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House Searching

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

As described in “The Journey” post (, God led us to a small town in Florida. It was an area we had never even been to until the night we moved down. We weren’t sure if this was the town we were going to stay in though. We were open to most of central Florida because we knew that Ralph’s job would be in that area and would change with every new construction project.

Ralph writing

Courtney writing

We looked at houses almost immediately after moving down. We did not want to be in the rental house for long. It did not feel like home.

Our experience looking at houses was vastly different than in NY when we bought our first house seven years ago. We were surprised by the lack of professionalism in the sellers agents. On more than one occasion, we would look at a house and like it enough to want to put an offer in so our agent would call to get more information. It would turn out that the house was under contract already and the sellers agent never bothered to tell ours before we all took the time to drive out to look at it.

Needless to say, looking at houses was getting very frustrating. After I would get out of work we would sometimes drive an hour to look at a house, have to eat late and sacrifice family time. Then at night we would look at more houses and start the process all over again. We did this on and off for five months.

Houses were selling within hours of them going on the market so we had to make very quick decisions, often putting us in uncomfortable positions with trying to decide on what we should offer. People were offering well over asking price and other obscene things like paying for the sellers closing costs in order to have their offer accepted.

In June of 2022, after about six months of looking at over 50 houses in 9 different areas, and our seventh offer was declined, we decided to put looking at houses on hold. The number seven stood out to us. We believed that God was communicating with us through that number by saying, “you’re done for now. Rest.”

As written about in “The First Month” post ( it was not an ideal living situation. The house was not our style, it wasn’t well cared for due to past renters, and we had boxes and totes stacked up in the bedroom, hallway, and deteriorating garage. Also, Courtney’s brother had moved down, too and was living with us.

The rent was twice as much as we had been paying for our mortgage in NY and Tyler couldn’t afford to live on his own yet with not knowing what his income would be like so he rented a room in the house. Florida is not the cheapest place to live.

The boys loved having Uncle Tyler around, but Uncle Tyler didn’t always love having the boys around. We are not a quiet household. We used to call his room his hidey hole because that’s where he would stay if he was home. I missed my brother’s hugs.

I knew it was driving Courtney nuts to live in disorder, but it was clear we needed to push pause on looking. Both of us have learned over the years to be adaptable. This was just another thing we needed to adjust to.

No place is paradise is what I always say. This was the first time we had very little control over where we were going to live. As we mentioned in “The Journey” post, it was our only option. The doors had been clearly shut on everything else.

We made the most of it as best as we could. I hung up decorations and got to know many of the neighbors. The best part about living at that house was the pool. We ALL loved it!!

I was beginning to think that God was trying to shift us

into a totally new way of living.

Through all of this we continued to pray as a family. Where we should live and what were our next steps? Ralph often would say, “I don’t feel settled.” But we kept saying, “but we’re in Florida.” We were so grateful to be in it. We were building relationships at church and in our community,

but a place to call home had to wait.

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