So my folks are looking to move. No, not to Florida where all the elderlies go to sit in the hotter-than-hell sun, drink wine and attend free hot-dog Saturdays. They are looking actually, to downsize from their spacious 4 bedroom, 4 bath house with 9 car driveway, glorious 2-tiered deck, tiki bar and pool…to a condo. A condo.
Listen, they did this to me once already and I did NOT handle it well. I mean, I was 22 years old and living in my own apartment, but nevertheless, it happened. I got the call they were moving from my childhood home to a custom-built home designed specifically for them. I remember attending all the open houses…and crying as I showed the potential buyers the pantry that my dad put in, the deck he’d built…the swing where I’d sat with my mom, while waiting for my brother to get off the bus. Oh, and there’s the tree where I broke my arm just before my First Holy Communion. I cried. Potential buyers cried. And in the end, I was asked not to return.
I was forbidden to attend any further open houses; not by my parents, but by the realtor. And the house sold the very next week.
But I digress.
So they’re looking to downsize. I get it. I even agree. The house is too big for them. It’s 60 feet from the bedroom to the kitchen. If my dad wants to sneak out to get a midnight snack, inevitably, by the time he reaches the kitchen, he’ll forget what he came in for.
Am I selfish to want them to stay? Absolutely. I love that house. My mom has exquisite taste and the house is furnished beautifully. My father has taken very good care of the grounds, with flowers bursting from every corner of the house; over-sized hanging plants, hibiscus and gardenia plants…rose bushes, and just about every kind of flower you can imagine, or pronounce. He’s got ’em.
The day of their 1st open house, I found myself driving, as if the car was on autopilot. Funny, I ended up at my folks’ home. There was the Open House sign. Yup. This was happening.
I got out of the car, and walked up the well-manicured front entrance. Opening the door, I caught my breath, as I noticed how beautiful the house looked. The lights were on, the house had been staged. I was prepared to talk to potential buyers, prepared to cry on demand. Prepared to scatter any potential buyers.
But then I remembered my mom’s foot surgery this past year. Sixteen weeks of recovery. I walked into their bedroom and remembered sitting by her bedside and trying to make her laugh, because she’d been in so much pain. She couldn’t even walk across the living room to the kitchen to get a cup of tea.
And my dad’s hip surgery just a few months ago…needing a walker, a cane; struggling to get on his shoes.
I realized this house had become too big for the two of them. And as selfish as it was for me to want them to stay, I knew in that moment, it was the right decision for them.
As I walked back down the entrance and headed to my car, I saw a gentleman pulling in. “I love this house!” I said with a smile. “I’m thinking of putting in an offer!”
The man jumped out of his car, and headed quickly up the steps.
I bet it sells in a week.