Real Estate Agent with Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 CalBRE # 01188158

I was standing in my closet deciding what shoes to wear.  That's how this post began.

We had remodeled our master suite several years ago and in the process gained a walk-in closet.  I was marveling at how much I still enjoyed that privilege.  From there the thought process went to how silly it is that my husband and I don't downsize. 

We raised 3 children in our home.  It started at 1800 square feet when we were married and by the timewe became empty-nesters 30 years later, our home had grown to over 3000 square feet...a pretty silly size for just 2 people.  For more reasons that I can count, we should downsize.  The upstairs is only used because the laundry room and the cockatiel are up there.  The living room has gone the way of all living rooms...a place that stays remarkably clean do to lack of use.  We really only use 4 rooms...the kitchen, family room, bedroom and bathroom.  So, why in the world, with all of the homes I see on a daily basis, do we stay?

We stay because it is home.  It is where we grew together and our children grew up. My dad built the cover for our patio.  I made the stained glass window in the bathroom.  My husband and I built the shutters on the outside of our home.  We have had the same neighbors for over 20 years.  We started out being the youngest people on our block to being the oldest people on our block!  It is home.

I had a client call me the other day.  Her home isn't worth what they paid for it.  She was wondering if she should do a short sale.  It wasn't that they couldn't afford the payments.  They just thought maybe they were putting good money after bad.  What should they do?  I asked one simple question, "Are you considering selling because you can't afford it?"  She said no, but why should she continue to make payments on a house that has not held its value?  I had a very simple answer.  "Because it is your home."  


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Scott Silverstone
William Raveis Real Estate - New Haven, CT
www.CTProperty.com, Connecticut Luxury & Waterfront Realty

A good friend told me the other day that she wouldn't sell her home for any price - not even if I could get her Fifty Million Dollars!  The love homeowners have for their homes can make all the difference.

Apr 08, 2011 06:24 PM #1
John Michailidis
Real Property Management of Sarasota & Manatee - Sarasota, FL
Real Property Management of Sarasota & M

You have a very interesting perspective, which many share, and many do not. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Apr 08, 2011 06:24 PM #2
Beth Larsen
RE/MAX Sedona - Sedona, AZ
Sedona Arizona

Certainly a valid way to look at things Paula. The only thing we can control in this world is our outlook. While this might not be everyone's choice, I think there is a certain grace to it.

Apr 08, 2011 06:29 PM #3
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Paula, a decision to short sale is not something to be taken lightly. There are consequences that have to be thought through.

Apr 08, 2011 06:31 PM #4
Patient, Persistent and Passionate About Your Move

Paula...your last sentence is so compelling. 


Apr 08, 2011 06:34 PM #5
Glenn Ritchie
First Team Real Estate - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - The OC.

I agree Paula it's a place we call home. We have been living in our Historical 1300 sqft home for over 30 years, have a spa, sauna and a little cottage up the back to have those dinners in the summer with friends. We can walk to downtown to several restaurants an English pub..so what more could one want. 

Apr 08, 2011 06:38 PM #6
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Scott!
Sometimes roots are a very special thing.  I might have to sell my home someday and part of me will be sad.  I hope I can pass it on to one of my children...wouldn't that be lovely?  Two of our neighbors inherited their home from their parents and they now live in those homes...so it isn't so far fetched!

Hi SaraMana!
Oh...I am sure I am in the minority or we wouldn't sell the number of homes we do!

Hi Beth!
I suppose a lot of my attitude comes from the fact that I am a native Sacramentan, I have owned a total of 2 homes in my life (before married house then after married house), my parents live in the same house that I grew up in and my whole family lives in a 3 mile radius.

Hi Pamela!
I only mentioned the short sale to demonstrate a point about a much-dismissed old tradition...we use to buy homes because we wanted to own our home, not because it is an investment to be analyzed.  Doing a short sale is a whole different subject!

Apr 08, 2011 06:39 PM #7
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Todd!
I just wish more people recognized their residence as their home and not an investment.

Hi Glenn!
It sounds wonderful!  We have our favorite ice cream parlor, neighborhood market and heavenly bakery!

Apr 08, 2011 06:44 PM #8
Paul Caloca
The Papas Group (DRE #01766524) - Scotts Valley, CA

I think your client would be the worst -- no motivation and no NEED to sell. Talk about a nightmare when decisions must me made!

Apr 08, 2011 08:06 PM #9
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Paula, what a wonderful post, seriously. I am often amazed when I run into people that grew up in the home they live in. We are too transient, I yearn for roots like that!

Apr 09, 2011 12:14 AM #10
Teresa DeLuca Merelman
Pall Spera Company Realtors - Stowe, VT

Paula, What I liked is that you were honest and didn't use the situation to profit.  I wish more Realtors were like you!

Apr 09, 2011 01:46 AM #11
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

"We stay because it is home."

Great advice and I would have said the same thing!

Now the first part of your post is a bit funny in a way because we are just now empty nesters (since last fall and loving it)  and I am ignoring my own advice to sell and downsize! Matter of fact we decided to remodel and add on...I know, I need to call Betty Ford ;-)

Apr 09, 2011 03:12 AM #12
Olga Diaz
Potter, Mng Broker, CRS, ASP, ePRO, ABR

Hi Paula!  How I liked your post!  It made my heart warm...your home is your HOME!

Apr 09, 2011 10:48 AM #13
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Paul!
I agree...and I think it is good news that I haven't heard back!

Hi Andrea!
I must admit, I am a home body...I love being home and miss it when I am not. 

Hi Teresa!
Like Paul said, it would have been a seller totally unmotivated...not something I relish!

Hi Russell!
After you get your appointment with the Ford Clinic, could you fill me in on what you are adding on?

Hi Olga!
And hopefully for a long time to come!

Apr 09, 2011 12:59 PM #14
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Very nice post and I so agree, we stay in our home because it is home.  Home to us, to our children and to our grandchildren.  Especially now when we have our second granddaughter who is 17 live with us.  We too have talked about selling and always decide no, this is home and we are familiar with it.  It is a good question to ask some as well, and what you said to her was the best.  Thank you for this post, I enjoyed it.

Apr 11, 2011 10:22 AM #15
Bridget "Mortgage Mama" McGee
SWBC Mortgage 410-960-2061 - Baltimore, MD
Maryland Mortgage Mama NMLS#196068

Hi Paula,  When we bought our home in the neighborhood I grew up in, our plan was to be here for 5 years and the first thing on the list was to gut the kitchen.  I am minutes from 2 elderly aunts and central to the whole rest of the family. It's the only home my son's remember and the home my daughter has grown up in.  We have been here for almost 15 years now and I am finally getting that kitchen! Looks like we'll be here a while longer!

Bridget "Maryland Mortgage Mama" McGee

Apr 12, 2011 02:41 AM #16
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing it. Somehow we went from a home being a home to being a commodity. I love the last sentence.

May 18, 2011 08:12 AM #17
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Paula Swayne

Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga
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