Joan Reynolds

Real Faith, Real Life & Real Joy
Browsing Buying a Home

Patience, To Deal With The Backlog!


It wasn’t until I was explaining this to a newly pre-qualified woman looking for a home, that I was able to see a parallel in my own life. We had put in the criteria for her new home into a search to see how many homes fit that description. While we thought we had tightened it up a lot, there were 976 homes that fit her description and price range currently on the market in Jacksonville!

Wow. We made the square footage larger and took off town homes, and that brought the figure down… 748! She looked at me with an overwhelmed expression and I have to admit, I had to overcome a bit of that myself. I told her that many of these homes had been on the market one year, many more even two years, and they had been looked over many times and hadn’t found a buyer. Perhaps she would easily discard them as well. If she was willing to go through and give a thumbs up or down to the long list of homes that had been on the shelf so long, we would be confident she had not missed the one that was perfect for her.

I was certain, once she chose maybe five to ten of those that we could make an appointment to look at, after we did that there would only be one or two new additions per week and those we could easily keep up with. She got right into it and started narrowing the field immediately, as there were only a few that caught her eye. Once we check those out we may find one that she loves, but if we don’t we will be up to date with everything available and can wait for the new ones to be listed from which to make her final choice.

It never occurred to me before that I was approaching the singles sites the wrong way. When I go back on, with fresh optimism about once every year, I get so overwhelmed in the first week that I almost always check out within a week, at best a month. Partly it is because I see many of the same pictures I saw a year or two ago, the same exactly written profiles, still there. It implies absolutely no growth or change to me, and I have allowed that frustration to stop me dead in my tracks. Aren’t I then only repeating my behavior that hasn’t worked very well for me? Hmmmm.

A house that hasn’t been cared for in a year or two looks none the better for neglect when you see it today. A person who has not even thought to update a picture that obviously isn’t working for them probably isn’t interested in marketing himself very well. He is thinking Ms Right is just going to come along and fall for that old picture and be delighted when they show up in person and look nothing like their old self. Good Luck with that.

It discourages me when I see that and get unsubstantial emails from so many men that I cannot even process them. They hit the button on every attractive new woman, just hoping for the best. This makes the first week or two particularly challenging for a woman. It takes a lot of patience to go through those early responses to get caught up on the backlog. There is probably a point where only the new people come in, and you cease processing the ones who have been there too long and have no interest in changing their tactics.

I personally have never lasted through the backlog. In light of what I was saying to my excited new buyer, anticipating the home of her dreams, I can see that I failed to apply that principal to my own life experience in this area. As difficult as it is, and I am not about to make it my new job, as some apparently are doing, I still would like to believe that I will stand out to Mr. Right For Me Now, and not be just a number on his list of fifty possibilities.

However, Mr. Right For Me Now can’t find me if I have left the building (or the website, as it were). Here’s to perseverance and a new degree of  patience!

Need A Miracle?


I am glad to report that God has one! I am encouraged to be able to say that God is still in the miracle business in the housing market! I was recently referred a client through my dear sister, a friend of hers who needed to purchase a home in a very short amount of time.

Time frame excluded, we still wanted to find the right home in the right neighborhood at the right price, all of which will provide this couple a very happy present and future. Her one request was for a garden, his for not too much yard and house to take care of. Throughout the course of three short afternoons we processed through approximately twenty homes, several who made the final cut, only to find that God snuck one in at the last minute that was perfection for both of them.

That is why I love my real estate….it is the most fascinating journey, especially with other Christians, to see where we are led and how we finally arrive at exactly the home that is their heart’s desire. The more flexible they are, the more God seems to be specific. The more willing they are  to compromise, the more He makes sure its a great deal!

I love that about watching it all unfold. He always knows who the sellers and the buyers are, and what will be a win/win for both of them. His timing is always right on!

