Dear friends, as we write you this very second our hearts are swelled with an overwhelming amount of joy and excitement at the news that we get to share with you today! News that we have been anxiously waiting to share for quite some time now, four months to be exact! We have been on the hunt for a house to make our home for the last four months and this past Friday we officially bought one!
For us to take any credit in finding this home would feel like a lie because honestly it was pretty much dropped on our front doorstep by God Himself. The only part we played in this whole process was being obedient to what He was calling us to do exactly when He was calling us to do it, not a moment after or before. Prayer is a relatively large part of our marriage since our entire relationship is founded on our God. So whenever there is a decision to be made, big or small, we never make it alone. Instead we pray about it together as well as separately and then wait to hear what God has to say about the situation. Then whatever His answer is, is what our action plan ends up being, even if it doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense to us at the time. So, after waiting and saving for four years, when we were hearing God tell us to start looking for a place to call home in the Northern Kentucky area, back in October 2014, we were more then willing to finally begin that exciting adventure which had been long awaited!
By the end of December God had provide us the best, most trustworthy, and caring realtor to work with, Michele Mamo from Keller Williams. Seriously, if anyone is looking to buy or sell their home in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area you need to give Michele a call! Not only is she exceptional at what she does but she is such a fun person to be with. We had an absolute blast from beginning to end working with her as our realtor and are now proud to call her our friend! We’ve heard that buying your first home can be quite stressful, but with Michele and her team by our side, guiding us through and teaching us during each step of the process, there really wasn’t one area where we felt anxious. The entire event, from start to finish, was enjoyable, fun and exciting because of how well they took care of us!
Then early January rolled around and we really began our search for to find our first home. We really didn’t have a lot of qualifications in the things we wanted for this house because 1. It was our first house, 2. We didn’t have a huge budget since we were just starting out and 3. We wanted to be realistic about what our money could really get us.
So we sat down and made our needs list, which was pretty small compared to others from what we have been told.
It looked something like this.
Our Need List:
- Great School District
- Off Street Parking, not necessarily a garage but just some where to park that wasn’t on the street lol
- 2-3 bedrooms
- 1-2 bathrooms
- kitchen area
Not a lot to it but regardless we knew one thing for certain that we would be grateful for the house God had waiting for us!
We also didn’t expect to find a house right away. We thought we would start looking in January and probably find something in March or April, when all the houses started being listed on the market for Spring, and then move soon after.
But God had other plans. I guess that shows you that you can have a game plan but remember to be flexible because were not in control and everything is not in our timing. lol
So as the story goes, it was the first week in January and we had finalized a list of houses we were going to look at with Michele on Saturday when we got an update to our MLS site. It was a house that had been on the market since October but we had never seen before because it was out of our price range until now. The sellers had dropped the price a considerable amount and it was now in our budget, and therefore showed up on our profile! So there we sat snuggled up on the couch after having dinner together looking at this amazing house. As we scrolled through the photos, read the description and saw the price we couldn’t believe our eyes! It seemed perfect. Almost too good to be true. We wondered how could this place still be on the market and why hadn’t another family already snatched up this steal of a deal?!?! So we called Michele and asked her if it wasn’t too last minute, if we could make an appointment and add it to the list of houses we were going to see on Saturday, which we ended up being able to do.
It was the first house we saw out of the other eleven we had scheduled to see that day, and the second house we had seen in total. Walking through it was like a dream! It had everything we needed, and so much more! It had things we didn’t even dare to list because they would have been so far out of our price range it would have been ridiculous to even think we could get that for our budget!
From the moment we saw it we absolutely loved everything about it! We could envision our family living there, calling it home. We could see us having meals just the two of us in the breakfast nook. Cozying up by the fireplace in the adjoining living room doing our family devotions. We could imagine the backyard and all the fun our labs Kirby-girl and Dixie-chick would have running around and splashing in the pool during the summer time. Having big holiday meals in the dining room with our loved ones. We could see the Christmas Tree’s we will have sitting in the front family room in all their bright, brilliant, beauty to remind us, and those around us, of God’s greatest gift, His Son, Jesus. Having our friends and family over to watch the UK games in the basement one day once its finished. And of course we could imagine all the little children we will have one day to fill the halls with the sound of their sweet foot prints as they play from room to room filling our home with even more laughter and joy.
For as much as we loved that house we still went on to see the other houses we had lined up to look at for that day as well, and after viewing all of them it practically solidified it in our minds that we really loved the first house we had seen that day. So after praying about it, discussing it with each other and getting some sound advice from our realtor and a few close friends, that we had asked to pray with us during this time, we knew 100% that God was calling us to make an offer on that home. So we did!
