Monday, April 14, 2008

Selling My Grandmother’s House

It's time. My grandmother is getting to the age where living alone in her home, the home that she and my grandfather bought in 1956 when they moved here from New York, just isn't smart for her any more. It takes maintenance that she's not able to provide. It takes money to maintain which she doesn't necessarily want to spend. And more important than all, she's getting to the point where she would feel more comfortable living in a home where assistance is available should she need it. My family has been talking about this possibility for a few years now and it's finally gotten to the point where, as much as she doesn't want to leave her home of 52 years, she realizes that it's probably about that time.

They've finally found her a place that everybody's comfortable with. And now comes that task of putting her home on the market. It's been a very surreal experience for me. It's been tough for me to put my objective lenses on and look at her home like a piece of inventory. It's "Nanny's" house, not just another listing for crying out loud. Most of the time after I've been in a house once or twice I can mentally walk through the house and pick out things that need to be addressed before the house goes on the market. Not this one!! I was meeting my folks and my grandmother at the house today and even though I've been in that house a million times, I couldn't visualize anything that needed to be addressed. I know there has to be something…it's an older house that's been lived in for 52 years. Don't get me wrong, it's been very well taken care of, but a house that's been lived in for any period of time, or 52 years, probably needs some tender love and care before it's ready to be put on the market, at least some depersonalizing and decluttering. But, for all the times that I've been in that house, I've never objectively looked at it like inventory. And today that's my job. That's what my grandmother, and the rest of the family for that matter, is counting on me to do.

So Sunday, April 13, 2008 was quite possibly the first time I'd looked at this house in Central Phoenix, not as "Nanny & Pop-Pop's" house, but as another piece of inventory that I need to sell. I found doors that I didn't even realize existed. I think I really looked at the roof for the first time ever. All of the pictures that adorn her home of every person in our family, I looked at as clutter. Even though I knew she had a gas stove in the kitchen, I think I realized for the first time today that she has natural gas for her heating, water heater and stove. I looked at the neighbor's house today and really noticed just how bad it looks. Before today it was just the lazy neighbor's house, but now it's the house that's quite possibly going to cause "Nanny's" house to sell for less than it might otherwise.

The whole experience was weird today. And I'm sure it's not going to get any easier as we work towards finding this wonderful home a new family. It will just take a little extra effort on my part to be the unemotional piece to the puzzle as we get the house on the market, and then eventually begin to negotiate with a potential buyer. This should be fun!! J

-Steve Nicks

[tags] central phoenix, family real estate [/tags]