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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Changes for the Parker Family

As a woman it's sometimes tough to trust our husbands the way the Lord wants us to. Our husbands are to be the heads of the household and that's difficult to deal with when us women think we're right all the time ;) I've really been working on this AND working on trusting in God more. You hear people say "let go and let God" all the time but do we really do it? Heck no! We worry to death about things and try to control every aspect of our lives...wouldn't it be so much better just to enjoy the ride and let God handle it all?!?

This past week I've really been tested in my trust in my husband as the leader of our family and in God as the leader of my life. Zach is very into listening to talk radio and is on top of all this political/economical stuff (obviously, I'm not haha). He feels strongly that our economy is only going to get worse. That current interest rates are at an all time low and will start going higher and higher until they reach double digits. He feels that it's critical for our little family to get where we need to be so we can lock in a low interest rate. Our current home has three bedrooms. We plan to have FOUR children. Plus Zach works from home and we currently have no office. So do that math!!! While we're good on space for now and could probably even make it work for baby #2 Zach feels that the best thing for us is to move into a home that could be our forever home.

I LOVE my house. I LOVE my neighborhood. It's tough to imagine moving right now but I agree with Zach and believe him that he knows WAY more about all this stuff than I do! Our original plan was to wait until next year sometime then put our house on the market. Then we planned on building a home for us to live in for the next 5 years then after that build another (bigger) home for us to finish having all our babies in before eventually (5-10 years after that) building our dream home. I like the idea of having a couple shots at building before having to build our "forever" home as I feel like we'll probably wish we'd done somethings differently ya know?

With the economic situation as it is we've talked it to death and decided the best thing is for us to sell our house NOW. And then to go ahead and build a home that has enough rooms and square footage for ALL our future children (meaning we need 5 bedrooms, an office, and a large playroom). We plan to live in that house for 8-10 years then hopefully build our dream home. But if the interest rates go sky high and in 10 years they are still bad then we will be locked in at the current interest rates and will have plenty of space to stay in that house as long as we need to.

Zach and I are by NO MEANS loaded. We don't really have a bunch of money in savings or extra cash buried in our yard. In order to get the size house we need we're looking at around 2800-3100 square feet. Our current house is 1670. So basically we need to almost double our current home in size!!! In order to afford that size of a house we're trying to go as basic as possible. Zach is VERY handy and he can make our home beautiful over time. We want a strong structure but as basic as can be on the inside. Granite? No way! We'll go with the cheapest counter-tops for now and that's something we can easily upgrade later. Same goes for our shower...do the cheapest and eventually Zach can tile it and make it prettier. We are going to do hardwood in the dining, foyer, and Zach's office but we LIKE carpet and will do carpet everywhere else (except for tile in the wet areas). We also won't be doing a bunch of decorative wood...no crown molding, just plan to have it basic and let Zach add all of that along and along.

The house plans we're looking at are basically boxes. I've done a bunch of research and the cheapest home you can build is one with the fewest corners, circle shapes, etc. The more simple and square the better so that's what we're planning on doing. Will it be my DREAM home? No! But like Zach says it'll be OUR home and a place large enough for us to have all our children and that's what is most important. My quote for the day (I LOVE my Life's Little Instruction Book Calendar) today is "Appreciate what you have while working for what you want" and that's exactly the motto we want to live by in our next home!

Something Zach and I (and I'm sure MANY people in our generation) have struggled with is patience. Zach started working with Aflac after we graduated and 3 months later we went out and bought blackberry phones, 2 new cars, and a new house! When we bought our house we went to Atlanta and bought ALL new furniture for almost EVERY room within a 24 hour period. Our generation is used to getting what we want, when we want it. This time around we're doing it RIGHT. We're using our money wisely and using it towards getting a great lot in a good neighborhood (hopefully still where we are now as we LOVE it here!), building the biggest house we can afford, and maybe putting in a pool (please! please! please!). We won't be buying new furniture. We'll be using everything we currently own and will save up for each new piece we need to buy (Kye will be needing a new bedroom set before baby #2 comes someday and we don't have the best kitchen table). We'll buy EVERYTHING on sale and be patient to wait for what we want to go on sale! We'll slowly work on the house to make it our beautiful dream home. We plan to make a list of everything we want to do (molding, storage shed, etc) and slowly checking off each thing as we can afford to do them.

It's going to be SO tough for me to not have a new home and have it be 100% how I want it. I love having my house decorated so nicely and I love having people over to entertain. It may be AWHILE before our new home is decorated up to par with our current one, but that's okay.

This past week has been INSANE!!! We met with some builders and had a few turn up their noses at us when we told them what we want (building a home that big and not wanting fancy things is kinda strange!) and then we met with others who gave us awesome price per square footage quotes making us feel like this could be a reality! We looked at lots in our neighborhood and felt deflated to hear how high they are and how many of them have water issues but hopeful when they said they'd work with us on the price. We look in another neighborhood and felt excited about the prices and developers but worried about our new home being too big for the size of the other homes in the neighborhood (for resale you never want to be the BIGGEST house in the neighborhood!).

Last Monday we met with our real estate agents (who are also Zach's Aunt and Uncle) and they brought out some not-very-good-news. The listing price for our house is LESS than the original asking price for it 2 years ago. Even with all the things we've done to it (fence, blinds, fans, electricity ran storage shed, etc) we are still having to put it on the market at a price so low that we'll need a butt load of money at closing!!! A BUTT LOAD!!!! Does anyone have thousands of dollars laying around?!?! We went ahead and listed it and are now in conservation mode. Saving every penny we can and praying that something works out somehow with that situation.
Also last week we went to a bank and got GREAT news (in a slow real estate market you expect to get BAD news about selling but GREAT news about buying!). IF we can sell our house quick enough and lock in the current interest rates then our payment (including a POOL!) will only be $150 more a month than we pay now!!! For DOUBLE the house! Isn't that awesome?!? And that was high balling our cost so it'll most likely be a lot lower than that!

With this whole situation I've really truly trusted in the Lord. I have said I've trusted Him before but this time I REALLY am! It's so awesome to not have a burden of worry. I'm a BIG worrier but each time I start to worry I just remind myself that it's all His will so it'll all be okay. Zach and I have done everything WE can on our end: we've made sacrifices in a house plan to be able to afford it, we've qualified with the bank by having great credit, Zach's working as hard as he can to provide for our family, and I'm doing the best I can at keeping our house spotless to sell it! The only thing left to happen is for someone to buy our home. It's been on the market a week and not one person has looked at it yet. That's so disheartening (and totally tempts me to stress out BIG TIME) but I have to remember that the longer it's on the market the less we'll owe on it (b/c we continue to make payments each month) and the longer we have to save up the money we will need at closing.

Keep us in your prayers during all of this! We're praying hard for someone to come along and want to buy our home (I love it so won't someone else?), that interest rates will stay the same long enough for us to lock in with it, and that we'll find a place to live while waiting for our house to be built. It's a stressful time and I'm so thankful that I have a husband who puts God first and thinks about his decisions and wants to do what is best for his family. I'm also SO thankful that I'm able to put my faith in God and know that HE has a plan! We want to do what HE wants us to do and so far I feel like we're doing a good job at that. With this kind of complicated situation SO many stars have to align just right and so far it feels like they are starting to get lined up!

Also I'm a big believer in listening to people who have been through situations and learning what I can from them. If ANY of you have advice about building from what you're so thankful you have in your home, to changes you wish you could make, to ideas you think might be useful, to tricks on saving money, or anything else that may help us along this journey please share!!!

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