The day has come to share with you the big news! The Hofers are officially owners of a new-to-us home!
Back in June of 2017 when Dustin started his new job with Ball Aerospace we decided the kids and I would remain in Indianapolis doing life like normal and Dustin would commute. During this time we were diligent in paying down our debt. In February we decided we were ready to start the moving process.
The planner in me got to work. The pre-approval done in May. Begin looking for houses Memorial Day weekend. We found our realtor because I found a house he had listed on Realtor.com. He responded quickly to let us know that property was pending, but was willing to help us find another house. He took down what we wanted and began compiling homes that fit our criteria. By liking and leaving comments on properties it helped him understand what we were looking for. Tim Hagedorn from Irongate Realtors was very patient, kind, and never pressured us. He even spoke up when houses I had liked on the list were definitely not what I’d want and didn’t want to waste our time driving to those.
Much prayer has gone into this move. We’ve been humbled for the last thirteen years with a one bathroom, three bedroom home. Many people have mentioned kindly and not so kindly, how we needed a new house. How it was too small for us. How they couldn’t even imagine living like we have lived the last few years with kids in the house. It isn’t easy, but when you’re stuck on a fixed military income, you make do. You change priorities. You deal with what you have biding your time knowing your day is coming. Those nay sayers, those that didn’t understand our choice to sacrifice, they never understood that we’d have ours in the end.
It seemed many of the homes we visited had aspects I liked, but didn’t love. There were things I know I couldn’t live with and needed to be changed. Until Tuesday, May 29th, that is. The house I wanted to see required an appointment so the selling realtor could be present. We were denied to see this house on Monday. Last minute our realtor got a call that said we could go see this house. The house. Dustin and I pulled in behind our realtor, left the kids in the air conditioned van watching a movie, and walked up the driveway. We entered the front door and were greeted by the selling realtor. I stood in the foyer and couldn’t believe my eyes. Not just because of the wallpaper, but because this. This felt like it could be the one.
As I roamed through the house quickly, tears formed in my eyes. I asked our realtor, “What is wrong with this place?” I asked Dustin to look at the printout and asked the realtor, “How could this house be this price and be this amazing?” I talked with the selling realtor some. He was very kind. We asked if anyone else was looking at the house. He said there was a couple with five children that had looked at the house a few times. This house had been on the market for three days.
We told our realtor we’d go ahead and see another house on the same street. Upon entering that house I nearly convulsed at the smell, the 1960’s furniture and decor, and it felt so wrong. Stifling. Disgusting even. Dustin and I told the realtor we’re ready to make a serious offer on the house. He asked if we wanted to seal the deal and we said yes. So we did.
The owners required a larger than normal earnest money. I am grateful for that because it’s like it was saved for us. We had that exact amount specifically put away in April for our house. The sellers were very much in-person, wet ink type of people so we had to wait for their relator to take everything to them to see in person and sign in person. That wait wasn’t scary, though. It was more peaceful than anything. A very present and stillness of peace. Wednesday morning they accepted our offer with a stipulation– an inspection must be done within 7 days. They’d have 10 days to respond to our requests afterward. Not a big deal, right? Except we were going on vacation that next Monday and it was already Wednesday. So our realtor called us and sent us a list of his favorite inspection companies. The first number I called didn’t answer. The second number I called, she said sure, Thursday morning at 7:30am. What?! Like next morning service. Okay we took it!
My alarm didn’t go off Thursday morning. It was five ’til 7. We had to get us around plus the three kids. Somehow all five of us made it out the door and to the car in five minutes. When we pulled into the drive the inspector was already there. He was there for a half hour already having done the exterior inspection and writing it all up. He greeted us and said, “Hi! I don’t know how you all did it, but I had a cancellation five minutes before you called yesterday. You are lucky because no one is cancelling and all of us inspectors in the city are all booked up for a week or two!” That wasn’t luck.
The kids ran the house past sweaty oblivion for three hours while the inspection was being done and checks were written. During the inspection time, the gentleman from the company was just very kind. Very engaging. He shared some personal details of his life and it just felt right.
The selling realtor did the same. We talked about so many things. We have a connection with Butler University. We have a connection with having a special needs child and he directed me to a pediatric practice. He engaged with the kids. He left for a few and came back bearing a tray of coffee from a local coffee shop. He wanted to introduce us to a piece of the local area. Again, it just felt right. These people seem to have very similar lifestyle, similar goals in life, and similar genuine interests.
The process and experience of getting this house was actually quite easy. I really can’t complain, too much, but I did. The day we started our loan process, the lady told us VA loans have been taking forty-five plus days to close. I said, “Okay. Challenge accepted.” The leader (and controller) in me did take over to ensure proper communication was being done. I may have sent lists via texts every hour to our loan officer. I may have told a couple of ladies exactly what I expected and in what time line from them. Our lender paperwork was done and ready for closing in two weeks. (I’ll probably brag about this awhile.) This house buying thing took me out of my comfort zone. I was at the mercy of others this whole time. I don’t naturally do that well.
We closed on Ebenezer Castle on Friday, June 29th at 2pm.
Living the life I say I believe: As a family we are on a journey to cultivate what matters from the ground up. From the foundation up. I highly recommend reading Cultivate What Matters by Lara Casey. She takes you through this whole metaphor for how everything has a season, a reason, and you do something during each season in order to cultivate what matters. I was reading this book while praying about a name for our new home. It didn’t seem proper to just call this place home. It is so much more. It’s going to be a place of renewal. A place of hope. A place of rest. A place where we can minister to others and ourselves. Our lives look different and will continue to grow in deeper ways at this place. We decided to name our house Ebenezer Castle. In Lara’s book she discusses the time when Samuel puts up a stone in remembrance of God’s faithfulness and power. He named the stone Ebenezer saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us,” (1 Samuel 7:12). This home is The Lord’s and we do not deny it. Every minute detail of this house has His hand all over it, from the year it was stick built (not like the new construction houses)– the same year I was born– The Lord prepares for me. The owners, they took such good care over this home. It’s in immaculate shape. And more. So. Much. More.