We Bought a House!

It has been SO hard to not announce this sooner, but I have wanted to wait to post this story about this house because it is such an amazing God story. I just cannot express how much we have been blessed to now officially own this house!

Denver Wedding Photographer Buys First Home Photo
Denver Wedding Photographer Buys First Home Photo

As some of you may know Josh (my husband) and I moved to CO back in November 2011. We first lived with family, then lived in an apartment in Thornton. Josh started a new job down in Centennial in November 2012 and has had a tireless commute since. When we moved we said we wanted to be in a house within a year. Last year we began praying to get into a house and starting to think about all that would entail.

Then, we meet Nate. An amazing new friend and now BFF with Josh (seriously like texting every day giggling little girls bffs, haha), AND a realtor!

When we made the decision to start house hunting we mentioned it to Nate and he gave us some thoughts. Within that exact week Josh's car died...Like, done for dying. Like it would cost more to repair it than we paid for it. (Granted, it was a 20 year old car, so this wasn't a surprise.)

Confused and wondering what all of this meant, Josh and I felt strongly that we needed to wait on the house for another year and get him a new car instead; not a used car that will last him another 6 months, but one that will last him 6-10 years.

We started car shopping online and almost contacting banks for car loans when my mom emailed me to ask about when we were going to start house hunting. I told her that we were going to have to put that on hold because Josh needed a new car.

My parents called that night. Both of them are avid home owners and pro-owning. They encouraged us to not worry about the car but keep pursuing a house. I seriously laughed at this and was like...um, we cannot live with one car. Not with my job being all over the place and Josh driving 50 miles a day to his work. Then, by God's amazing grace, my parents offered to let us borrow one of their cars! Flabbergasting, right!?

Josh flew out to Albuquerque that next sunday to drive my dad's truck back.

Josh and I were both amazed and a bit dumbfounded at how God immediately turned us back to His will, for us to find a home.

I feel like even at this point most people would be like, well that makes no sense. Buy a house when you need a car? Well, I know it doesn't make sense, I hated even telling people we were looking for a house without Josh having his own car too. But, God kept this verse on my heart.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." 1 Corinthians 1:27

While I know this verse is actually talking about Christ, I felt like God was saying to us that the things He does will not make sense to us, but it will show us His greatness and not ours....so keep on reading...it gets better. ;)

So, we meet with Nate, that next week to talk about what happens next. Nate had just moved here and was waiting on his license so he hired Louise to help us while he wanted for his license to come in. I am so thankful we had both of them because Nate is amazing at knowing your style and what would be fitting for you, but Louise has been working in the Denver market for a long time, so she knows the neighborhoods pretty well, which is great for the budget we had.

The first time we went out to look at house in our price range I was honestly a little bit sad. We couldn't afford much with my business still being so small, and Josh's job. So, I began to set my expectations a little lower. It was so easy to compare ourselves to other people who had triple the budge we did, but I am thankful God helped me not stay in compare-jealousy state of mind.

We first applied to a loan with Guild Mortgage, and loved the lady we were working with. But Louise told us about this Community program Key Bank has that helps people with our income in buying their first home. I immediately jumped on applying for that loan.

The thursday before we were going to go on a big saturday house-seeing day we got an automated email with properties that were in our budget and likings. I saw it and thought, I want to see this house. Nate called us within a few hours and said, "I think we should see this property tonight. How's 5?"

We all meet at the house that night at 5. As I was driving through the neighborhood I was a bit weary. It looked a bit trashy and crummy, like these homes were owned by people who didn't care. Then I turned onto the street where the house was. I loved the big front yard, the tree and the cute shutters on the house. It was little, but adorable.

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As we walked in both Josh and I feel in love. The hardwood floors, the character of this 1950's house, and all the right upgrades the past owners had done made it the house we've been dreaming about. You could tell the past owners truly loved this place and took good care of it. As I walked through the rooms I instantly felt for the first time that I could see myself here. I could call this place home.

