The House That We Someone Else Built

Three years ago, my wife and I purchased 10 acres from my brother.  It sits right next door to his house.  We’d been looking for property in the country for quite some time and had even looked at this bit of property.  Initially we didn’t like it.  There’s an easement for electric and gas through the back and the woods had been decimated by the recent drought here in Texas.  However, when my brother had a cancer scare and his wife asked us to reconsider the property, we thought, “Give to those who ask.”  We made the purchase.

After that decision, it was as though blinders had been lifted from our eyes, or perhaps the opposite, rose-colored glasses had been placed over our eyes.  All at once we began to see the property with a fresh view and we fell in love with it.

Two years ago, we began the process of building a house.  Our initial plan was to build a cabin for two and sell our suburban home.  Then we would build our dream home ourselves as we were able from the crowded comfort of our tiny house.  That was the plan.

Now, two years later, we are two weeks out from seeing the completion of our new home.  It’s only 1400 square feet, so it’s not huge.  But there never was a tiny house.  We sold our brick house in one of Huntsville’s premier neighborhood and have been living in my brother’s spare bedroom for the last six months.  None of this has gone the way we’d planned.

Just today we talked with our banker and got the good news of where we’d land financially on a 15 year note.  We’re at 80% of the house’s value and we won’t have any PMI.  But we will have a note and that was never part of the plan.

What we’ve learned from this is that we’re not really in control.  But that despite all the setbacks, we’ve enjoyed the amazing hospitality of my brother and his bride.  We’ve gotten to know one another again after many decades apart.  Even though he and his wife settled here when he retired from the Navy, my life as a pastor has left me with not much time to spend just hanging out.  It has been a real blessing and would not have happened any other way.

In two weeks (fingers crossed) we’ll be trading in the back bedroom for a house of our own design.  It will be both sad and sweet at the same time.  We’ve learned patience (though not very graciously).  And we’ve learned to receive from others.  I guess you could say we’ve learned to walk more humbly.  All in all, the wait has been worthwhile.

How about you?  Have you ever walked through something that on the surface seemed difficult, but in the end proved to be very valuable?  Tell your story in the comments.  I’d love to hear.