Sunday, August 19, 2007

Of Houses and Cars

With great delight, I (Eric) report that we now have both a car and a house! Once again, the Lord has been good to us. We had the privilege of using a loaner car for the first couple of weeks here on Guam while we busily looked for one of our own. For a variety of reasons, we focused on a Hyundai Santa Fe; a type of car we see buzzing all over the island. We looked, and looked. Someone then connected us to a guy on "Big Navy" (the main Navy base) who had a `03 Santa Fe. Turns out he wanted $1500 more than we had budgeted. Agreeing that it wouldn't work out, I went back to looking. That was a Tuesday. After trying more cars and under-bidding each one, only to be rejected, I got a call back from our Navy friend saying that by the time he traded in this car, bought a new one, and shipped it to his new post, it would cost him $7000. He offered it to me for my offering price which was $1500 less than the dealer offered him on trade-in!

On to the house. We looked and looked. We also made some interesting discoveries. While working with a real estate agent, we learned that the base amount given to the military for housing is $1720 a month. That could be why nothing was available in my $1300 range! That was also why the $1500 places were uninhabitable. We took a look at one $1500 place and nearly gagged upon entry. The dead cockroaches, the hot moldy smell, and the chunks of concrete fallen from the walls were more than Christian and I could take. Only one place seemed to be remotely possible. After noticing we were disappointed, our agent suggested we just drive through this decent neighborhood and see if there were any signs out that were not on her list. Can you tell where this story is going? We saw a very nice-looking house in a friendly neighborhood. Sure enough, the lock box was in place, so we got in to find a nice, clean home, that had indoor laundry (rare in Guam), a large enough kitchen, and room for a study! Our hearts sank as the agent made a call to find out the rent was $2500 a month, which shouldn't have surprised me. I then asked her to see if they would take $1700. She coughed, but asked anyway. I guess the listing agent also hiccuped, but said they may consider $1800.

To make a long story short, after lots of back and forth over details, I signed a lease for $1800 a month. Note, that's a $700 cut per month! We moved in last night. Much thanks to Dave and Joyce Owen for putting us up and putting up with us, but it was nice moving into our own digs, even though we still have precious few possessions. As you can see from the picture, the house features the traditional Guam "bunker look," but that means it will survive the typhoon they say we are due. We are so thankful to God for his wonderful provision, yet again.

That being said, $1800 is still about $800 per month more than budgeted. We had no idea what actual costs would be, so even when we're finding a deal over here, it's often still above budget. Your faithful giving to our ministry here is vital to its continuing.

School is just about to start, so we've been engaged in lots of meetings and preparations. Meanwhile, back in California, Karyn and the girls are readying themselves to load the shipping container, and then they will be free to come to Guam. Finalizing the shipping container is just a matter of details and pricing (another prayer request). Thanks so much for all of your support and continued prayers.


Mal said...

HI Eric

So glad you have a home and a car. We pray that God will continue to provide for you especially as the rest of the family come to Guam. Hope Christian continues to enjoy school.
Look forward to catching up again later in the year perhaps if we get back to Guam

Mal and Linda Hamill

fred tibbs said...

Just how far are you from the Naval Base and which base?? Callra and I are still thinging of visiting you in 2008

fred tibbs said...

Make that Clara not Callra
fingers got confused. ha ha