Hi! I Grew Up In This House ... Do You Mind If I Come In?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

HomeHave you ever gone back to see the house you grew up in?  A couple of times, while visiting some friends near my old neighborhood, I’ve taken a little detour and driven down my old street – the street where my childhood home is located.  The first time I did this, I just kept on driving – catching a fleeting glimpse as I observed the many renovations happening on the block.  The second time, I actually stopped my car in front of the house for a few, brief moments.  Although I didn't stay long, I was so tempted to knock on the door and ask if I could please come in.  Why do I feel so compelled to do that?  Maybe it’s because I’m just basically a big 'ole, mushy, nostalgic, sentimental-type of person.  Quite honestly, I think it would be cool to have the opportunity to take that stroll down memory lane.  After all, so much happened in that place – some good and some bad.  Perhaps I could run up the stairs and take a peek out from my old bedroom window.  And then, maybe take a quick tour around the rest of the place.  I’m confident the house won't look anything like it did when I was growing up – ownership has likely changed a couple of times already.

The current owners might think I’m some sort of a maniacal nutcase – and possibly even call "911!”  These days, most people wouldn’t dream of letting a total stranger into their home.  I don't blame them.  As we all know, the world has changed so much since many of us were young. However, I'll bet that years ago, the owners would not only have invited me in -- they probably would have insisted that I stay for dinner.  Oh well … I guess I'll just have to reminisce about the old homestead from a distance.

Posted by

carie shapiro

Connect With Me

Connect with me on Linkedin

Come Back & Visit Me




Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joe Jackson 04/26/2012 11:08 PM
  2. John McCormack, CRS 05/13/2012 10:13 PM
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
Out Of The Box!
Diary of a Realtor
Bartender, Make it a Double
childhood home memories sentimentality nostalgia reminiscing

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Ira:  Yes, our old neighborhoods hold so many memories!

Kate:  Thank you for the laugh ... I did not see that movie :)

Karen:  Thanks!  You've shared a nice story that matches other experiences I've heard here.  And, you're right ... all they can do is say no!

Richie:  Didn't see "Best Seller" either.  And, "Miss Loved By All" ... I love that name :)  Your wife sounds like a wonderful person!

Sandy:  Thanks for sharing your daughter's story.  Yes, there is something about going back home again.

Vanessa:  I can just imagine how devastating that must have been to see your childhood home gone.  But, it sounds like you have such wonderful, fond memories of the hotel.  And, our memories last forever, yes?

Eileen:  I agree ... and it seems there's always something new.

Cheryl:  It's always interesting to see what's happened since we left.

Apr 27, 2012 03:48 AM #48
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Hi Carrie, I bought a home that is pretty much one of the anchor homes in the neighborhood. I've strangers come up to the door mentioning that they knew the second owners and they can rember when it was .........................I love the history and insight and that a person feels comfortable enough to come and share it with me. 



Apr 27, 2012 06:22 AM #49
Richard Eddy
Adore Realty, Inc. - La Verne, CA

My wife spent some of her childhood living various parts of Michigan. A few years back we took a family trip to celebrate her grandmother's 90th birthday and spent some time driving around to see all of the houses that she lived in. We actually stopped at one of them and the owner's let us inside. It was a lot of fun for her to see the place where she had lived some 30 years before.

Apr 27, 2012 07:24 AM #50
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Hi Carie. I'm not sure that I would be interested in going back. I think it would be very hard.

Apr 27, 2012 11:43 AM #52
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Carrie,

My seventh grade daughter said - we can move from this house. But then you have to buy it back for me when I am old enough!


Apr 27, 2012 09:34 PM #53
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Adrian:  That is wonderful!  There are so many memories attached to a home -- and many people want to, and enjoy, sharing those memories with others.

Richard:  What a nice story.  Thanks for sharing it -- I'm sure the experience made your wife very happy :)

Erica:  That's great -- nice to stop by once in awhile just to reminisce!

Sheila:  I understand what you're saying ... lots of emotion attached sometimes.

Phil:  Thanks for the giggle :)  That is too cute ... love it!

Apr 28, 2012 01:30 AM #54
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Google Earth makes it easy to see pictures of your old homes. I have driven by a few, but never ventured inside.

Apr 28, 2012 02:06 AM #55
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

I visited my childhood home a few years ago ... it was a home my parents built when I was 7, and it had a lot of fun features that they dreamed up.  When they sold it, someone else from the neighborhood bought it and raised their family there, and are still there these many years later.  I phoned them up one day and asked if I could drop by to see my mom's rose bushes outside and take a few outside photos, but they insisted on inviting my son and me inside and gave us a full tour.  They hadn't changed ANYTHING and said they loved the house so much they just left everything as it was.  It was a real treat to see every room!  Then they treated us to lunch and we had a great visit.

