We Have This Life
As a realtor, I have a very particular viewpoint directly into the lives of many people, and many very different kinds of people – young adults, retirees, single people, married people, parent people, pet people, divorced people – ALL kinds of people. I love working with them, and figuring out what draws them toward a home to call their own. Clients I work with tend to find me at very distinct moments in their lives, and often they are ending, or beginning a new chapter, or both. One can begin to spot consistent themes in these chapters, and at the heart of them all, is the constant we call home.
Why We Do the Things We Do
The paths that people take while carving out their stories are as diverse and varied as one can imagine. Each chapter starts and ends – some are joyful and fun, some are uneventful, some are bittersweet, and sometimes even devastating. Often, I see people dedicated to reinveting themselves, and starting fresh. It can be wistful and difficult, sometimes terrifying. But more often, a move is invigorating, hopeful, and full of excitement. There’s nothing like making a new home, and growing into a more comfortable space, or hitting the reset button altogether. What a privilege it is for me, to be so closely connected to these chapters, in a such a real and tangible way.
I think a lot about what motivates us to live the way we live. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we do the work we do? Why do we choose the partners we choose? And at the heart of it for THIS realtor – why do we choose the homes we live in? They are so deeply intertwined, and that’s what makes this job so interesting, and meaningful.
Sometimes you take a leap into adulting.
Oh yes. Sooooo fun. Working with first time buyers is always a gratifying and exciting experience. I love working with people just starting out, and full of wonder and optimism about the future ahead. I love how possible everything seems to these dear people. Whether it’s taking advantage of city incentives to help them buy and restore terrific Baltimore homes in much deserving neighborhoods, or going after that bank owned property they can envision making their own, or putting their hard earned and saved dollars toward this huge new purchase – there is just nothing like watching a young first time buyer sign those docs and hold the keys of their first new house. It is inspirational, and wonderful to see, and even better, to be a part of making it happen.
Adulting in the form of home ownership starts later for some. Working with life long renters who decide to take the plunge and commitment into purchasing a home is another kind of joy. There is a certain trepidation that may come with buying your first home, when you’ve seen a bit of life. People surely get used to doing things a certain way, and that can include a mindset. For many reasons, people just aren’t ready to purchase a home until later, and even when they decide to – it can feel daunting! The conversations are different in these scenarios, and the joy I’ve seen from homebuyers taking this plunge is fantastic. There’s a feeling of belonging and accomplishment. So satisfying.
Sometimes you get a new job.
I love this one! Always fresh with anticipation, hopefulness, and the promise of a fresh start and new beginnings. Whether moving into town, and needing to find a new home, or packing up and heading off for a new adventure – people starting a new job have a certain kind of energy. I love it. It’s always a great reminder that change is possible, and we should be courageous in our living. Whether it’s “Welcome to Baltimore!” or Bon Voyage and Best Wishes!”, I love to feel the energy and pulse of the rhythm of change.
Sometimes you need to be in the heart of it all.
Action. Buzz. Hustle. Convenience. Some folks just want to live in the heart of it all, and be able to walk to coffeeshops, restaurants, parks, and work. These urban dwellers are full of energy, and love to be efficient and practical. Thankfully – we have so many wonderful options for living like this, in Baltimore City. The options for these homes are vast – and exploring the many different neighborhoods that Baltimore has to offer is endlessly invigorating. Baltimore is rife with walkable, lively and hip city neighborhoods to choose from. Cheers to urban living!
Sometimes you need to get away from it all.
Serenity. Quiet. Space. Beauty. There are people who find urban living unsettling, and turn toward a very different lifestyle for personal health and well-being. With a different set of eyes, we look for property with more land, more seclusion, mature trees, maybe a pool… Fortunately, you can point yourself in any direction from the heart of Baltimore City and find it all. Within a surprisingly short distance, the options range from horse country, to stunning waterfront property, to acreages with beautiful woods and secluded country. From small and cozy homes to sprawling estates, there are many options for fulfilling your dream of escape from the hustle and bustle of it all. I love the opportunity to craft a country life, and still be able to make it downtown in 30 minutes for life’s other obligations.
Sometimes you decide to start a family.
Yup. This happens. And after the all initial feelings of surprise, joy, fear, you name it – more often than not, thoughts turn toward finding a place to put that new family member, and all the stuff that begins to infiltrate the lives of new parents. Couples who once prioritized entertainment and adult leisure spaces now think about nursery rooms and separate bathrooms for growing kiddos. Basements, once only considered storage or laundry areas, become hopeful play rooms and hang out spaces. These soon to be parents look at stairs in a while new light – either as hazards to block off, or hindrances to carrying all that swag into and out of the house, and up and down the front porch.
Is there an open concept first floor, where I can be in the kitchen, and yet see my little one playing in the family room? Can my kid walk to school when the time comes? Are there other families in the neighborhood we can hang out with? Is there a comfortable bedroom and bathroom where my parents to stay when they come to help out with the kids? Everything shifts. Is there a one-size-fits-all house for each and every family? Of course not. Do people make it work for them in any countless number of creative and fun ways? Sure they do. But there is a shift. A shift from US, to ALL OF US. I love helping make those visions reality, in a home that feels just right.
Sometimes your relationships shift.
As I’ve said, I meet people at all different points in their journey. And one very real moment for people facing the end of a relationship, is the moment they need to find a new and separate home, and start forging new beginnings. This can be so painful, and delicate. But I have seen resilience and fortitude firsthand, and it is beautiful to watch acceptance and healing through the act of physically and literally moving on.
Whether someone is going through a marital or long-term relationship ending, or forging ahead after the death of a spouse or partner, it is incredibly inspiring to witness the bravery and dedication to starting fresh in someone looking for a new house, on their own. Feelings of loss and despair at the thought of facing a new reality of an unknown future often turn to hope, and even excitement, as scenes of a happy future start to take hold in the imagination. Finding a new place to call home is such a tangible and personal step in defining a new self. What a gift, to help someone find that place – to help them take those first steps toward crafting a healthy, exceptional, and bright future.
Sometimes you gotta make it yours.
I absolutely love to come visit after the moving vans are gone, and a home begins to manifest the personality of its new owner. I recently helped a friend sell her beautiful home after the death of her husband, and find a new home to fit her lifestyle, moving forward. She has embraced her new home fully, and has gone all out to decorate with whimsical and fun touches – filling this house with good vibes and new memories! Just beautiful.
Sometimes you’re ready to leave a house you’ve lived in for 45 years.
It is truly a labor of love to help someone prepare a house to sell after many rich years of living. Coming full circle, there is an exquisite grace to witnessing the release of a life well lived, in a home so very well loved. How precious are the stories to be told, the memories to be shared. Every paper, every trinket, every piece of artwork – imbued with tales and smiles. All of one’s possessions, embodying moments in time, reflecting a life’s work and efforts. A reminder of a joke that was told, a feeling that was hurt, a savored dalliance, an accomplishment of career or parenting… fleeting now, but deeply embedded within.
All this stuff, the stuff of our lives. And as the old saying goes, ultimately, you can’t take it with you. And quite literally. These talismans are powerful, and plentiful. But they aren’t invited to come along. There is poignant simplicity, in preparing for a smaller home, a home where life will be easier. A life where the burdens of home will be taken away. There comes a time. It is peaceful, and well-deserved. I have deep respect for the acceptance of this friend, as she prepares to leave her beloved home. She is excited for the chapters that lie ahead, and I wish her freedom to travel, good company, and many carefree and fun days in her new community!