Thursday, October 04, 2007

A new home for us

It's going to be a long blog. The short summary is thanks be to God, we are now proud owners of a beautiful home. Enjoy the pictures.

The long story:

It was a dream house.

It sat on top of a slope and was in a court - it was at the end of the road, making it very private. Cul-de-sac.

The moment we stepped in from the front porch, we were taken in by the lushful garden and the quaint house structure. There was a vintage convertible car parked in the garage.

Both missus and I like old houses with character. This house itself was 20+ years old but very well-maintained. Inside it was spacious and simple, with bits of antique furniture and settings that made it feel cozy. There was a fireplace in the lounge with a sloping ceiling. I can already imagine myself sitting on the sofa, drinking coffee and listening to my music.

Though it was a double-storey house, it had a split level which made it 3 storeys rather. The split storey had two bedrooms, a bathroom, a toilet, a small study room and a laundry room which opened to the side of the house into a small backyard.

When we climbed the stairs to the top floor, the mountain view greeted us. It had an unblocked view of the Dandedong mountain ranges. We stood there in awe. Both bedrooms (including the master) looked out to the same scenic view. That's how we want to wake up each morning.

(backtrack at least 6 weeks before we started house viewing)
We committed to God for the kind of house we will like to live in:

  • Situated in a court or end of the road (me)

  • On top of a slope (me)

  • Unblocked view of nature, preferably mountains (missus)

  • Nice garden with bench and platform (missus)

  • Old, quaint, character house (missus)

  • Spacious with bits of antique, cozy feeling (both of us)

  • 2-storeys (Rachel)

  • Space to play, large enough for sleepovers (Rachel)
And God being a faithful and awesome Father met our every needs. Just as He had done when we first moved to Australia.

All these came at a certain cost.
Jesus paid every one of it and gave it to us. His promises are 'yes' and 'amen'. Therefore our prayers are always answered.

How and why did you say He paid and gave it to you?
1. You see, when we gave our first bid for the place, we were not the highest bidder. Naturally speaking, most owners usually pick the highest bidder. However this time round, the owners actually asked the agent to give them a background of each of the bidders. We ranked #2 among the 3 highest bidders.

This was a very unlikely situation (as the agent informed us). This was where I believed the favour of God was on our side.

2. While placing our bid, we became close to the agent. She was a very nice lady and a Christian too. Though she never told us the amount the other bidders had placed (she wasn't allowed to do so), she was very favourable to us and kept giving us tips on the amount we should bid us to secure the house.

Being in the property line for >20 years, she had the intuition to know if a house would eventually belong to a particular family. She couldn't help thinking about us whenever the subject of this house was mentioned.

I call it the fragrance of Christ that made us so favoured.

3. The property agent rang us to quote a higher price as the owners were still undecided. Even though we stuck by our initial quote and the owners could have chosen the highest bidder, they did not commit to a decision.

Later on, we realised there was another player with an even higher bid. That meant we fell to #3 position. Yet the owners could not decide.

4. While waiting for the owners' decision on the bids, we won the auction of another house. It was a very nice and huge place. However the auction fell through as the amount was below the reserved price. We got it cheap, alright. The auction house owner hesistated and thus the sale was put off till the next day for further negotiation.

Buying a house is a huge investment. Both missus and I prayed and worshipped the Lord that night. We needed God for a direction - which house to buy?

During the worship, the property agent for the first house rang us. She would help us close the deal if we put in an additional amount. She even quoted the amount we should offer to secure the deal!

Now I know that wasn't very ethical. But if we think again, why would the agent go through so much hassle just to help us secure the house? In fact she told us she couldn't explain why - she just knew she had to help us get the house.

We agreed to the new price and she would come by our place to place a new bid.

Again Jesus is our perfume. Most agents wouldn't have called you to do another bid as they would have to meet up with you again and re-do the documents. That took time. And time meant money for them.

5. We took it as a sign from God that this house belonged to us.

The following day she met us. She even showed us the latest bid, which was 15k more than us! Of course the agreed price we had with her outbid the top bidder. Well, the rest was history and the house was ours that very night.

6. In addition, we had this uncertainty whether the bank would loan us our bid amount. We had not secured the housing loan yet and the new bid had stretched our budget.

Yet when we met the housing loan officer, everything went smoothly and our loan was approved the following day!

So now, we are looking forward to a beautiful home that God has given us. We will be moving in during the first week of December.

It all seems like a fairy tale. I had barely stayed in Australia for 6 months. Yet I am now blessed with a new home.

We never earned or deserved it. We can only bow down and say - "You are awesome, Lord!"