Louise and Nate told us that a place like this at the price it was and location it was in would probably not come up again for us, and that they felt it was an amazing opportunity we should jump for. We both agreed. Louise called the seller's relator and asked how many other offers had been put in. He said 2. The house went on the market that morning!

So, of course, we put in an offer. But instead of just writing an offer Nate suggested we write a note to the owners. Josh sat down with his eloquent writing skills and talked about how much we appreciated their care for the house,  the staging they did for selling and the fact that they seemed to be artists too. He explained that we have been married for three years and are looking for a place to start our life here in Denver, a place we can grow in our aspirations, share with family and friends, and build our own family together.

We left the realtor's office and went home a bit dazed. We just put an offer in on a house in less than 5 hours. It was all a little crazy. But we both just prayed that if this wasn't our home that God wouldn't allow us to get it.

I cannot forget to mention that we had not heard back from Key Bank for a pre-approval. We had the Guild pre-approval but not Key Bank, the one we wanted to go with. But we felt ok having one loan to put an offer in with.

Louise soon contacted us and said the seller's relator needed a pre-approval from Key Bank that next morning. I had been calling Key Bank all week to get this since we had been planning to go out looking that Saturday, but hadn't heard anything.

That night I did not sleep. I was overwhelmed with anxiety and could not stop stressing. It was the first night of my life I felt this way. We may have just bought a house. I was freaking out. I spent the night at the throne of God. Praying and reading His Word. Pleading for rest, pleading for sleep and pleading to trust Him and His sovereignty.

During my time of prayer I felt strongly that this anxiety wasn't my own. I felt like it was seriously spiritual warfare. God has given us something amazing and the enemy, Satan is trying to connivence me that it isn't. He was trying to steal my joy in God, his favorite thing to do. I prayed for him to leave me, that he has NO power over me because I am a child of God. No joke, I instantly calmed down and fell asleep.

I woke the next morning weary from a restless night of sleep. I waited until 9am to call our contact a Key Bank. She thankfully gave us a pre-approval letter and apologized about not being in contact earlier as she is the only mortgage contact in CO for Key Bank that week.

The sellers had until 6pm that night to give us an answer.

I was making dinner when Josh got home that night and he came in with a smile wide on his face tears of joy in his eyes and said "We got the house!"

To be straight up honest with you, I was excited but I am a werido and I take a few days to process anything major in life. So I replied a bit too calmly for us just getting a house.

We found out later that evening that there ended up being a total of 5 other offers, and the sellers chose us! Then to top the icing off on the cake, they wrote us this amazingly sweet letter back. They told us how excited they were to hand their house that they've called home for the past three years over to us. How they love that we are beginning our life here in Denver and hope we can love this house as much as they have.

Josh and I went out that night to celebrate, of course. I got a chocolate chip cookie and Josh got a beer. That's how we roll. ;)

That next monday morning I got a devastating phone call from Key Bank. The loan went to underwriting and they would not approve my income since I haven't been a business in Colorado for 2 years. I scrambled to gather a lot info to prove that I will have income this year and sent it to the contact at Key Bank. She came back again and said that this is projected income not proof of income and that they couldn't approve the loan amount we needed to get this house.

Josh and I were bummed that we would now have to go back with the traditional loan. Praise God we had applied for the first loan because they had approved my income so we could still get the house, but we now needed a lot of money to help with closing costs and down payements. Which, my parents so sweetly offered to help with a portion of.

So, here we are today, inspections and appraisal past, closing now done and God's sweet blessings covering us. We're in the process of moving in but we are SO excited to be home owners, to have a space we can call our own, but more importantly to dig our roots in somewhere and build a community.

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P.s. I am so excited that I will have a designated office space now, a meeting space and convertible indoor studio if I ever need it. Photos on that coming soon.

P.P.S. If you need an amazing realtor hire Nate Postlethwait, nate@natepost.com, you won't regret it. ;)