pastor, so he’s our resident expert on real estate. Besides, we were all eating dinner with half the lights turned off since I had a migraine. I hated that my parents had been living like this for the past six months.
But browsing existing properties in San Jose presented its own set of challenges. First of all, we wanted either a first floor unit or a unit near an elevator. Then, we preferred it to be near my parents’ condo or Ivan’s school. Third (and this was the real kicker), we needed a unit that was less expensive than our original purchase since we didn’t know when the fraud case would resolve. For those of you who don’t live in San Jose, finding something that fulfills this list is like finding a needle in a haystack, and is further complicated by the fact that properties often sell the day they’re listed.
Nevertheless, we were still on the market.
“Hmmm…I guess this could work. I mean, it’s a tight fit, but I’m over being picky.” Ivan and I were looking at Option #1, a two-bedroom in our favorite complex. The upside was that the complex was located within five minutes of Kaiser, Mom and Dad, and VCS. The downside? Apparently the previous owners didn’t mind showering with their laundry machine. (I’m not kidding. They had about 18” of clearance.) I also wasn’t sold on the idea of a two-bedroom. We’ve thrived in one-bedrooms so far, and after all, weren’t we trying to economize? Still, it would be wonderful for Ivan to have his own “piano room” one day. We went home, slept on it, and texted our realtor the next morning. The condo was already gone.
The next weekend we meant business – as in business business. It was already the end of January and we’d told my parents that we’d be out by March. That made this our last chance to find the elusive dream condo, assuming it took thirty days to close. But our extensive set of “needs” yielded only two viable options that Saturday. The first was a lemon, although we both tried to convince ourselves otherwise. Option #1 was in that same favorite complex, but I’m not sure if any amount of downsizing could have made 560 square feet livable for two cats and two adults – one of whom does not work or even go outside very much. “Just wait,” our realtor smiled. “I think you might really like the other one. I desperately hoped she wasn’t just trying to pull a worse à better = sale job.
We woke up in “the other one” this morning. Property #2 was also a two-bedroom, and it still met every one of those “needle in a haystack” expectations that I mentioned earlier. Not only that, but the owners seem to have been a younger couple who’d just updated their kitchen and bathroom. Example: Our bathroom has trendy fleur-de-lis tile floors instead of the aforementioned micro shower scenario. Nevertheless, the best part was the location. Ever since we moved to San Jose, Mom and Ivan have been driving me to a walking trail near a historic hotel known as “Hayes Mansion.” We couldn’t see for sure, but Mom thought there was either a condo complex or a traditional neighborhood behind the mansion. Wouldn’t it be nice for Ivan and I to live there, she’d always teased. Ivan and I never gave it more than half a thought. If there were indeed neighborhoods back there, they were probably expensive. Apparently we were wrong, because our complex has a gate leading to the park.
I feel blessed – almost to the point of being guilty – as I write this post. God would have been incredibly gracious to provide for even some of our needs, or at least just meet our truncated time table. The fact that He chose to go above and beyond, especially when loss and disappointment have been widespread for almost a year now, is difficult to comprehend. On a human level, we’re incredibly grateful to my parents for hosting us for seven months…AND to Anna and Robert for helping us move and for being available for last minute home repairs. We couldn’t have made it through last weekend or gotten settled this week without the four of them.
As always, thank you all for your prayers and support! You’ve been a tremendous blessing over the past months, and it’s been a huge example for us to receive encouragement when many of you are going through your own trials.
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