Saturday, June 05, 2010

PART 5: A funny thing happened on the way to St Louis....

When he opens no one will shut,
When he shuts no one will open.
Isaiah 22:22

We continue our saga (remember, this is the short version!), where we left off here.

Again, it seems good to reiterate that buying a home, or buying this home, is really not of utmost importance in our lives at all. We feel believers should apply the principle that Paul lays out in 1 Corinthians 7:29: But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that ... they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. After all, this world is not our home!

But our whole experience with this move has been one of learning to wait on the LORD, learning to really say, "Not my will but thine be done," and leaving it up to him, and following. And really desiring that his will will be done in our lives, recongnizing that he really is our shepherd leading us, as long as we recongnize our need for his leadership, NOT leaning on our own understanding, but acknowledging him in all our ways, and seeking him first. That really is our desire, and that was really the only way we could persevere with our 4 month escrow with our sanity. Our options in Wisconsin seemed to be such that we needed to move, and that is what led to the job search which seemed to be taking us to St Louis. But really, the Lord was taking us through a crash course in following him! It just seemed to be via St Louis!

So, we left off where the loan officer said, "I'm sorry, you're not getting the loan."

Well, since we already let the cat out of the bag, that we ARE in St Louis, our bright readers must realize that something happened to change the situation after the loan officer called and told us "You're not getting the loan." What is so weird is that it was nothing we did or tried to do that changed it, but it did, kind of, change!

When she called, I dashed out the door and went to walk in the backyard, as it was relatively quiet. Dave, of course, was in St Louis, working. I was looking around at the changing trees, enjoying the November breeze which hinted at the arrival of winter.

You see, as she said the words, "You're not getting the loan," all I could think of is,

"We're not moving to St Louis.
We're staying in Wisconsin.
It's over!"

So as she explained the different criteria and what had happened, I was mentally already done with the conversation. Now, I was trying to adjust to the new plan of not moving. How could we make things work in Wisconsin? As she spoke, I was thinking, "Maybe we could extend the basement here, and maybe put a breezeway to the garage there." I was back in Wisconsin. Yes, it would be rough with Dave finding a local job, but the waiting was over.

But I had to focus on the conversation; I was still on the phone.

"You're not getting the loan. The problem is Dave's length on the job. It's only been about 2 months and it's only a 6 month contract, and if he were to get the loan, and then lose his job, what would happen then." (Foreshadowing alert #3)

She was genuinely disappointed and found it hard to tell me, but I assured her that we had just been waiting on the LORD and trusting that he would show us if we should move or not, and we would be fine with whatever he directs us to do.

Thinking that I should at least make an effort to hold up my end of the conversation, I asked, "Well, how much time on the job would they require to approve the loan?" while I compared the level of the garage entry to the mudroom.

"It would have to be at least 6 months on the job," was the answer.

That made it pretty cut and dried. No loan. He did not have 6 months on the job, and that was the criteria, and it could not be changed. Wasn't that the answer we had been waiting for? We were out of escrow! Yipee!

I compared the orientation of the garage roof with the main house.

"Hmmm," I mused aloud, as I counted how many paces from the back of the house to the big maple tree, "...it just seems strange. Everyone Dave works with is on these kind of contracts, often just 6 month at a time, or a year, and they just keep renewing them indefinately..." 12 feet, 13 feet... "and he's been working this way for 10 years."

As I checked the diameter of the tree, to see how much work it would be to tear it out,
she asked, "Wait a minute....what did you just say?"

"He's been working this way for 10 years?" I answered. Why would she ask me that?

"Let me look here... didn't you already send a letter explaining that?" she asked. "Boy, your file is HUGE! Yes, here it is. I'm going to send this back to underwriting, and I'll call you right back."

And we hung up.

We were back in escrow.

My thoughts of remodeling suddenly were halted. I called Dave to relay the strange conversation to him. Before we were done, the phone signaled that new call was coming in. It was the loan officer.

"I sent this to underwriting again, but they are still denying the loan. But I think they are wrong about this, and I spoke to my supervisor and he agrees, so I am escalating it, and it will take at least a week to get an answer. I can't promise anything. They rarely overturn the underwriter's decision."

To make a long story short, we were back to waiting. Our hopes for finally knowing were dashed to bits, as we waited for the higher-ups to respond. After a few days wait, we learned that the higher up was in Hawaii for the week. So, back to the same old thing....waiting....clueless.

Ever hoping to save some time, Dave and I had this idea: Since we are going to the higher ups anyway, and since we are waiting anyway, could the loan officer also mention to the higher ups the basement waterproofing issue, and could they decide if we were good to go with that. (You may recall that we accidentally learned the house had work done on the basement which carried a 20 year guarantee. The bank was requiring that the basement be waterproofed, but we had not received confirmation if the previous work had been accepted as sufficient.) So, we asked our loan officer if she could get that in the pipeline as well.

We waited. We spent more time with friends as we were able. Dave's weekly commute to St Louis continued, usually by 7 hour drive each way each weekend. He was getting tired.

Finally the ambiguous response from the higher ups was recieved: "We're going to move ahead with this loan." The loan officer felt encouraged that this was a big deal. Rarely does a decision by underwriting get reversed. However, we were wondering, "What does 'move ahead' mean? And also, what did they say about the basement waterproofing issue?"

Well, we finally learned that the bank was requiring an inspection to determine if the basement was waterproofed. Our research indicated that this was kind of tricky to do, because if there was no rain, it would appear to be waterproofed. However, the Lord took care of that, because there were several inches of rain 24 hours before the basement inspection could be done!

No, it was not waterproofed.

The inspector from the waterproofing company explained that the warranty did not cover the leakage because it was from a portion of the basement which was not worked on. The amount of work required would come to $3,500.00.

Again, because this house was being sold "as is," this seemed to mean that we were at an impass. We did not have the money. In fact, the four months of escrow had caused us to pay for many non-refundable inspections and services. Humanly speaking, we felt discouraged that this could not have all been disclosed from the start, because we had already sank so much money into this deal. But we did see that the Lord had led us step by step through the process. Hmm.

Our realtor explained the situation to the sellers. We could pay a very nominal amount, but not $3,500.00. We were past the contingency period, so we expected to also lose our earnest money. Unexpectedly, the response from the sellers was quick in coming.

The sellers responded that
they would pay for the basement repairs!

So, again, we were back in escrow. Again, Dave was revitalized to continue his commute in hopes that we would soon all be in St Louis. Again, I seriously considered packing up to move.

The waterproofing company said they could begin work as soon as they had some rainy days, because our job was an inside job. So we waited for more rain.

When the waterproofing company was ready to begin work, there was a mix up with the sellers which caused the waterproofers to pack up and leave, saying they needed more clarification before they could begin work. Ug.

A new closing date was set.

The work was completed.

We packed up our stuff.

And thus and so and by and by, we closed on the house.

There wasn't anything really exciting or thrilling about the close, except, as the reader may surmise, it was pulled off without much stressing out on our part, since we had been conditioned to constantly assume something would backfire, and maybe things would be put on hold or not go through. It was definitely a time of just waiting for the LORD to work out the details.

We hope to finally close this series with an epilogue, which will wrap up some of the foreshadowing for you so you can keep it straight. Stay tuned; it gets even better!

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