Personal: A Milestone or Two

Remember when I mentioned more pressing tasks in my previous post? …Well, this is mostly what I was referring to. As well as work getting incredibly busy, we just bought a house and I’ve also finally, finally submitted my greed card application! Jacky and I actually walked to the post office together today to send it in. See those files I’m holding up in the photo on the left? All those three packets of documents were submitted as part of the application. The process has been long, confusing and stressful, but I also thank God for bringing us through it all.

The photo on the right shows me cringing at our bank account just after we put in our closing payment on our property (actual amounts hidden for privacy). We closed escrow and got the keys on Tuesday, but I’ll be lying if I said I wasn’t at all nervous about how low our bank balance has dipped. I guess that’s the part people don’t really talk about: how nerve-wracking it is to be spending so much money on an item that may not even be the best investment, especially in the crazy NorCal property market.

Maybe this is first time buyer jitters, because it really is significantly more money than I ever thought I would spend (and, of course, it’s money we don’t have, because mortgage). But actually, let me take this opportunity to remind myself of just how faithful God has been these past few months on our property hunt:

  • He allowed us to meet a fantastic realtor who has helped us every step of the way. She’s honestly been the absolute best and we are so thankful for her!
  • He gave us a lender whose team were kind and helpful, and their communication has been top notch.
  • He granted us a really wonderful property that is actually ours! It’s a sellers market in the Bay Area and we must have submitted 10+ offers on other properties but were constantly out-bid. For the one we got, there had been 10 other offers on it, 8 of which were neck-and-neck.
  • The property we got is almost brand new and is everything we were looking for when we first began our house hunt: 3bd3.5ba, 2 car garage, big kitchen (with a gas stove that vents out!), the layout is perfect, it has an abundance of natural light, it’s move-in ready and it closed just when interest rates had dropped a bit again!
  • Both our parents really like the property from what they’ve seen online and Jacky’s parents actually loved it so much they said it was their dream house!
  • When they saw this property, Jacky’s parents decided to significantly increase the amount they were going to help us with for the downpayment, which enabled us to afford the downpayment and secure the property.
  • There’s a downstairs guest bedroom & en-suite so we can easily host friends and family to stay for longer.

After fellowship on Friday, I shared some of my concerns from post-purchase anxiety during small group prayer time, and God had provided exactly the woman I needed to hear from during this time. She reminded me that since God has given it to us, then He has desired to bless us with it, and if it was His will to give it to us then there is nothing for me to worry about. Even if the mortgage payment sounds frightening, He has provided and will continue to provide.

Also, she advised that it’s very rare for properties in the Bay Area to not increase in value given the high demand. If it’s purchased as an investment property, then she can’t really say if I’ll receive a good return, but if it’s going to be our primary residence (which it will be), then there’s much greater value in that too.

Now let me reflect on how faithful God has been in my green card application process:

  • Originally, I thought we’d need an immigration lawyer to help us file it. I’ve had all my work visas done by immigration lawyers and I think they all cost somewhere between $5-7k (though this would have included the ~$1800 filing fee). As such, I was under the impression that this application would also cost so much. Obviously we still had to pay the filing fee, but God has been gracious: a friend who got hers a few years back advised us to fill in the documents ourselves and just have a lawyer review everything. She recommended the lawyer she’d used, and in the end our immigration lawyer fee amounted to just $300.
  • When searching for medical doctors to do the medical check up, I almost went with a doctor who quoted us ~$650. I didn’t exactly feel at peace about it, but she sounded like she knew what she was doing and could get it done quickly. However, after I called a couple of other doctors to compare, one of them said I could get lab tests done through my healthcare provider, which would save a lot of money. I cancelled my appointment doctor A, and went with doctor B. In the end I got report I needed within 10 days and only spent $170.
  • Thanks to changes in policy under Biden, I no longer had to submit one of the forms that had been added under the Trump administration, which saved a lot of hassle and headache (and another entire folder-full of documents).

Finally, on the work front, I’ve had an increased number of deadlines lately, but it’s been infinitely more stressful because I’ve had to use some programs that take up a fair bit of memory. My MacBook Pro has been on its last legs for a while now, but its dual core i5 processor and 8GB RAM has been buckling under the workload I’ve needed to put it through recently. On one day, it crashed and required a force reboot 4x. My employer decided to buy me a new device for work, which should arrive by next week.

This has all been happening over the past few months. At a time where money is tight, God continues to provide in so many ways. Why is it only now that I’ve taken time to reflect on how good He’s been? I am so glad that I’ve had a chance to write this and reflect. God is so, so good. And He needn’t be. I already have eternal life in Jesus, all of these are just extra that He’s added unto me… and I don’t think I appreciated it all until just now.

I was speaking with Jacky earlier about how I feel like my faith has grown weaker; I never ever worried about money or felt anxious about stuff like this in the past. And Jacky replied, “Perhaps it’s not that your faith has grown weaker, but rather, as you’ve grown older and have begun to shoulder more responsibilities, your faith has needed to grow as well and it just hasn’t yet.” May God strengthen my faith and help my unbelief!

…I’ve just been reminded of a couple of years ago where my prayer was to grow in faith…

God has indeed been so, so faithful.

On another note, Jacky and I began a reading plan together today :) I wanted to start it last night but I was so exhausted I ended up fast asleep by 9pm and didn’t wake up until 10am this morning. Whew, I guess I needed my rest!



Entertainment: Doom At Your Service
Faith: YouTube Bible Reading Update

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