Since November of last year, I have put many miles behind me in this search for a house to purchase. Early in the journey, I did expect the unbelievable to happen, the miracle of obtaining the most amazingly perfect home for the most ridiculously low price. Since then, I have learned that a $25,000 house will become the most amazingly perfect home after another $25,000 has been invested into it. Well, yes of course that is an exaggeration, but you get the picture. Many times during this process I have been ecstatic with my find only to plummet emotionally in disappointment when the other bids have been more competitive than I can afford. Often with mixed emotions I have learned, thankfully early in the process, that the house just doesn’t cut the mustard when a wise and protective father with an eagle eye has locked his sights on the property for five minutes and made a list as long as my leg of potential issues. It has been an exciting adventure and certainly an educational one. I have actually enjoyed this learning curve even though it hasn’t been without a toll.
I have learned before I set out for lands unknown to make sure my vehicle is in good working order and to start out with a full tank of petrol. I have learned to be well equipped with maps and directions. It may work out okay to go five miles beyond a designated turn if you can wind your back to your destination but much time and petrol has been used up in the meanwhile; the situation may turn dangerous and time may be of the essence for the agent waiting on you. (And at times, it is harder and harder to retrace your path if you wing it too much.) I have learned to take advantage of any pit stop available especially before I enter a vacant home with no running water. After leaving the interstate and passing through major intersections, the opportunities to stop for petrol, restroom relief or refreshment are less and less available. I have learned not to grow too thirsty or too hungry before I take a break. It is harder to concentrate on the details of navigation and negotiation when I’ve waited too long.
Ironically, I find a similarity in those learned principles of house hunting to date hunting, friendship hunting, ministry hunting and quite a few of life’s situations actually. It would appear it is best to start out as informed as possible about your destination and the wisest route to take and where the pit stops are for refueling and relief. It is also quite beneficial to know the signs for hidden troubles and potential deal breakers. To start on a journey with not a clue of what you can legitimately afford and what you absolutely can and cannot live without can put you on a journey that simply goes round and round the block over and over again. And I would not be surprised if one other principle were not as true in relationships and other areas in life as has been in my house hunting adventures. The farther you tarry off the path mapped out, the harder and harder it becomes to turn around and find your way back, often times at a great loss of time and personal resources. Indeed, when you are in a more vulnerable position, it is more of a challenge to keep your wits about you and respond wisely. I remember a sermon from a wise teacher once. He admonished us to to HALT when you’ve become too hungry, too angry, too lonely and too tired before taking to the next step.
This weekend I was shown a property available for the amazing bargain price of just over $25,000 by an “earnest suitor” (which would have placed me in the town in which he lives had I purchased the property). Following my unending questions and slow, cautious investigation (of property and suitor), Mr. Ernest informed me that I was a type A personality, that I needed to relax and that a type A personality simply would not fit in with his family. I don’t know if I have a type A personality but I do know what I have witnessed for a lifetime.
- Life can quickly become complicated, convoluted and condemning when you don’t count the cost before you begin a journey or begin to build something.
- When you continue down a path ignoring the signs to turn here or go there, it is harder and harder to find your way back.
- The farther away from the path well-traveled, the opportunities for escape, relief or refreshment become less and less.
Be that as it may, I decided to walk away from both.
There are many miles behind me in life, both in the real estate market and in other markets. I have learned that when a potential home has been on the market for an extended period of time, either the asking price is too high, the cost of repairs outweighs the value of the home or it is simply in a dubious location. The possibility that these are true statements in other markets in my life–I simply do not want to contemplate at the moment. 🙂
‘and when you turn to the right hand,
and when you turn to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way. Walk in it.”‘