I believe Gary Luke (his real name) of Luke Team Real Estate was sent to us right from the Lord above. Gary, along with his wife Luanna, run their realtor business out of Ramsey, Minnesota. Gary had sold a house for Terri previously.
Will They Agree to Sell?
We (the sisters) decided we would have to address this issue head on, and invited Gary over to give our parents an estimate on the house. (It seemed like the best direct, indirect way to handle the problem at hand.) My youngest sister Patty and I joined Gary as he spoke with my parents. Gary is an amazing Godly man, who cares more about helping people than making money.
We let him do the talking. Gary spoke right to my father, explained the options, talked about how much money the house could sell for in this neighborhood. At the end of the evening, the miracle happened, my dad – and mother – signed the papers to allow Gary to list the house “as is”.
Four days later I received a phone call from Gary. He had an offer on the house. I was literally shaking as I headed over to my parent’s home. It was a good offer, a single woman looking for a home to fix up. My parents signed the purchase agreement.
50 Years of Home
The whole family swung into high gear. We had a house with 50 years of stuff to sell! Having lived through the depression era, my mother didn’t believe in throwing out things she might need some day. Fortunately, however, she was very organized – her pictures were in albums, extra canned goods were lined up neatly on the pantry shelves, and the boxes and bags from years were sorted neatly.
My brother-in-law hauled away trailer after trailer of stuff to the junk yard. My mother never, ever threw out any Styrofoam packing material; there were boxes of it in the basement in case a radio or TV had to be returned.
Patty, who packed up almost the whole basement herself, said “I could handle the boxes in boxes and the bags in bags. But when I got to the tubes in tubes – I lost it!”
The basement was “appliance” heaven, including an old dead stove used for baking pies at Thanksgiving, two hot water heaters, a water softener and several washers and dryers. My teen-age son grabbed several of his friends, including one big guy from the football team, and they hauled seven dead appliances upstairs. Fortunately, the buyer agreed to keep the giant freezer in the basement.
We became experts at getting rid of stuff. A guy at work was thrilled to take the old stereo cabinet. The Salvation Army would pick up furniture, they came for the old brown (ugly in my view) couch, as my aunt offered to give them one of her couches.
Another mistake! My dad couldn’t lay all the way down on my aunt’s couch, apparently, we should have kept the ugly brown one. I let my own jaded opinion override what would have been best for my parents.
Sadness, Yet a Blessing to be Revealed
I’m sure it was hard for my parents to see their house dismantled, especially my dad. However, consider the year we sold the house, 2007. You may recall the housing bust started in 2008. They made enough money off the house to get out of debt and had money in the bank for future expenditures.
Had we waited a year or two, housing prices dropped, and the outcome would likely have been disastrous.
“I will provide” God had promised me.