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Lifetakes: From House to Home

Faigy Markowitz

When you buy a house, you purchase the place that will become a home. A headache arises from a place deep within, loaded with so many what-ifs

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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C asual house shopping can be fun for some. Visiting open houses, dreaming of possibilities, working up the courage to take the leap. But intensive house shopping can be exhausting. Combing through Zillow, comparing square footage, the condition of the house, location. More than the four walls is the home that will encompass this abode. Would our family enjoy an open layout or a more formal dining room? Will the kids benefit from a huge, flat property with cavorting green grass inviting all to play? Or is it better to give up the lawn for a smaller place that offers neighbors galore, and so many children that my kids can befriend? Do we want a swimming pool, or will it just be a magnet for unwelcome guests?

The intensity of the search. The magnitude of the decision. The threshold that, when crossed, will lead to so many unknown doors.

Old carpet can be ripped out, but the structure of a house cannot be changed. A family can move from one place to the next, but the ethereal qualities that make each family unique will never change. Choosing a place to put down roots is so much greater than shopping for this season’s wardrobe.

When you buy a house, you purchase the place that will become a home. A headache arises from a place deep within, loaded with so many what-ifs. What if the neighbors aren’t as nice as the realty agent says they are? What if there are real structural issues that the home inspector didn’t detect? What if we think our sons need the outlet of volleyball and basketball, but no sports will help fill in the fine-grain deficits in their social skills? What if my young daughter is really a social butterfly who will emerge from her cocoon and then be stuck for so many winter months without a playmate, a friend to share her imaginary world and learn the girly vocabulary words that only peers can provide?

By now I cannot even think if the furniture will fit or if the house on a quieter street is actually worth the extra $30,000. I escape to the comfort of my son’s cozy blanket as I lie next to him and help him go to sleep. I try to calm the thoughts that float through my vision.

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