I admit, I have been feeling a little sorry for myself, dealing with some unplanned changes. Life goes on and business must be taken care of. This week business was placed in my path to open my eyes to my own good fortune and give me a lesson in gratitude.
My first listing appointment I went out to meet with Ms Seller, she has a cute, tiny home in the country, just one bedroom.. Set on a paved country road, a little over an acre with a large pole barn, well cared for on the outside, clutter and finish work within to deal with. Why the clutter and unfinished projects? Her husband just passed away at the age of 54 last month. Now she is dismantling, packing what will go with her as she moves in with her daughter down south. Keeping the home on her new budget is not an option. She showed me the beautifully remodeled bath and the lovely hard wood flooring they put in the living room with pride, she looked embarrassed as she pointed out the unfinished front porch, the kitchen is in bad need of a makeover, she hadn't planned for me to be here at this stage of her life, opening it all to the eyes of potential buyers and realtors. These were the projects planned for the long days they thought they had together. All this to deal with in the middle of grief and loss, yet she was kind and had a smile and I was touched.
Then the next day I went to another listing appointment. They bought the home at the top of the market and have put lots of time and love and money into making it their perfect home. Everything was going fine, until he lost his job. They showed me around, every improvement, much pride was evident in the work he had done himself. They haven't made a mortgage payment in the past three months. I ran the comps for them, the home is worth a minimum of $25,000 less than they paid in 2003 even with the improvements, we talked about listing subject to lender approval of a short sale. With tears in their eyes they asked how it was fair for the lender to let some stranger buy their home at a price that they could actually afford to pay if they could stay. Now someone else might come and take it at a fraction of what they invested. They are still thinking of what they want to do. I can only imagine how torn they are and how pressured to make a decision that will be heartbreaking to them.
I think of them and I think of how fortunate that as of today, I don't have to make those tough choices but I can completely empathize with how they ended up where they are. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but if we are making it through today and can enjoy our work, the sunshine and trying to help others who have a harder road to travel, we shouldn't waste too much of each day worring about the what-ifs.