Spring is the time when people buy and sell houses. For my family, it was time to move into a better school district, even if it meant selling the house my children were born in, and the one we still loved. Plus we wanted a big backyard for my now five year old twins to expend their unlimited physical energy.
So we started with Spring cleaning and called the realtor to see what our house was worth. A few days before he was supposed to come out, I got an email from someone asking if my house is for sale. I saw the message on my iphone while waiting in line to pick up a prescription and glibly replied, it will be in a few weeks. The response was instant. Can I come see it, we are looking to buy now. Not for a second did I think they were serious but I ultimately had them come the day I was meeting the realtor anyway. We had done a lot of painting and sprucing up but the realtor had a laundry list of things that still remained. Powerwash the exterior, move out some furniture, carpets, more paint. We were exhausted just looking at the list.
The couple that showed up on our front door to see the house were truly adorable. She was pregnant and he was desperate to fulfill a promise to buy her a house before the baby came in two months. They fell in love with our house and made an offer that same day, agreeing to take the house “as is” so they could paint it the way they wanted. They were willing to give us asking price. Before you ask, things like that never happen to me. I have never won a raffle in my life. This was almost as good as winning the lotto.
Indeed, no one can believe our luck. The couple had emailed a number of owners in our neighborhood asking if people wanted to sell. The catch of course was that we had to be out in 30 days. They needed to get the house ready for their baby.
So we went about packing up our house, constantly questioning whether we were making the right decision. The kids asked “do we get to take the paining in our room?”I had painted murals in the kids room. A farm for one boy and a fire station for the other. “No honey, the next family will enjoy those.”
I try not to think about the fact that they planned to paint over these murals.
It also didn’t help that we had no house to move into, we were going into a rental not wanting to rush the decision to buy. So we packed and moved. The kids still miss their old house but we’ve found another. With a big backyard. Still, we keep comparing everything to the old house.
So I got to thinking, what’s troubling us all? Is it giving up a house we loved, is it just change, or is it the notion that we sold our home. We’ve tried to tell the kids that home is where the family is. Whether we are living in a small apartment or a big house. They’re starting to understand it. Perhaps even better than yours truly who looks longingly at pictures of those murals and wondering if I will ever love another house like we loved our last one.
Lucky for me, I happened to be editing the first book in my “State of the Union” series coming from Harlequin heartwarming and writing the second book in the same series. In both books, the characters struggle with what feels like “home” and quest to find that sense of belonging. I wish I could show you a sneak peek of the cover to “The Senator’s Daughter” but that will have to wait for my July post.
Until then, don’t forget to check out the amazing May lineup by Rula Sinara, Lee Mckenzie, Loree Lough, and Lynn Patrick.
If you haven’t grabbed your free copy of Then Comes Love, the prequel to First Comes Marriage please visit my website, www.SophiaSasson.com
Now, tell me, have you ever bought or sold a house? What was your experience like?
Sophia, the murals in your kids' rooms are beautiful. From those alone, and what they must mean to your kids, I can see why it would be hard to say goodbye to your house. I'm certain the next house you buy you will also make into a wonderful home!ReplyDelete
Best wishes with the move.
Thanks Kate! We're trying to look at it as a new adventure. And I can always paint a new mural. My kids are figuring out what they want. They've outgrown the fire station and farm--which is sad in itself.Delete
Sophia - what a nice story! And how did you ever decide between writing or making art? Your murals are wonderful. We sold a house in Boise, Idaho to move to Astoria, Oregon to buy the Columbia Press, a small weekly. We were en route to Astoria with three kids, a dog, a cat, bikes, etc. in a VW bus when I called the realtor from a few hundred miles away to make sure he'd been able to get lights and water turned on for us. He said, "I'm so sorry, but a little bad news there. Their title wasn't clear after all. But remember the other house you looked at on 15th St.? I got that set up for you, but if it doesn't work, I'll set you up in a motel until we can find something else." Aaagghh! That was 40 years ago. We arrived, the kids with the dog and the cat carrier ran in to look at the 15th St. house and I stood in the middle of the kitchen listening to barking and laughing while Ron talked to the realtor and realized we were home. You're absolutely right. Home is wherever the family is.ReplyDelete
Muriel, thanks for sharing that story. When we moved into our considerably smaller rental, I was afraid the kids would be upset but they fit right in. To them, home is where we are and their toys are :)Delete
Sophia, I've bought and sold many homes as we moved around with military then with telephone company for my husband's engineering job. It's always a pain to pack up and move since I accumulate too much stuff always. My kids hated to leave one house and we didn't like moving them from their schools. Now I'm contemplating another downsizing move and thinking about it freaks me out. But I wouldn't have wanted to leave your lovely murals either. Hooray on your next book. Will definitely look forward to it.ReplyDelete
Thanks Roz--this is our first move with kids and that's definitely more challenging then when it was just me, and me and hubby. I don't know how you did it!Delete
Sophia, what a talent you are! This is a great story. It won't be long until your new place feels like "home," too. As the weather improves you'll all wonder how you survived without that big backyard. You may have to paint some new murals though(; (I always wanted a mural on my wall when I was a kid.)ReplyDelete
Thanks Carol! The kids are already picking out what their new murals would be. Unfortunately, their ideas far exceed my talents.Delete
Love your story. That happened to my mother as well--one day not long after she finally made the decision to downsize but before she contacted a realtor, someone knocked on her door and asked if she would sell, then named a price more than my mother had expected to get.ReplyDelete
I hope after you get moved in, we get to see the new murals for your kids' rooms! Congrats on your new book!
Thanks Patricia, sometimes good luck really does knock on your door.Delete
What gorgeous murals. It would be hard to leave them, but soon the new house will be home, especially once you spend the summer in the big yard.ReplyDelete
Thank you Beth!Delete
We'ved moved around a lot and it's never easy. When we bought our house in TN before a move from OH I really didn't want to make then, I swore I wouldn't let myself love that new house. Guess what? I really do. Couldn't help it! And we've made new memories there. Your murals are gorgeous, Sophia! Happy new home.ReplyDelete
Thank you Leigh.Delete
Loved this post, Sophia, and your wall murals are gorgeous! Can't wait to see the cover for The Senator's Daughter, and get my hands on Then Comes Love! Hope your weekend is beautiful and restful...in your bigger back yard!ReplyDelete
Thank you Loree!Delete
We lived in a very small two-bedroom mobile home for eleven years before we bought our three-bedroom brick home in 2005. We had to repaint every room before we moved in because the previous owners had used baby blue and pink paint on the walls. It looked like someone threw up a baby shower. It was really awful. LOL. I love your murals, Sophia. They are adorable! Can't wait to see your new book cover!ReplyDelete
Aw, this brings back memories of our move to the house we're in now. I had murals I hated to part with too. The one in my boys' bathroom I'd painted myself and had to paint over in a neutral color. But I know from experience that you'll find a perfect new place and make new memories! Good luck!ReplyDelete
I love the idea that you were smart to realize that by hurrying up the buying process for your own family, it would be smarter to actually rent first. That way you can take your time and find a house you really want to call home. So many others don't do that, they rush through and then wind up with a house they hate. Kudos to you!ReplyDelete