When I pulled up to the house, my heart fell. The grass was waist high and the weeds were even higher. Glancing at the structure, I could tell that it had been a beautiful home at one time. But today it was only a shell of its' former life. "What had happened here?" I wondered as I waded through what had been a front lawn to open the door. It's What I Wonder When I Show An Empty House.
In this particular case, it had been a divorce that had set the wheels in motion and that had brought me and my buyers to this day. That, combined with the national housing crisis, had left this house empty and abandoned. What would I find inside? A trashed and destroyed memory of what once was? Or a perfectly clean, stark, whitewashed picture...designed to cover up the recent history? I knew it wouldn't be the latter. It never is. The only question when the house is a foreclosure or divorce situation is "How bad will it be?" This is What I Wonder When I Show An Empty House.
Upon entering the house, I was relieved. It was clean and there were no holes in the walls. Whoever was last to move out didn't take their frustration, anger or rage out on the walls. The kitchen was missing the stove, but the dishwasher remained. And there were no broken windows anywhere, which was surprising since this home was somewhat isolated in the country. The master bedroom checked out okay as did the master bathroom.
It was when I went upstairs that the reality of what had been sunk in. There I found the kid's rooms. One was the purple room, which you usually see. One was the boy's room, with a sailboat theme. And the other one was the princess room. It had a castle on one wall, a brick wall paper border and the child's name high up on one wall. Who was this family? What were the kids like? Are they okay today? Was there love and laughter here? Or was it more frustration, fear and loathing? I may be strange, but this is the kind of thing I Wonder When I Show An Empty House.
The upgraded lighting fixtures and cloth cord cover on the dusty entry chandalier tell me that somebody who lived here once cared. They were detail oriented and worked hard to make this house beautiful. So what went wrong in their lives that has now caused this home to be void of the dreams that once filled it? This is what I wonder as I look around.
I suppose you're not supposed to be philosophical when showing houses, but I guess I can't help it. The fact that empty houses represent what once was makes me consider what now is...for the people who once called this house their home and for the people who are now looking at it as their potential home. And it makes me consider the same thing for my own home too. And it gives me the resolve to make sure that I do what must be done to ensure that what now is (in my life) never becomes what once was.
Because if it ever does, someone else might be walking though my empty house someday wondering some of the very same things I wonder.
Photo copyright Bob Haywood.
Originally Posted at: My Owasso Home