During this time we had discovered that the house was a foreclosure and the bank was highly motivated to get rid of it. We also found out that there had been no other offers on it yet. This was not the news we were expecting to get because we thought surely someone would had made an offer on such a great house especially at the price it was listed for, but to our advantage they hadn’t! This meant we were able to negotiate with the bank, which is pretty much unheard of when it comes to foreclosures, and we were able to get it for an even lower price then what they were already asking for it!
We went back and forth in negotiations with the bank for a few weeks until we final settled on a price. Again the only reason we were able to do that is because there was no other outside bids. If there had been another bid we would have definitely been out of the running. One of the most miraculous things to us was the day we settled on a price with the bank and it went pending in our name, there was another family that made an offer on it! If they would have bid just a day earlier we probably wouldn’t have gotten the house, especially if they out bid us. To us that was just one of the many ways God worked in our favor for this house and set everything up to give this to us to steward for Him and His glory. Like we said earlier, all we did was listen and obey.
We still can’t believe that God saw fit to give us such an ideal home for our first house. It definitely is SO much more then we had in mind when we thought about what our first house would be. We thought that one day we would have to move out of our first house when our family begins to grow larger because it would probably be the average starter house, but we were wrong. We would have been thankful for the house that God provided for us, no matter the size, but He really decided to show off big time in our lives and completely bless our socks right off our feet! We can’t ever imagine needing a house any bigger then this one! It’s the perfect size for the vision that God has given us when it comes to our family. Again, can we just say how surreal it feels that God would choose to lavish His love on us through this! Amazing!
So here are the specific details! Still can’t believe what God gave us and all that we were able to get with in our budget!
The Barnwood House:
- Tree lined culdesac street in a very nice subdivision where children ride their bikes and people walk their dogs and the yards a kept nicely as well as the streets pavement is updated and there are walking paths, larger sidewalks a even a park within walking distance.
- 2 car garage with extra space on both sides for Matt to have a tool/work area and extra storage space in the above attic for me.
- half acre lot with a big front and back yard. It’s even surrounded by beautiful mature trees, bushes and flowers.
- Fenced in yard with a garden, big porch, screened in sunroom and a POOL!!!
- 2 story home with a full basement and attic
- 4 big bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms, 2 upstairs and 1 on the main level
- full unfinished basement with enough room to have an in home daycare, extra family room, office space and a rough out for an additional bathroom and bedroom one day.. as well as more storage space!
- Huge formal entry way
- formal family room
- formal dining room that connects to the kitchen
- informal living room that connects to the kitchen
- Beautiful big brick gas fireplace in the informal living room
- spacious kitchen with nice size pantry and an island as well as plenty of room for mingling, but is still open to the informal living room
- breakfast nook that is connected to the kitchen with a bay window, perfect for a little built in bench that Matt is planning on making
- A mudroom/laundry room that is attached to the garage and has its own separate doorway leading in from the back yard so we can bring our puppies in through there instead of the front entrance. It also has enough room for Matt to add some built ins for a kids coat area one day!
- A screened in sunroom with a door that enters into the informal living room!
- Hardwood floors
- New carpet
- Vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom
- Walk in closet and a master bathroom complete with double sink vanity and a window
- Double sink vanity in the second upstairs bathroom and a window
- Tons of new big windows and natural light throughout the entire home
- The front entrance has a cute little front stoop/porch
- Wainscoting, chair rails and crown molding
- Built in book case in one of the bedrooms
- Nice roomy closets with double doors in all three spare bedrooms
- One of the top 10 rated schools districts in the state! The high school is rated #9 out 252, the middle school is rated #17 out of 315 and the elementary school is rated #15 out of 666!
- Ideal location for our family! Only a 30 minute commute for Blair and a 15 minute commute for Matt with traffic!
- Adorable Address – 11 Barnwood Court, Florence, Kentucky, 41042
- After everything is said and done we went into buying this house with over $50,000.00 in equity since it was a foreclosure and we were able to get it for that much lower then the appraisal value.
The amount of gratitude that we feel for our God and the door He has opened for us through purchasing this home is just unexplainable. Again we are so excited to finally be able to share this incredible news with you! Although it took a lot of self control to do we felt that waiting to share such life changing news until it was actually a done deal, i.e. meaning after closing, was the more mature way to handle the situation because why get everyones hopes up until it was really official. And man are we glad we did take the path of patience because we have had such a wonderfully fun filled time surprising all of our loved ones with the big exciting news and being able to say with certainty that this amazing house God has given us will be our families old Kentucky home for years to come!
Our hope in sharing this with you is that it will inspire trust in what God is doing, even iit may not make sense to you at this very moment as well as encouragement to wait on His time and be obedient to His plan.
Be keeping an eye out for all the future posts on home renovations as we are now officially home owners and in the full swing of bring our own personal touch to make this house feel more like our home!
Much love and prayer,
Matt & Blair