And the rain came down

We listed our house on a Saturday and started showings Monday. Sunday afternoon we’d had several friends over for lunch and had a family drive up thinking we were having an open house. We had a good laugh and I told them to call the realtor for a scheduling when they asked to see the house anyway.

We had several showings Monday and Tuesday. A few people were interested but didn’t have financing or chose not to make an offer. Wednesday we had 3-4 showings scheduled starting at 2:30 in the afternoon. It started to rain sometime during the night and rained all day long. Now, I don’t know how much you know about living in the sticks when it rains, but the roads turn to slop. Like off roadin’ mud truck tires kind of slop. Not only that but no one wants to walk around 7 acres in the pouring down rain. I was pretty discouraged and thinking we were wasting our time with ANY showings that day.

None the less, we headed off to my in-laws with dogs, kids and my computer in tow so I could work that afternoon. As a side note…wet, muddy dogs in a mini van with kids smells exactly as bad as you think it would.

Kerry met us at the farm after work for supper and we hung out until the last showing was over around 7:30 or so. It rained all evening. When we left to come home we were both feeling so discouraged. We had hoped we’d have an offer by now and the weather was so miserable no one was going to want to buy the house after driving on those muddy country roads.

We were in two cars coming home since Kerry had driven out straight from work. I always drive a little faster so didn’t think anything of it when he was behind me a bit pulling into the drive. Then he sat in the car while I got kids in the house. And he continued to sit there and sit there. I’m thinking “He must be listening to a really great song”. When he finally came in he said “That was Ron (our realtor) we have an offer on the house and another one that should be coming tomorrow”.

Ron said he’d spent an hour or more walking the pasture in the rain with one of the couples who’d looked at our house. His words may have been “I’ve never been that wet unless I was taking a shower”. He also said that we’d be getting a written offer within the hour. It would be for what we’d hoped to get with the understanding we’d close in 30 days.

I think I was shaking when he told me. I was excited and grateful…then the panic started to set in. Pack, organize, and move 10 people and clean out the shed in 30 days…while working a full time job and managing the usual household stuff. I was a giant ball of overwhelmed, slightly terrified excitement.

A place to live?

We went to bed the night after listing our home a bit anxious. We had a number of showings scheduled already but still didn’t have a place to live *if* it sold.

The morning after listing I was praying again that God would open or close doors if this wasn’t His plan for us. About 10:30 that morning we got an email from our long term renters. They had just purchased a house and would be moving out in 30 days…I gasped a bit…

We have owned a house in Goessel for years. We lived there previously when Gabe and Otto were toddlers, but had been using it as a rental for the last 15 years or so. We’d been fortunate to have good long term renters so we were a little surprised they were moving out but also very happy for them. Normally, having renters move out would be stressful, but we couldn’t help but wonder if this might the way God would provide a place for us to live if our house sold.

Our rental house, checked a lot of boxes for us. 3 bathrooms (big deal with 10 people) and enough living space without anyone needing to sleep in a tent in the backyard. 🙂 There were a couple of drawbacks… the yard isn’t huge and it is town so it would be a big adjustment for us…but…it would meet our needs and it would provide us with a temporary place to live while we built.

I texted Kerry and told we’d been given notice and then I typed “Is this a door?” Our first showings were scheduled for that night and we couldn’t help but be a little hopeful that maybe…just maybe…our house would sell.

Also, can I tell you…keeping a house ‘show ready’ while 10 people, 2 dogs, 2 goats and bunch of chickens are all still living there is super tough. Every time we left for showings we’d have to load our dogs (BIG…dogs) in the back of the van and head to my in-laws to hang out. Our boys each had ‘zones’ to clean and prep before we left for showings and that helped keep things a little more ‘ready’ each day. But it was definitely something that we wouldn’t want to do long term. 🙂

To list or not to list

In August we found ourselves debating about listing our home. The housing market was good in our area, we knew we didn’t want the pressure of making two mortgage payments if we started construction on the new house before our current house sold. But there were two things holding us back…

  1. We didn’t have a place to live if we sold our home. With a family of 10, it’s not like we could easily find another place to live. The rental market was tight and we wouldn’t fit well in mom and dad’s basement.
  2. We had some unfinished projects. We had some things we wanted to get done before we sold the home we were in and weren’t sure if we’d be able to get those done before listing.

We prayed a lot for God to open doors if we were supposed to list our house and if this is what He had for us. We had our realtor out in early August to walk through, tell us what to focus on and realistically what a comparable price might be. We came up with a 3 stage plan…list then if it didn’t sell, take it off the market and list again in 45 days or so. Then if it didn’t sell wait until spring to list a 3rd time. We had time on our side so we thought.

We began to focus on the projects we wanted to get done and as with all things, they took longer than we wanted. Just before Labor Day we called our realtor, ready to list. We were a little anxious but our prayer throughout was “God, open doors if this is what we’re supposed to do. If not, close them solidly”. We still didn’t have plans or a place to live if the house sold, but we trusted God would provide for us.

Things started to feel very real when we started getting showing requests within a couple hours of the listing going live.

Our listing sheet

If we ever build a house

Kerry and I started dating when we were 15 & 16. I was a Junior in high-school and Kerry was a sophomore. We had a pretty good idea when we were in high-school yet that we wanted to get married (probably much sooner than our parents knew at the time).

On the drive home to his house, just before his mile, we’d come up over the hill and pass a spot that I loved. There is an old wood cow chute back in the pasture and see the Flint hills for miles. I’d always say “If we every build a house…that would be a good place”. Kerry being the practical one of our pair, would smile and nod.

Last summer we started talking to mom and dad about what their plans were for their land and settling things with the farm. The family all sat around the table with a plot map and talked about the acres we’d like to buy if it became a possibility. We shared that if the opportunity came, we’d like the purchase the 80 acres “on the hill”. Earlier this year, the opportunity came for us to purchase. We closed on the land in July and thought we’d cash rent it out and sit on it for a few years. But then…

But then we started dreaming a little more about what it might be like to build sooner rather than later. The beginning of August found us toying with the idea of listing our home. We weren’t quite sure though…we had some projects to finish and didn’t have place to live if we actually sold it before the new house was built. So we waited, prayed, talked with our builder and prayed some more. We found ourselves “up on the hill” often watching the sun set and dreaming of what the future might hold.

The old cow chute and pen

A new blog?

Yep…here it is. A new blog site. I still maintain the content on my old blog, but it feels very much like it’s time to start new. Not because I want to forget those things and posts, but because life has changed so very much. So here it is. The goal for this blog is to chronicle more of the day to day life in our family.

I also plan to use this site to journal the process of building our new house. What? See…I told you lots of things have changed this year for our family. I’ll fill in all the details, but in short…we bought land from Kerry’s parents, sold our home in the country, drew some floor plans, moved to town and are planning to move into our new house in spring 2021.

Our dream for the new house is to be a welcoming place for others where the door is open and there is always room at the table for more.

We look forward to sharing our journey with you.

~Kerry and Erin