Apr 28, 2012 02:29 PM #56
Shannon Coe
Keller Williams - Rocklin, CA
916-597-3818, Lincoln, Rocklin, Loomis, Roseville

I have gone back to my old neighborhood and talked to the neighbors, it really is fun!

Apr 29, 2012 12:20 AM #57
Kimm Cloutier
Agawam, MA
Realtor - Agawam, MA

Hi Carie!  My parents still live in the home I grew up in.  I would, however, love to see old photos of the house I live in now along with the neighborhood.  The house was built in 1923 so it has some history to it.  And since most of the other houses in this neighborhood were built well past that time it would be so interesting to see what the neighborhood used to look like.  

Apr 29, 2012 01:10 AM #58
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Doug:  Google Earth makes it almost like being there!

Maureen:  Thanks for sharing your story!  It sounds like you had a wonderful experience going back to your old house.  And, it also sounds like the current owners were so kind and gracious.  That is so nice.  And, they loved the house so much they didn't change anything ... that's beautiful.

Shannon:  There is something about going back the old neighborhood, yes?

Kimm:  I love old houses for so many reasons.  One reason is as you stated ... there is so much history associated with the house.  Like you, knowing about the people and all the details of the past really intrigues me, too!

Apr 29, 2012 01:33 AM #59
Brian Park
Danville, CA

Have done it, and had it done to me. I once had a house worth about $20k in 1967 and a young man my age showed up at the door with that request to see it, and we let him in, after he had looked he offered us $25k cash for it and we said no our kids were settled in the school, etc. He jumped to $30k and we said OK if he deposited the money in the title company first so we would know he was real, he did, we sold and bought the house we really wanted. Found out he was very successful, scored big early, and the happiest years of his life were in that house.

The second case I was the one asking to look, I happened to be driving by the first house I remembered living in, great years, and a woman was working in the yard out front and I showed her my license, drivers and real estate, and told her the story. She said that was a coincidence because she was going to have to sell and I ended up buying it and my parents lived there for two years while they were building their Lake Tahoe property, they loved it and a few of the old neighbors were still there.

Apr 29, 2012 05:58 AM #60
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Brian:  Those are 2 incredible stories!  And, both with such amazing, happy endings, too!  Thank you for sharing them with me ... I'm feeling more inspired now to knock on the door next time I'm in the neighborhood :)

Apr 29, 2012 08:46 AM #61
Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC
Royal Pro Real Estate Network - Langley, BC

Hey, Carie, you have the most amazingly creative blogs - not sure how I missed this one earlier.  I had to chuckle at many of the comments and I truly believe (with your adorablely engaging smile) that you could knock on the door and be welcomed in!

It might just be our relatively small community (~130,000), but I've stopped in to see a couple of homes that my parents had owned and the current owners were very gracious to show me through and discuss the changes in the community.  Such a sweet little trip down memory lane!


May 13, 2012 10:08 AM #62
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I drive by the house I grew up in about once or twice a year when I make it back to my hometown to see relatives. It has been 32 years since my dad died and the home was sold. Sometimes I would like to just go inside and reminisce but I will just drive by for now.

May 13, 2012 10:17 PM #63
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

I was home a couple of weeks ago and took the drive down the old neighborhoods, but haven't knocked on the door.

May 13, 2012 11:23 PM #64
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Karen:  Thank you!  After reading your comment and some of the others, I'm becoming more inclined to knock on the door next time!  If I do, that will be another blog, for sure :)

Gary:  I know what you mean.  Although I've just driven by -- I would love to go inside too.

Kathy:  There's just something about driving around the old neighborhood, yes?

May 14, 2012 12:13 AM #65
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Carie, it is true.  Over the years, the basketball hoop has gone up above the garage door and come down several times.  I love the tree lined streets!

May 14, 2012 04:00 AM #66
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Hi Carie! I have done the same thing many times - drove by and looked, but didn't stop. One time I saw my childhood home for sale on the MLS. I looked at all of the pictures, saw my bedroom and the back porch, and wondered if my dad ever took the spare key down from its hiding place on the patio. Maybe someday I'll stop when I drive by...

May 14, 2012 12:12 PM #67
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Karen:  Ha!  Isn't that funny how we look to check out what the new owners have done to the old house?

Rose:  Thanks for sharing your story.  And, that is so funny ... I wonder if the new owners ever found the spare key we hid in the magnetic case :)

May 15, 2012 12:55 AM #68
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Carie Shapiro

Ask me a question