Saturday, May 20, 2017

Finding a Farmhouse (Part 4)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)

The Old Character Farmhouse
I was sitting on the floor in the playroom, feeling bummed about The Big Brick Hile Farmhouse not working out, so I did my daily ritual of pulling up the Zillow app on my phone. My search had a very narrow filter, so I often went days without having any new listings (people don't like to sell their farmhouses, ya'll!). A new house was at the top of my list, though, so I was excited! I saw the house was listed in the same town as where we currently live with Ben's parents, and so I did a little search and realized the house was just two miles away! It wasn't the town we had originally wanted to live in, and in fact, we had never considered living in this particular town, but we certainly weren't opposed to it. I flipped through the pictures and felt let down. The house was at the top of our price range and it really didn't seem like anything amazing. The property was 5 acres, so I liked that. But the house was small. I wasn't impressed, but I read the description and saw the word summer kitchen, and was intrigued. Summer kitchens just scream, "I'm an old farmhouse!" to me, and I love them and always thought it'd be fun to have one. But still, it just didn't seem like a house that would be worth spending the top of our price range for, so I didn't feel hopeful. When I woke Ben up from his nap, though, I said, "Hey, if you want to live right by your parents, there was a new farmhouse listed right down the road." I said it in a sarcastic tone and he was still half asleep, so he didn't respond and we went on with our day. A couple hours later he looked at the house and was like, "Well, we should at least go look at it, right?" And I said, "Sure, why not?" So we contacted our real estate agent. We went and looked at it the next day, and as was becoming typical, there were several other families looking as well. It's a seller's market! We went home and knew that if we wanted the house, we needed to put an offer in at list price. I knew Ben loved the house. I was more impressed with the house once I saw it in person. I loved the old character of the house. It had original trim and original doors. We knew there were at least some original hardwood floors underneath carpet. There was an old wood burning stove that we loved. We loved the outbuildings, and this place was outbuilding heaven! There was a barn with a lean-to, a three car garage with a workshop attached, a chicken coop, a summer kitchen, a wood shed, and a garden shed. And the land was really beautiful with a lot of mature trees, including some fruit trees, raspberry bushes, and a grapevine. I knew Ben was all in. The size of the house still concerned me, but I felt like I should go with Ben on this one and put an offer in at list price and see what happened.

We heard back the next day. There were four offers, and we needed to put in our highest and best. Sigh. It felt like every farmhouse was in high demand, and I began to wonder if we would ever find our farmhouse. We were already at the top of our price range, so we kept our offer as is. We really felt like this meant we wouldn't get it, but we also knew that the Lord could make it happen if he meant this house for us. Meanwhile, the girl who owned The Middle-of-Nowhere House sent me some pictures of the inside of their house, and I was glad we at least had this house to look forward to touring, and possibly it would be the house for us.

We expected to hear back on Friday about The Old Character Farmhouse. As we were sitting down to eat Thursday night, my husband came in and said, "Guess what? Our offer was accepted!" I couldn't believe it! Putting in an offer at list price as our "highest and best" felt like a true act of trusting God, but it also just felt responsible, and we mostly assumed that this just wasn't the house for us. So to have our offer accepted was incredible! We found out that there was one offer higher, but that person had some requests that the owner didn't want to manage, so he went with our offer which was second highest!

We were elated to be under contract, but I still honestly struggled with the size of the house. However, when inspection day came, I went over and had a good look at the house, and I felt very excited after leaving that day. I knew the space would be perfect for our family, and I intended to use the summer kitchen (which was right behind the house and currently being used mostly as a shed) as a homeschool room, which would really help give us more space!

When I look back to the beginning of our farmhouse search journey, I realize that the Lord changed our hearts in the process. Sometimes (or usually) we think we know what's perfect for us, but in actuality, we don't. That's what this process looked like for us. We needed the full six months of searching for the Lord to work in our heart and open our minds to houses and properties outside of what we thought was best. We would have never chosen this house six months ago. But six months of molding led us here, and here is perfect now. Here is exactly where God wanted us all along.

Yesterday we closed on the house, and it is officially ours! We had a sleepover there last night, but we have a few projects we'd like to do before officially moving in. The one thing about this house was that it always felt so peaceful to me. It contains so much of its history still, in both the layout of the house as well as in the outbuildings and the old trees, and that feels peaceful to me. It sits in the middle of cornfields on a gravel road, and that feels peaceful to me. And as much as the size concerned me, the intimacy of the smaller space truly feels peaceful to me now. There were other houses that perhaps felt more exciting or more glamorous, but this house is peaceful. And peaceful feels right.

Thank you, Lord, for this house. You are good and kind and always have a plan.


  1. Congrats! I just read through all 4 parts, and couldn't wait to see what house you would tour next and if you would finally find the perfect one for your family! It's so great that God has our best interest in mind and knows us better than we know ourselves.

    1. Thank you Kelly, for reading and for being excited along with us! You are so right!

  2. This recounting of your journey brought tears to my eyes. House hunting and job searching and baby waiting are all such obvious ways to watch God at work, more than just the daily molding of our hearts. Thank you for sharing YOUR faithfulness and HIS.