Written by Melissa Arndt, Principal Broker for Simplicity Real Estate Solutions.
I have a good life with my family. They built me 15 years ago, back when the children were young and would run up and down my stairs so hard it would make me groan. Their jumping and skipping would make me creak and pop in the upstairs hallway, but it was always so fun. The whole family would talk about how happy they were to have me and how they couldn’t imagine ever leaving me. Those were the best times.
Over the years the running and jumping lessened. Instead the children would stomp with big angry steps and slam doors while the adults would yell up the stairs; I didn’t like that as much. However, the family would still talk kindly about me, about how happy they were that I was so large and they could give each other the space they needed. They still took good care of me, cleaning what needed, repairing me when I was broken, and making sure I got all the maintenance I need.
Then the children started leaving. It made me sad. The upstairs was used less and less and the empty rooms felt so hollow and cold. The family began to let things slip: dust accumulated where they used to keep me polished, repairs took longer (if they were done at all), and maintenance happened less and less. I began to feel older than my years and I began settling down in sadness, creaking and moaning in the cold.
But now there is a flurry of activity and I am excited! There has been a whole team of people here to clean, repair, and update me! The children came home and helped the adults paint my walls and remove all the clutter, some workers came to pull up worn carpet and put down some fancy wood flooring that makes me feel young again, my light fixtures all have working bulbs (I even got a few new ones!), my HVAC ducts got a good scrubbing (so satisfying!), my outside got a pressure washing, and I am so proud of the new front door they put on me. I am standing tall and handsome in the neighborhood now! The family is talking about plans which don’t make a lot of sense to me, I am not sure what down-sizing means, but I think it means they love me again even though they still aren’t telling me how happy they are to have me and how they’ll never leave me. I’m sure that’s what they mean though.
Now there’s someone in a nice car that is meeting with the adults and telling them how much I am worth. The adults are super excited about the amount this person told them, so happy they’re signing some papers with that number on it and having a sign put in my yard. I’m sure it’s because they are so proud of me and want the world to know how amazing I am because people keep coming over now to look at me, peek in my nooks and crannies, and talk about how well they think I would work for their families. Silly people, my family would never leave me, they love me!
This is weird, the family is meeting with that person again that put the sign in my yard. They are saying words that cut me to my core, they are saying someone is going to buy me and they are going to move. They are going to buy a new house. A smaller one. Why do they want a new house? Haven’t I kept them safe and warm and dry all of these years, even when they didn’t take care of me like they should? They used to say they loved how big I was, now they’re telling the sign person how I am too large. What did I do, why don’t they love me anymore?
So much is happening right now, the family is packing up everything, strange people are coming in to inspect my sensitive areas, and all the talk is about this little hussy of a new house the family is going to buy. I can’t stand to hear about what that house has that I don’t: no stairs, granite countertops, built-in shelves, tile shower. It makes me sick.
Now they family is all gone. They took everything out of me, all of the belongings that I considered ours but really was just theirs. I am echoing as some people walk through me, so it’s hard to understand what they are saying. They look familiar, I think they came though me when I thought I was just being showed off. They look happy, but I don’t know why. Don’t they know I am just an unloved house that’s too big for my family to love me? They are crying as they walk to the front door, now that’s more like it! I bet they’re sad that my family stopped loving me too.
Wait a second, they’re smiling and laughing as they cry. I’ve seen this before when something amazing happened to someone in my family, those are happy tears. Why are they happy crying? What is this, they are talking to me now and hugging my pillars, they are saying they are so happy that I am going to be their house, they are so happy they get to buy me since so many people made offers for me. They will be back tomorrow with all of their stuff and they can’t wait to live in me. They say I’m perfect!!!
Now here they are, back with a huge truck and lots of people to help! I have a new family with more running and jumping and skipping in the upstairs hall! Everyone says the most amazing things about me, and they’re talking about plans for my heart, except they call it a kitchen, and they’re saying I’m getting granite countertops next week! They’re measuring me for some built in bookcases, and are bringing in some tile for my showers! I’m going to be just as pretty as that house my old family left me for!
Now for the best part as they bring in their last family member and I can hardly contain my excitement! It’s a dog! I’ve always wanted a dog!
I’m so happy my old family stopped loving me. My new family loves me even more and says they can’t imagine ever leaving me.