David had some thoughts about changes people move through as they own property over a lifetime:
Thirty yeas ago this summer, as my parents were preparing to leave the house they built in 1958 and move to a condominium, I called them in Atlanta to ask how things were going. My father told me that they were all packed up, and that they had managed to get through the process without any tears.
No tears. That thought has stayed with me ever since.
While the house they were leaving was a beauty – designed by my architect father, in the mid-century idiom with soaring ceilings, walls of glass – it was time to go. With their children out on their own, it had become too large. After 27 years, expensive repairs and replacements were looming. And the yard was – always had been – a source of aggravation for my father.
On top of that, the new condo was great! In a very desirable neighborhood, smack in the middle of Atlanta’s red-hot restaurant scene. Near the performance venues my parents loved and the High Museum. An easy MARTA ride to the airport. Everything they wanted in a perfectly-sized place with zero maintenance worries. And yet, in leaving the old house, there had been the potential for tears. How could that be?
While motivations and decisions about real estate should be totally rational, emotions always come into play.
So, when you’re moving on from the house you’ve lived in and loved over the years, how do you deal? Maybe it was your very first house. Maybe you raised your kids there. Maybe you really love your neighbors. Maybe a beloved pet is buried in the back yard. How do you let go?
A few thoughts:
Own your emotions. If you need a good cry, go right ahead and have one! Nothing to be ashamed of and you’ll feel better when you’re done.
Think right-sizing. Whatever the size – smaller, or perhaps larger – the new place is the right size for your life as it is now. The old place doesn’t fit any more. The new one does.
Let a realtor help you. We’re good at listening. We can look at things without the emotional involvement that sometimes muddies the water. We can help you stay focused and rational as you go through this major life transition.