Today marks the day when my childhood home went under contract. My parents no longer live there and I'll no longer be able to visit. I grew up in one house my whole childhood. My parents owned this home for over 40 years. It is the home I took my first steps in, made a snowman on the front lawn, where my dad built me a tree swing and where I fell roller skating on uneven sidewalks. It is where my prom date picked me up, where my brothers shared a room, but I had my own and where last Christmas I announced I was pregnant.
Do I imagine that my baby will grow up in our current home or that my husband and I will be here for more than 40 years? Certainly not. Most of us expect to purchase a "starter home", then move up to a more permanent and larger home, likely "downsize" sometime after the kids move out. That's at least 3 homes. Then, if you figure in job location changes, a need for a school district change, or desire to be closer to family or friends, you could be tacking on several more moves in your lifetime. Perhaps you'll even be lucky enough to own multiple homes in multiple locations.
Have the days of owning one home for more than 40 years come and gone? I've sat through many closings with tears of happiness and sadness. New buyers are excited to start creating memories and sellers are tearful of letting go of the past. I've sat and told sellers that they may be selling their home of many years, but they are able to take the memories with them, packed snug in their brains. Now, I sit, tearful of missing my childhood home and wondering if those memories will be as easily conjured as I've promised many sellers they would be. I realize I have a new experience to share with my home buyers and a deeper understanding of my sellers. 40 years, 15 years or 5 years... memories built in a home, on a foundation of happiness, can't be bought or sold. It is now time for the next family to make my childhood house their home.