Now that we've got a good idea or when we'll be back home on the OBX, the next big thing for us is to find a house to buy. It's a buyers market on the OBX just like the rest of the country, but it's still incredibly difficult to find something that fits our needs in our price range. Renting is something that has worked well for us in the past, but for several reasons, we really need to go ahead and take the plunge.
We've been saving while looking off and on for nearly two years without much luck. The OBX is a resort community, with one of the highest priced housing markets in the country. Just for kicks, we looked at housing prices here in Durham, and we could easily purchase a brand new house twice as big for about 3/4 the cost as anything even remotely comparable back home.
Because of Tricia's health, as well as Gwyneth's current health, there are some pretty specific needs we have with housing...
> We need something newer that doesn't have the dust and mold, etc. that most older houses have. We wouldn't mind buying something older that needed some renovations, but anything you tear up has the potential of stirring up stuff that wouldn't be good for the girls to be breathing.
> We need something without carpet. Carpet tends to trap all that stuff I mentioned above.
> We'd prefer something that's not on stilts as Tricia will have difficulty walking up stairs when her health is not the best. If you know anything about the OBX, you know this alone will be difficult to find.
Along with the house, we'll also need to purchase some new furniture. Most of what we have (sofas, chairs, mattresses) is very old and used, and carries lots of that bad stuff I mentioned above.
All of the above are things that we've decided to make a priority in our lives. Many transplant patients choose to not take these same precautions, and it's no guarantee that these things will improve Tricia's quality and quantity of life, but it should help.
Anyway, we'd love to have your prayers with us about all of this. We know that God will provide, as He has not yet given us a single reason to doubt Him. We'd love to be in something by the end of the summer, and, in the meantime, we'll be living with my parents (who are excited to have us...but I'm sure would also like us to be out soon as they're trying to sell their house).
(And, because I know people will ask, no, we won't use Tricia's trust fund to help buy a house)