If we are patient and willing to redirect our course, His path unfolds as we follow our daily instructions. It is subtle at the time and yet amazingly clear as you look back. I am always fortunate that the people I am meant to work with are always somehow connected to me, usually by people we know in common, but not always. Sometimes it is an internet profile that just speaks to the other person, or some other reason that just makes them call. We usually know on first contact that we are both in the right place and in good hands. It is a journey that never fails to be exciting to me, and I am so grateful for every opportunity that He brings my way. It continues to let me know that it is not a career as much as a calling, because it never seems like a job!

Good Tired/Bad Tired!


There’s a difference. Today I started the day earlier than usual and was on the go all day, but I was working (on my day off) at what I loved. It didn’t feel like work, it felt like fun. And I am tired, but from exhilaration, not weariness.

I was able to help one single mom at 8am, after working a 12 hr shift at her job at a prison, get the key to move into the home she closed on a week ago; through no fault of her own or the seller’s (it was the fault of the  banks), the closing was deemed not to have taken place and has to be completely done over two weeks later.

I know that most of you realize it is difficult enough getting through the closing once, but having to do it all over….unimaginable! The testimony to God’s provision has been evidenced throughout this sale, but most by the way the four women involved handled it as it all went south. We all prayed about it and a solution was arrived at. When everyone has someone else’s best interests at heart it is easy to reach a compromise.

I was also able to have the day off today, after announcing yesterday to my manager that I am going to be going back to real estate full time soon, so I was able to meet with a wonderful couple who need to find a home this weekend. From what we saw today, I am sure God has one with their name on it!

This is why I love what I do. I am just a vessel for God to connect the dots. I know it and I am thrilled continually by that. Today is the first day in two months that I have been really good tired! I will take that any day of the week over the other, no matter how dependable the paycheck!

It Might Not Be Your Move!


Today I was speaking with a lady in another state who is moving here as soon as her home sells. She is understandably frustrated, as she prays for a buyer so that she can complete her home search here.

We are both believers, and I told her about my frustrations with my job and my concern that I needed a partner to help me finish the business God has for me. I have felt so sad lately that I couldn’t do what I knew to do, and I didn’t know why.

It occurred to me as we spoke to pray with her, but not our usual prayer. God put on my heart to pray with her for the family that is coming to buy her home. I have always seen and experienced in real estate that God knew in advance all the parties to the transaction. It was His timing to have everyone in the right place at the right time. I think that is why I have always been so passionate and excited about real estate.

So we prayed for the family to be released from the circumstances that are keeping them from coming to her town and her house. I later went to lunch with my broker and we realized at the end of our conversation that my not being able to leave my job yet may have everything to do with her not taking the next step God has for her future and the things He has for her to do.

Wow! When we really can take our eyes off our own circumstances to see what they might look like from God’s perspective, the view can be entirely different! I will let you know the outcome, but the sadness has already left me, as I think the next step has something to do with a bigger plan and all the pieces of the puzzle are not on the table yet!

Needing Each Other


I think many of us are noticing that we need others both to keep us grounded and to lift us up lately. Many of us are turning back to church are attending in a more committed and consistent way than we may have been in the past few years.

Among my older single friends, many of us are noticing a real need for community in our lives, that we have become somewhat isolated. Perhaps because of the tighter economy and the lack of easier part time employment, many are realizing how difficult living alone is going to be in the future.

Beyond that, I think we need to surround ourselves with others who can see God’s goodness in a world that increasingly seems turned inside out. Neither Christians, nor churches, are perfect, but at least we don’t seem crazy to each other when we put our trust in something and someone other than the Almighty dollar!

It will be interesting to notice going forward, how this does or does not impact society at large. I believe Christians are really seeing that they can no longer sit back and do nothing. While we were working and minding our own business, there was a movement afoot to take over so many of our liberties. We have to stay awake and read and take responsibility for our actions or lack of them, and we have to vote. Every time. With as much information as we can gather. Critical thinking is really important right now. We need to put our best brain forward!