About a month ago we placed a call to an organization called Urban Homeworks just to see what their program was like. We had friends from church who were looking into purchasing their first home through them.
Now, a month later, we're looking at signing a purchase agreement and possibly moving into a home of our own in the next month or so (it's a land trust home). It's exciting and a bit scary. I like to ruminate on things before I make a big decision.
We've never owned a home before. Often our homes were provided as part of my work package. And we've rented a bit, as well.
Truth be told, if it weren't for Urban Homeworks, we wouldn't be even looking into housing. Their mission is "to perpetuate the hope of Jesus Christ through innovative community development that produces dignified housing for low income families, a strategic network of good neighbors and the redemptive development of real estate." It's kind of a mission strategy: going into some of the rougher neighborhoods in Minneapolis to be light.
It's scary because we're happy with our current location. We like our neighbors. We like the parks and nature center nearby. We like our proximity to places and the ease of getting there. Anders likes his school, his teacher, his friends. There's also part of me that doesn't want to stay in Minneapolis forever (especially after time away in Iowa); but there's another part of me that wants to invest in neighbors (and the neighborhoods our church's ministry is in) while we're here.
But our apartment is also small and cramped. It's not easy to host people. It's hard on the boys to not have much room to move around in. We don't really have a yard or a garden. It's tiring to have to keep getting quarters to do laundry with and not having loads fully dry.
Having a home means additional expenses: maintenance, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc. And plenty of questions about whether or not we can really afford it all. It also will mean we have space and a garden and an investment.
Neighbors don't tend to invest in people who live in apartments. Homes seem to be better for developing relationships.
So there are a lot of thoughts and emotions going on right now. We're looking to sign a purchase agreement this week (partly to help with getting some more grants to lower the price on the place and to get in on some tax incentives). So, prayers are appreciated for the decisions in the weeks ahead (and that they'll be able to find enough grants and such that will bring the cost down to be affordable).