Where do I begin. Juan and I are buying a house. Well, we are in the process of buying a house. The official term is, ‘we are in contract’. This new, major event in our lives has come upon us quickly. Perhaps a bit of background will help.
Nassau County provides a good amount of help for first time home buyers. (Probably cause they know it’s not easy living on this island and many are leaving.) We applied for two programs in Nassau County. The first is for a down payment assistance grant which we have applied for in previous years but just never found the right house. The second is a program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program where the county works with contractors who buy foreclosed homes, fixes them up and then sells them to first time home buyers. This is a new thing they are doing; part of some thing Obama worked on.
Well, we got the grant and have been looking for a few months. By mid April I had pretty much given up hope. I had come to know that we were just not buying a house this year, as disappointing as it was, I was okay with it. It just wasn’t time yet. A week before we left for Aruba, we got a call from Michelle who works with the NSP (Neighborhood Stabilization Program). She said they had gotten to our number and was ready to show us some houses. So off we were to look at 3 homes. [Note: the NSP program deals with areas that were most affected by foreclosures, therefore some of these areas are considered not too nice.] Juan and I agreed to look at the homes but inside our hearts, we had already decided that we knew we didn’t want to live in the neighborhood she was taking us to.
I have said many times ‘God has a sense of humor’. At least I can see it evident in my life. He pulls me into things that I don’t want to do, don’t like to do, etc. Once again, God has a sense of humor! Michelle shows us 3 homes and we have one week to decide if we want to buy one. That deadline ends 2 days before we leave for Aruba. Not a big deal since we had already decided no before even seeing the houses.
In those 3 homes, there was 1 house that struck a cord within us. Since we pulled onto it’s quite, tree lined street. Once we stepped through it’s front door into a warm, sun filled living room. Climbed up it’s winding staircase to see more room than we could have asked for. I am humbled by God once again, this time for saying no before seeing what He had to show us.
I am awed by God’s goodness to this Martinez family. At first I was telling people how I was just waiting for the carpet to be pulled out from under us. It seemed kind of too good to be true. Their response: God loves to bless His children. I didn’t understand why. There is nothing I can or could do to deserve such wonderful gifts from Him. In the end, the realization came that I was lacking in faith. My faith lacked when it came to God giving such a wonderful gift to us. That this gift would somehow fail instead of having faith and believing in Him because He just loves me. I don’t know if this makes sense. It was so abundantly clear when I had my “a ha” moment.
All this to say, we are buying a house! Work is still being done on the house but I wanted to show you just a few of my favorite things about it. There is so much I could say about this home. How warm it is, how we could see ourselves right away, the character and imperfections, all that make it a wonderful home and soon, our home! It just felt right from the moment we entered it.
This is the first room you enter when coming into the home. What warms my heart about this room are the plenty of windows that let in natural light, the working fireplace, the curved arches into the dining room and kitchen and the overall feeling of spaciousness. It’s not really a large room but it sure feels like one.
I love wood floors. I think they can bring so much character into a home. The whole house will not have wood but some rooms will. I’m happy to have even a part with wood floors! This will be little V’s room. There is something so grown up about seeing her in this room. I wonder what goes through her little head. Does she understand what’s going on? I think so…we’ve visited this house enough I think she gets it! Velda will be making the step to a big girl bed when we move. It seems like a good transition time. That’s what my sister-in-law did with her girls when they moved and I thought it was an excellent idea!!
I could keep going showing you every little bit of the house, because really, I think it is all wonderful! However, I will restrain myself. I am so very thankful for all God has done in my life and our life as a family! This home is just one more amazing gift. I can see His hand over and over again and I hope to always have a thankful heart! Nothing is final until the keys to the house are in our hands but I am excited about each step that comes. EVERYONE is invited over once we have moved in! I don’t care where you live, you best be coming to my house! (big smile on my face!)