Under Contract & Feeling Divine

Stephanie Fleming
8 min readMar 20, 2021


Our first and official prayer pose in our future house.

It's wild how quickly things can turn around for you and at what may feel like the speed of light.

But if the Most High has taught me anything in my life through tumultuous ups and downs, it's that God's divine timing is always the best timing. I'll wait every time. This understanding has gotten me through the deepest of valleys and the darkest of roads. This understanding makes up the beams of support in which I walk on in faith and not in fear.

In my 2020 article, How We Bought a House in 1 Year , I discussed how we got ourselves financially ready for homeownership with the support of the NACA program. I also mentioned a lovely townhome community that we were smitten with (at the time). We were qualified and ready but just waiting on the townhome community to release their final set of lots yet to be built on. What we didn't know is that the wait would become months of waiting and lots of silence. Our realtor was amazing and checked in weekly. Her frustration also grew because something just didn't seem right and she was determined to get answers for us.

Tuesday, February 23rd - we learned our cute little townhome community had decided to indefinitely hold onto the remaining lots until further notice. We were devastated but not about to wait on them and waste our time and money.

For the next 2 days, I was sucked back into realtor.com digging for new options for us. We also had our realtor open our preferred areas perimeter in her MLS portal to damn near all of metro-Atlanta, except for Atlanta proper cause their property taxes are wild. That first night I spent hours with my sister and her husband searching for potential homes. Phillip and I spent every afternoon driving around looking at potential properties and neighborhoods. I was sad, very sad. I was also frustrated because we wanted new construction, we wanted a garage, we wanted open concept, we wanted 3 beds and 3 baths, we wanted safe, we wanted to stay close to town and near our current area so I would be accessible to my studio and our favorite spots. Nothing we saw matched our needs and our wants. I found myself starting to settle.

I was trying so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but this seller's market right now is a bitch. We knew that from the jump last year, which is partly why we wanted new construction. No need to deal with overpriced homes that don't appraise, no need to get into offer battles with cash investors and shady sellers. It was also easier for NACA as well. I even started looking at homes in North Georgia, an hour away, and that's when I was like no way. I'm not going to throw all my plans away and settle especially in this market. Buying a home is too big of a deal to settle or rush. So, I said we'll wait and just monitor our options and this market.

But then Thursday night happened. I set up some new realtor alerts and did another search for new construction homes “near” me. I know every community being built right now in my preferred radius, I knew what options were going to come up, yet I did this search anyway and somehow I found something new. This community literally 13 minutes east of where we live now was new construction and never came up for me in a search before. The price was right, the images were good, and it was actually a detached single family home, not a townhouse. I alerted our realtor and made an appointment to see it the very next day.

Friday, February 26th we toured what would be our future home community. There were only 2 floor plans to choose from. We went through the model and were blown away. So many great features we dreamed of were standard! If you are used to touring homes, you know they like to make the models extra sexy and then tell you later that nearly everything you saw was an upgraded cost. Then we toured the other plan which was 100 sq ft larger and we were just in awe. The community had several lots left but some would be finished sooner than others and there were other couples touring the homes as well. We loved it and how perfect it was seemed scary.

Hopeful and excited eyes during our second tour of our lot. The view is stunning!

Sunday February 28th - we toured it a second time but with our realtor. We came with even more questions and she was on deck with the questions too. By the end of the tours she's like wow, you guys you found a gem what do you want to do? We said let's do it, lets lock this in. By this point we had almost 2 days to think about it and really talk through pros and cons. My spirit was reaffirmed in so many different ways because this home checked boxes we did not even think were boxes for us in the first place because of our budget.

New construction
Over 2,200 sq ft compared to the 1800 sq ft townhome we lot was spacious
3 bedrooms, 3.5 bath plus bonus room in basement.
2 car garage
Safe and quiet neighborhood
Fenced in backyard, bigger than a townhome would have given us but still small and manageable.
Affordable HOA
3 levels
Townhouse layout with a single-family home square footage
High end upgrades that came standard
Craftsman style home
Front porch
Private community park

And the icing on the cake is that the Lot number is my favorite number and my lucky number 5. And this lot in particular was scheduled to be completed in the summer. Fall 2020 my gut told me that we would move in the summer of 2021, but with all the delays I let that belief go. And here we are poised to close and get the keys to our lovely new home by June of this year, just as my spirit told me! WAHHHH! How foolish of me to disregard what was already affirmed. Every step of this process has been affirming and divine.

By March 4th we were formally under contact. I went to work on creating mood boards in Adobe XD and refining our Pinterest folders that have been collecting our dreams for years now.

On March 5th we had our pre-construction meeting and paid our earnest monies (even my checks are dated with the number 5! Look at the Most High work!). We got to pick all our upgrades, hand placed all our light fixtures on the floorplan, and designed our great room and living space. We learned what was possible and not. We walked through the structural bones of our home with gratitude.

1st Draft of our great room/main floor mood board.

That following Monday March 8th we had our design consultation. We came well prepared to make decisive decisions, but we didn't know we'd get to pick the exterior house colors too! We made some bold design decisions embracing our artsy flares and melded together our design preferences with the help of the professional designer. I'm so proud of us and so excited to see this masterpiece come together. It helps that the builder is awesome and that we didn't have many upgrades because so much of the home was exactly what we wanted and came standard. Even the basic light fixtures were sexy!

Every weekend we visit our future home. We check in, we take photos, we hang out in our new future neighborhood and it's a sense of peace I didn't know I needed. I've suffered from so much anxiety feeling stuck in the place we are now and I knew that we would move on to better things, I had no doubt about that, but I never imagined better would look quite like this. That is what I am most blown away by, is how much this home and its community makes me feel at ease and makes me feel like I have arrived. This may not be our forever home, but it is our home and the place where we get to start a family and set down new roots. I can't wait to tell you more about this community after I get there!

So this is us and this is our home. We are saturated in gratitude. Words can't express our excitement and y'all would laugh if you saw how much of our condo I have already packed up! LOL I'm ready to go, okay! We are soaking up every little step of progress and celebrating our little wins and gains as we watch our home come to life in front of us.

Check Out the time-lapse of us painting a blessing on the structure of our home here on Instagram.

For those following our NACA journey, all is well there. Below are our NACA checkpoints we have pulled through so far:

August 8th 2020 - Homebuyer Workshop

October 20th 2020 - Action Plan

November 8th - Qualification Pending

* Our Mortgage Counselor quit *

November 23rd - Qualification Pending (after being resubmitted again)

November 30th - Qualified

December 3rd - Housing Search

March 11th 2021 - Credit Access Requested

March 12th 2021 - Credit Access Pending

* Needed updated employment documents *

March 15th - Credit Access Requested again

March 16th - Credit Access Approved

March 18th - Mortgage Process

Currently we are on Step 8 out of 10 Steps to Homeownership with NACA.

Currently we are on Step 8 out of 10 Steps to Homeownership with NACA. Now all we do is wait for the house to finish building.

Since getting under contract and locking in our interest rate, we have seen it raise twice already within 2 weeks. Just another affirmation for us that we were right on time and on track with this home just as it was intended by the Most High. Thankful to my family and kickass real estate agent Nicole Howard for supporting us through this process. Nicole would never let us settle and always reminded us how deserving we were of our hopes and dreams in a home.

With Love,




Stephanie Fleming

I’m an exhibiting artist and learning experience designer. Questioning everything and sharing of myself. AKA Stephanie Brown in those art streets.