Foreclosed Doors Opened
This is something that has been in the making for the last two years. We moved into our house two years ago in May 2009. The reason we were looking to move was God had added Raine to our family! We needed a bigger place to accommodate a family of four. Vanessa found our large single family house on Craigslist and we looked at the house that same day. The leasing agent who showed us our house also wanted to show us a townhouse, which sits right across from Smith’s Park. However, for some reason, we felt strongly drawn to our house.
There was a twist to our house. We found out it was under foreclosure, the owner was trying to work with the bank about refinancing the current mortgage, prior to us moving into the house. Even with that knowledge, we still felt at peace about renting the house. Shortly after we moved in, I specifically remember sharing with Vanessa that I felt God wanted us to have this house. I only made this point as we are not gullible regarding the foreclosure/mortgage process because we have had mortgages ourselves.
The first summer (2009) in our new house was an incredible blessing for not only our family, but also for our friends and families with kids. We have a generous backyard and were able to use it for many different activities: we had a blowup pool with a slide for families at CITC who have kids to enjoy the summer days, we hosted engagements, birthday parties, men’s get togethers, parties, grilling in the backyard, CITC’s first chili cook-off, and many other events. The generous space within the house also allowed us to act as CITC’s storage room.
However, after the first 6 months at our new house, we found out the owner was keeping all the rent money we had been paying him. He had not been paying his mortgage since January 2008 or trying to refinance his loan with the bank. In fact, he was trying to get the bank to do a short sale with one of his friends/relatives so they could purchase our house at a deeply discounted price. Needless to say, we felt taken advantaged of. Without going into all the details, we decided to stop paying rent until he could ensure us that the bank wouldn’t evict us at a moment’s notice. This went on for several frustrating months until I decided to bring this up to my fellow elders. I wanted to be accountable with the men who together lead CITC. I submitted the situation to them and they suggested that my agreement was with the owner of the house, and not with the bank. I followed their suggestion and wrote a large check for all the months of withheld rent and continued with our lease agreement.
Despite all the conflicts with the owner, we still made an agreement to resign the lease in May 2010. If you are reading this, it probably doesn’t make any sense to you as anyone with a little common sense would move out immediately. However, we always remembered what God had spoken to us about this house and wanted to hold firm on His promise. We didn’t want to worry about why certain things had happened or how it would end. We just believed in His promise and had faith that He would make it happen. We continued to walk into the callings He had for us and trusted in God to fulfill His promise.
To make a long story short, roughly three months ago the owner mentioned to us that the house was available again for short sale. Apparently, the previous “deeply discounted” offer from his friend/relative didn’t get approved by the bank. He needed to re-list the house and make it available to everyone. I then told him that I would be interested in making an offer. As far as I know, our offer, which was almost as “deeply discounted” as the previous offer, was the only one made and presented to the bank. We found out right before Thanksgiving the bank had approved our offer. We closed on our house on January 18th, 2011.
I wanted to share this story as a testimony of God’s promise and His incredible faithfulness. He had promised us our house and He delivered. In all honesty, there were many times we wanted to move and not put our two young children in a very illogical situation. The only reason that we stayed was God’s promise. He had spoken that the house will be ours and it has come to past. This is now our house! You may have noticed I had used the reference “our house” even when we were renting it. It’s because I wanted to stress the importance of God’s promise. Before His promise is fulfilled, we are to live as it has already been done.