Well, the wait is over! Mark and I finally did it and purchased our first home together!
I couldn't feel more grateful to my husband for doing this all on his own for us. This house, as well as many other things, was achieved by 100% of Mark's hard work.
He and I had been living together after I graduated college in the Spring of 2009. We chose an apartment together in Chicago where he took an offer to be transferred with a promotion in line. There, we made memories in our first little "home" together. It was a small 1/1 apartment in very old, 3 story brookstone in the adorable neighborhood of Chicago called Lakeview. To this day, we look back on it and smile. It had two big brick walls and a fireplace that we both miss. With the original hardwood floors, that little apartment was absolutely adorable. (The part that I don't miss was that the washers and dryers were down in the basement. Walking down the outside staircase to get to the bottom on those cold winter days in my PJs and Ugg boots was not something I recommend doing. With icicles and slippery steps, I'm shocked I never fell.)
Anyways, that was "our" first home together ever. I look back on it and wouldn't trade that year on Briar Street for the world. Although it is no secret that we prefer living in south Florida, we appreciate what that move did for our relationship and personal growth.
After Chicago, we got transferred back and we rented our 2/2 for a couple of years in Pompano Beach. It was great as we lived in the same neighborhood as my mom and I was able to see her every day. This was an important factor to us when choosing where to live once Ava came because I would be at home alone with a new baby and knew that I would want my mom (and his) close by. So when it came time to start looking for a house, we had our eyes set one ONE neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale. We looked at a couple outside of it but ultimately knew that our favorite (with a great school district) was Coral Ridge Isles in Fort Lauderdale.
(I seriously prayed every single night since January 2014 hoping that the perfect house would become available when we needed to buy later that Fall).
Well, my prayers were answered!
One morning, we were set to look at a house on that main neighborhood street and were pretty impressed with it afterwards. As we finished up that showing, our friend and realtor had set up a showing two doors down on a home that was now the same exact price as the one we just saw. Ava and I walked down and said hi to the neighbors in between the two for sale homes as Mark and our realtor, Kristine, moved the cars down. Once we walked inside Mark said, "This one is definitely better."
The owner of the house was actually there for this showing and Mark really enjoyed that. He was able to give us a very detailed tour and reminded Mark of a great friend of his, Aryeh, who years ago was the man who hired Mark at his present job.
We toured and fell in love. We put in an offer in the following night and had a deal on Monday afternoon! It all happened quickly but felt very serendipitous as Mark kept saying. There were just things that almost felt like "signs" or things that made Mark and I feel that this was our home.
One specifically, is a bible verse. A very long time ago (I am not even quite sure when it was but Mark's steel trap memory probably does), Mark was curious and wanted to look up a very special date to us. It is the date that we consider the beginning of "us" and has a lot of meaning to us for several reasons. So Mark opened the Bible and looked up in the Book of Mark (of course) Chapter 10 verse 27 for October 27th.
That verse has stayed with us since the day we read it. I'm pretty sure it's the only verse I know from the Bible verbatim.
Mark 10:27 reads, "Jesus looking on them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."
After reading this, it sort of became our little reminder to always have faith and to trust the process. Mark and I had some not so perfect times during our relationship especially during the crazy college years, but always knew and reminded each other that we would be together in the end- no matter what.
We always felt that we were soulmates. (Sorry to sound corny but we are super mushy and corny people!)
Fast forward to present time:
After we first saw the house, Mark told me when we got back to our condo that he saw something that he really liked. I thought he was going to tell me about the water softener system throughout the house since he has sensitive skin haha He told me that he saw a single, little stone in the backyard that read our favorite Bible verse. He had already felt good about the house, the price, location, everything... But when he noticed that small stone, it made him smile.
|I took this picture at our final walk-through right before closing an hour later|
As you can imagine, I wanted to cry and hug him at the same time when I heard that. Haha
Our offer was put in and the home was ours 30 days later.
Thank you to our friend and realtor, Kristine Marseco, for guiding us to our new home. Another big thank you to a long time family friend and attorney, Mike Styles, who has known me since I was five years old and looked over all of our documents to make sure that we were properly set up. And last but not least, Christine (Wardell) Mancil's husband, Jared Mancil, for helping us set up our homeowner's insurance. Christine and I met in high school. All 3 of our main contacts were personal friends and made this process and very easy for us. Thank you!
The McGuire family is ready to start making new memories in our first house!
"Jesus looking on them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."