Friday, April 29, 2005

Back with updates.

I'm back. Stress knocked my energy level way down, and I just couldn't find the energy to post.

One challenge has been a work related. I'm in a technical field, but the recent demands have been more for adminstrative than technical effort. My difficulty is that I'm not good at administrative stuff, and I'd frequently come home weary from filling out forms, and missing the satisfaction that the technical work frequently gives. What's more, the stakes have been raised, and people are now getting disciplined for mistakes that used to be tolerated. The stress this generated was very tiring.

Another more pleasant but still taxing effort has been putting our house up for sale and looking for a new place. The market is amazingly hot right now, and our home has hugely appreciated over the seven years we've lived there, so things look pretty good for sellers. Homes are getting snapped up almost as fast as they hit the market, so there are no houses for sale near us. After doing a lot of cleanup and some minor repair (which should have been done years ago in some cases), we put the place on the market, and within less than a week had two offers at our asking price. Right now we're in escrow with one of the buyers, having asked the other to stand by as a backup just in case.

But what helps us as a seller makes it harder as a buyer. Our first bid we made was $25,000 over asking price on a beautiful house that attracted seven other bids after being on the market less than a week. We ended up being #2 due to the contingency of the sale of our house despite the fact that we had two offers on the place. The next house we looked sold after less than two days on the market. So we have started looking at less desirable places that can meet our needs without attracting such a bidding storm.

One of the main contributors to the tremendous speed of the market is the Internet, which allows the news about a new home on the market to get to interested people with great speed. But we've realized that we cannot allow ourselves to be dragged along at such a breakneck speed because we will be totally overwhelmed by the effort needed to keep up with all the options. Instead we pray, believing that God can and will keep track of all the offers out there, that He will keep for us the home that He wants for us, and that if we simply do our best to follow His lead that He will keep us from missing the place He has for us.

This conviction has played out in some interesting ways during our search. When we first visited the house on which we made our first offer, I was immediately attracted by its beauty, but at the same time I had this inner feeling of uncertainty and darkness that I couldn't account for. Knowing my proclivity to depression, I thought that I could simply be overreacting to the stress of all the real-estate transactions we were involved in, so we went ahead and made our offer on the place. But during the following few days the darkness deepened, to the point when one day as I was driving home I was crying out to God not to let us buy the place if it wasn't what He wanted for us. So it was with a sense almost of relief that I learned that night from our realtor, a sweet woman and longtime friend, that our offer hadn't been accepted. I ended up comforting her, for she was very disappointed, and not the other way around.

This sense of God's guidance has continued to keep us through a number of other bumps in the process. We are confident that we'll our place will ultimately sell at the right time to the right people for the right amount, and that we'll be able to get into the right home when we need to for a price we'll be able to afford. So as places come and go on the market, we don't feel driven to check every one of them out, and don't fret as much if others get there first. It's not stress free, that's for sure, but I'm much more relaxed than I would be on my own. Hopefully I'll be relaxed enough during the process to have enough energy to post here on a more regular basis than I've done in the past.

God bless!

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