All of us remember where we have lived at certain times of our lives, whether it’s a childhood home, a dorm room, a first apartment or a first home. We recall special features that made those places so unique they remain ingrained in our memories. This week, I fondly said farewell to my childhood home, a place I’ve been in and out of for the last 47 years, as a tiny toddler until a young adult and then returning often to visit my parents whom I watch grew old within the confines of this home. My mother made the decision to sell the home and move to a retirement community after my father passed away several months ago.
This home is a place I’ve become so familiar with that I know every creak in the floor and can walk the floor plan blindfolded. It took less than two weeks to sell and the new homeowner can take advantage of the tax credit by purchasing and even closing before April 30th.
As I sat down with my mother and her REALTOR® in the empty living room agreeing to the details on the list price for the home, I thought about other sellers who have to sell their homes for the very same reason. I thought about the many REALTORS® who list homes on a daily basis and the compassion and empathy they must have as selling a home is not always a happy occasion especially when it happens due to the death of an owner. Selling a home can be an emotional time as the seller may be departing from a physical location where they spent the lion’s share of their adult lives and raised their family.
Sitting there that day with the REALTOR®, I thought about all the little remodeling jobs my father had done to the home through the years—how he took special pride that this was his property and he owned this home—it provided his family with shelter and also paid returns as a long-term investment. Something no one could take away from him. When he and my mother moved their young family into the home in 1963 it was brand new. And through the years, he enjoyed working on his home whether inside or out including all the landscaping and special “honey-do” projects for my mother. I am hoping the new owners will have as much pride in this house as my dad did.
I have many special memories growing up there with my three sisters. I went back to the house this past week for the very last time knowing I might not be ever able to ever walk through those doors again. As I stood in the backyard, the lilac bush was weighted down with blossoms along with other flowering trees my parents had planted so many years ago because they loved to see their yard full of color each spring. As I looked at the “heavenly garden” I could certainly feel my father’s spiritual presence beside me as I stood where he stood so many times before.
Yes, I had a hint of sadness as I walked through that house and shut and locked the door for the very last time. I’ve closed a chapter in my life. But, I am happy it will open up a chapter for some new homeowner who wants to build their own set of memories there.
For it was there that I learned valuable lessons about homeownership that will stay with me a lifetime. Congratulations to the new owner of my childhood home. Take care of our home as it is now yours and someday it will be someone else’s as a new generation of homeowners’ follow along behind you.