This week I was honored to celebrate the beginning of my mother’s 70th year of life. She’d probably blush and say she’s still just 69, but I mentioned it the way I did because my not-too-distant cousin Max put it that way – talking about going into his 80th year (he turned 79 the day before my mom’s birthday dinner). Max has a poetic and freely intellectual way of speaking – everything, even serious talk – seems fun and extremely interesting. Lorraine, his wife, is fond of talking about the year they spent in Belgium! It’s fun talking with folks like them about the different homes they’ve had and moves they’ve made throughout the years and around the world.
In the past few years we’ve gotten to enjoy helping clients get their very first homes, sold homes that families have out-grown their first place, relocated families for a variety of different reasons – people who are coming out of a divorce; relocated by natural disasters; those finding investment properties – even coming into town for a new job or following careers to other places around the country. We have even helped clients connect with a great agent we know from networking at Keller Williams national events or by reputation, through conversations on our forums or other ways.
Lia and Brandon B. were a couple of my favorite clients – I’d gotten to help them sell a VERY cute home in South Knoxville and move into an awesome home on the water near Farragut a few years ago. I was surprised and pleased when they called me about a year later when they shared that she’d taken a job with a big Hollywood studio and they were going to California! We got their home sold and now I enjoy watching their new adventures on Instagram quite often.
Some of my favorite clients have been those whose children have “flown the coop!” While I was helping Max and his wife Lorraine for a different reason, many of our most awesome Knoxville real estate clients have been those looking to “right size” – selling the big home they’d chosen when their families grew out of that starter home. There was the beautiful 1800’s New Orleans plantation-like home in Corryton that Chuck and Michelle built for their kids, including my friend Gina, who called me when they were ready to join her in Atlanta after retirement. Chuck has built the home specifically for this family in the early 90’s and had put so much craftsmanship and care into it – he told me how the living room walls featured panels he’d rescued from an old church that was being torn down and the priest offered to let him take away some of the wood-work to re-purpose. I could tell they had mixed feelings about leaving – but really wanted to be closer to my friend, their daughter and their grandchildren. They were pleased to get their new home and see that the new owners were preservationists who had been looking for a home just like he’d created – appreciating every nook, cranny and especially Chuck’s awesome handiwork.
Another wonderful client, Kay, and I clicked immediately. She had been working with a couple of younger agents and hadn’t been able to “talk their language” so we sat down and talked about her house. That conversation went in dozens of directions and when we were finished talking her home went on the market, was under contract within the week and …. she panicked!
I went back to her house and we had another talk. With this closing she was going to have a sizable sum of money – but no place to land! I calmed her fears, talking about all the great places that fit her needs and were right in her area – she talked about all the stuff that she’d gone through and I realized that the panic wasn’t built on the real lack of a home, but the fear that she’d experienced years before when she was without a home or means to get one. After we got her settled down, we set off on the adventure of finding her a new home. That was great! We found a home that was easier for her to navigate, close to her children, her doctors and everything she wanted in time to do back to back closings and with the perfect yard for the Christmas reindeers that she and her neighbors have loved for decades.
Working with folks looking for their first home is a lot of fun – helping families move up into the ultimate place to raise their kids is so fun, but – as I transition into middle age – I’m grown quite fond of helping my clients that are the age of my parents and those of their and later generations find the comfort of a more manageable and inviting place for them to have their grandchildren and other family visit in coming years. Maybe I just love
spending time with people who think I’m young!