Patience is only a virtue on balmy breezes

Our story so far: We make an offer on the church and set a closing date of no later than Oct. 31.

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exciting picture of ceiling
One of the “exciting pictures” Tyler studied shows the tin ceiling in the basement hidden behind a suspended ceiling.

We spent days dreaming of lighting fixtures and polished hardwood floors and furniture layouts. Truth be told, my husband also spent many hours studying the pictures we’d taken of the interior of the church and thinking up ways to run the plumbing and electrical. Because he was the real brains of this operation. I was just the grunt labor and, on good days, the window dressing. He even met with the building inspector and talked about rezoning regulations and building permits and water meters.

But as good as he was at construction projects, he was no good at waiting. We were living in a camper, and the nights in northern Illinois were getting cooler. And then colder. If we couldn’t get into the church and make it habitable, we would have nowhere to live while we worked. As the days turned to weeks, he began calling every day our real estate agent (who was earning only a tiny commission on our miniscule offer). And then he began calling the title company. And finally, he called the pastor directly.

Tracking down the proper paperwork to sell a 126-year-old building that been owned by a church that’s changed affiliations at least once and then merged with another congregation abandoning the building is tricky, it turns out. How tricky? About two months and half months of tricky.

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Tomorrow: Chapter 1 concludes with an ominous request that feels like a warning. Click here to read.

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