Home sweet home…

I drove around the neighbourhood, looking at houses and wasting a bit of time.  There was no point going home when within a few minutes, I’d have to turn around and pick the kids up again.  I was trying to avoid the Ice Caps that were calling out to me from the local Tim Horton’s… and besides… I like looking where other people live.  There’s nothing better than a house with amazing curb appeal.

My exploring made me appreciate my pretty brick home with my pretty brick driveway!  As soon as I got in I opened the windows, listened to the birds in the back yard… and let the sun shine in.

Three houses ago we were starting out.  Living in an apartment and ready to move on to the next step.  We had one child at the time, and she was about to start school.  We began our hunt and found the perfect real estate agent… professional, kind, knowledgeable and patient…extremely patient.

We found a place we loved… 100 years old… creaky and slanted… full of history.  After a bit of negotiating back and forth we couldn’t come to an agreement.  Ironically, we found out years later, we were negotiating with my friend Lisa at Mudwraps to Manicures.  Had she sold the house, she probably would have moved to British Columbia… and we may never have met.  Things happen for a reason and as disappointed as I was at the time… I’m so glad the deal fell through.

With my dream of living in an old house gone… we decided to build new!

Our real estate agent was there to see us through the entire building process.  We were young and unsure of what we were doing… he never let us down.  He oversaw the project and consulted with the builders.  He went above and beyond… and my sweet little girl started her first day of school from our new home.

Within a few years we were up to three children… we were bursting at the seams.  We called our trusty agent… and with his help began building again.

The project was a crazy one… the first house on a newly developed street.  In the end, the closing was delayed three times… two months in total.  We spent four weeks in a hotel before our home was ready.  Our agent again, went above and beyond… even dropping diapers off to the hotel when my then husband was out of town.  I was nursing a six month old… my two year old occupied himself with running up and down the hotel’s halls… my oldest was too young to babysit… I couldn’t even run to the drugstore… our trusty agent came to the rescue!

The house was finally complete and we moved in… our agent was pretty happy to be done with the project!  We had beer and a BBQ on the deck in celebration… a deck he forced the builders to double in size to make up for their errors… one of a number of “extras” he negotiated for us!!

The third time we phoned him, I’m sure he was ready to vote us “worst clients”!  We were happy in our home… it was everything we’d wanted… and yet… we found a private sale that was on the same street as our friends.  Though it was a private sale… we needed his advice.

I thought this was where our agent became our friend… but that came later.

He helped negotiate us into our “new” home… and sold the one I’d loved.  The one with the amazing custom kitchen… the beautiful tile work… the HUGE deck.  The home we worked so hard to build.

We thanked him… and told him we were done with his services… he’d never have to deal with us again. He did make a bit of commission with us through the years… but no where near enough to reflect his time and commitment.

Last year I was faced with the possibility of losing my home.  I worried for weeks before I phoned the man I said would never hear from me over the sale of a house again.  He picked me up… and took me house hunting.  He lined up a few houses for me to see.  None of them comparable to what I was living in… and yet… it would cost the same.  The market wasn’t the best… I’d lose so much… I’d not been here long enough.  I was facing the possibility of leaving the neighbourhood I’d lived in for over thirty years.

After a few days of hunting and desperately holding back tears… my agent looked at me and for the first time in thirteen years of dealing with me… he offered his opinion.  “If I have to I will… and I’ll find a new ‘perfect’ house for you… but I don’t want to sell your home.”

I stayed.

Some day the kids will move on… find their own place in this world.  Discover new and wonderful neighbourhoods that suit who they are… maybe a different province or a different country.  Some day I’ll have a house on the water… on a lake… or maybe a cottage.  But for now…. this is where we belong.

I drive around looking at all of these homes for sale… all of these places where people are living… and I’m left with a feeling of pure contentment and happiness.

I’m home.

Stacy Wentzell works with Harbourside Realty in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He is professional and courteous… a family man with a beautiful wife and three incredible children.   He goes above and beyond all expectations… in the process we became friends.  He keeps his opinions to himself… but when it counts… he says what needs to be said.  If you’re looking at buying or selling… give him a call!

This past Christmas, Stacy placed a wreath on the front door of my beautiful brick home… with the pretty brick driveway. 

There’s nothing better than a house with curb appeal… except a home filled with love.

One Reply to “Home sweet home…”

  1. Colleen…this one brought tears to my eyes….Thanks for sharing, so much, so well, with us!
    Somehow, watching (ok-reading) about you discovering how great and wonderful your world is, and enjoying the "little" things, it has (and IS) making me appreciate things in a new light as well.