maybe not our house

“I want to get OFF this rollercoaster” I texted a friend this week.

On January 10th, I stepped foot into a house I thought we might want to buy. That was 3 houses ago, with the same builder, and we’re still riding.

Two weeks ago, we received the appraisal report on our house. It was over our contract price so great, full steam ahead, thumbs up, check, close date scheduled for March 24th.

Within 24 hours we found out construction was pushing our closing date a week. PIVOT. We had to figure out how to extend our Airbnb stay, figure out a new plan for childcare for the close, and find new people to help with the new move in date. That all seemed really overwhelming but we navigated it and bam, we had a new plan in place by the end of the weekend.

Monday afternoon we get a call from our lender, a voicemail to both of our phones that said “since your house appraised less than your contract price we need to know your next steps…”


This must be a misunderstanding.

Hurry, hurry get them on the phone.

No one is answering.

Omg. What is going on??

Come on, answer!!

Finally, we get on the phone with the lender (in all actuality this was probably 2 hours max but felt like TWO YEARS because what is going on????)

Well, that’s weird. We’re looking at the same appraisal report but different numbers?

Turns out, we weren’t supposed to see the appraisal report, yet. The higher number wasn’t “real” because the lender didn’t like the results and was auditing the report, asking for different compatibles to be used. The new report, the binding one, the one that was being used to make decisions on our loan was significantly less. Aka, the bank wasn’t going to give us the money we needed for our house. Dang.

What the heck? How did we get here? We sold our house, moved into an Airbnb, our construction was delayed but now we might not even get in there…EVER?!

That was last week. And since, there have been a lot of tears, a lot of processing, a lot of seeking wise counsel and crunching numbers and…a lot of new information.

It actually wasn’t even the big bad bank’s fault after all. The appraisal company did their own internal review, called for an audit, and brought the market value down 90K. NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Are you kidding me?? I’ve learned more about appraisals than I ever wanted to know, in my life…EVER…and am learning most importantly how subjective the objective process can be.

Thankfully, our bank, a BIG bank that mostly has a bad wrap but we chose them anyway because they’ve always treated us phenomenal, well, they are on our team, in our corner, and fighting this out in our behalf. Looking at the appraisal, they too, see glaring issues and are “moving it up the food chain”, if you will, in an escalation process that gives our account a lot of attention from the right people. We received the BEST possible news late Friday when our bank team deemed the appraisal “unusable”.

We still aren’t a hundred percent sure what the next steps are. Our lender rep has learned a lot from our account because it’s presented him with challenges he’s never faced before. He’s THE BEST and has been fighting so hard for us ever since we had the two hour “you’re pre-approved!” call with him back in January. He’s shouldered the roller coaster of emotions burden with us as he’s the one that is always delivering the good, and not so good, news.

We may not be clear on what’s coming next, but one thing is for certain, God’s never left our sides. What was “supposed to” be a harvest season for family has felt, for lack of a better word, brutal. In the past two weeks, we have spent more days NOT knowing what roof we’d have over our heads than days assured of where we’d sleep. Each day, or even hour, as we’ve reached the end of our rope, God shows up. Often times in ways we never would have expected.

Currently? We are living with Mom and Dad Fortunato. Our AirBnb was unavailable for an extension so we moved out of there this weekend. We moved…again. And it was hard…again. And Lukas and I are exhausted…again. But find ourselves roommates with two amazing humans, feeling love and security and safety, tucked into what we call “Tabby’s Narnia”, at Mimi and Papa’s house with more toys than any little person could ever dream of wanting and perfect spaghetti and meatballs these two weary parents can’t get enough of!!

This was the verse from my email devotion this morning. I was so convinced when we found this house back in January that THIS would be our season of harvest. We’ve done a lot of sowing seeds these first five years of marriage and it felt like WOW, YES, look at what fruit the Lord is blessing us with!!

There have been days throughout these past few weeks I’ve thought, “well, guess this wasn’t the harvest season after all” so this verse stopped me in my tracks.

Open your eyes, VA, and look all around you! There is MUCH fruit to harvest!

Fruit, not in material possessions of a new and beautiful home, but in the Spirit.

Love. Patience. Kindness. Joy. Peace. Faith, Gentleness. Self control.

I have witnessed these fruits in my family in ways that blow me away. Spirit is HERE. He’s among us, because with so much stripped away, with so much unknown, so much uncertainty, so much out of our control, we are still laughing and loving and enjoying each other. And you know what? Whether we end up in this dream home or are back to square one on where to call home, I declare with confident assurance that this HAS been a season of harvest for Team Fortunato!!

xoxo, va

3 thoughts on “maybe not our house

  1. Pingback: migraine life (part 4: getting better at it) | Following the Fortunatos

  2. Pingback: two peas in a…bedroom | Following the Fortunatos

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