A quick update ... We were able to go see some homes last Friday that fell within our price range. Unfortunately, none of the ones that we saw were any good for us. There were a couple of flips that were done poorly, and another one that needed work far beyond what we want to tackle or could afford. I do have a really encouraging story to share about that last house though --- In short, the seller's agent was there for the showing, and it turns out that he works with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and we have some very dear mutual friends. These mutual friends were a family whose daughters worked with me during the summers in the early 2000's, and who eventually moved and brought their entire family up to Philadelphia to be in ministry. In a time when I have felt discouraged wrapping up my East Kensington season, wondering what impact and legacy of any worth I'm leaving, we met a man who spoke with conviction about the lasting impact of this family on his life and on Philadelphia. It helped me to see that there is fruit from my life's investments that I am totally unaware of, and that something as simple as receiving these sisters with hospitality and friendship could ultimately cause a man to say, "my entire life was changed!"
BUT ... our update doesn't end where things ended on Friday afternoon. A big part of our challenge is that not much has fallen in the sweet spot of our price range -- it's either far below and no good for us, or far above and unattainable for us. A house just came on the market that finally fell in that sweet spot. We saw the listing on Friday evening, were able to go to an open house to see it on Sunday, I went back again to see it with our realtor yesterday, and by 4:30pm we had made an offer! It's hard to know how hopeful to be. There was another offer, and our offer comes with the contingency of selling our properties. With a buyer for our house just waiting for us to say the word, that contingency is not a big deal, but it could be perceived as such to a seller. It's hard to know what to expect and a little scary to have the power to make such big decisions. We have traditionally been people who just ask God for the impossible, and either see it happen or not. I told our realtor, "our hearts will not be broken if they don't take our offer." While we are not hung up on this being "it," there is one aspect that makes me pine. Backed up to this property is a vacant lot that goes through to the next street. It's entirely possible that if we get this house, especially if we can get it at a good price, that we could pursue getting the lot as well. Now THAT possibility does make my heart soar! We have assumed that our West Philly house would force us to give up our outdoor space. But what if it didn't?! Oh, the thrill of that possibility!
We will keep you updated, but ask for your prayers in the meantime. This is God's story that we are just the players in, so we know it will be a good story no matter what!