"Honey, I think we should look at this home.”

He turned in his chair, “I thought we decided we were moving next year,” he said as his wife sat down beside him with her iPad.

“I know that’s what we said. But look at the pictures. The kitchen/living room/dining room combo is everything we have always talked about.”

“Photos can be deceiving sometimes”, smiling, as he figured he had her on this one and she would have to agree and leave him alone about this house. “They sometimes make a room look more than it really is.”

“I want to see this house. Book an appointment please.”

Reluctantly, he agreed. He didn’t want to move yet. The late winter/early spring market was less than 6 months away and a higher price was likely at that time. However, she really wanted to see the house. She’ll see it, won’t like it as much as the pictures, and that will be that!
Here We Go!
And so began my own personal journey of buying a new home and selling our current house. My wife and I literally had the above conversation and I really did think the above thoughts in September 2016.

Fast forward to January 2017, as I write this blog from the office of our new home and reflect back on the same journey that my clients take every day.

The questions; the uncertainty; the anxiety all coming in waves, crashing on the shores of the excitement, enthusiasm and optimism that comes with new beginnings.
Decisions, Decisions…
We talked about a move on and off for a couple of years, determining what would make the most sense. We sometimes joked about buying the smallest house we could find that was still big enough to not drive each other crazy. Cash out. Use the equity elsewhere. Perhaps a vacation property down south and a condo here. A simpler lifestyle for sure.

Alternatively, we wanted to maintain the tranquility and privacy of our current house. Backing on to protected greenspace in our last two homes all but guaranteed that no matter where we moved, there would be no neighbours behind us!

Don’t get me wrong – we love our neighbours. Our little ‘hood’ on Birkshire Drive had gained a reputation in Aurora.
Remembering Your Neighbours; Your Friends
“Oh, I’ve heard about the Birkshire families. You guys are famous around town and hang out together all the time,” is a sentiment we’d hear from a lot of people – and it was true.

We all moved in at the same time, and although our family dynamic was all quite different, we did all have one thing in common – a child the same age. The ‘Minis’ is how this group of our kids were known and the ‘Birkshire Boys’ were a group of dads who dressed in the same loud shirts, played Texas Hold ‘Em, shot pool and sang karaoke until all hours of the night.

On many a summer afternoon, the metallic clink of over-sized washers would break the silence of the Arboretum and the oft heard refrain would cry out, “In the Stink!” Washer toss afternoons evolved into cool evenings by the fire in a neighbour’s backyard, listening to Gordon Lightfoot, sharing funny stories and advice on parenting and marriage.

Every Canada Day we’d sip red wine and watch fireworks explode from the best seats in the house – the Birkshire backyards. Every year, our community would also host its very own Lobsterfest and invite everybody on the street (and of course, we’d allow families from a street or two away to enjoy it with us)!
The New Home
It’s hard not to think back on the 15 wonderful years we’ve had in our home in Aurora and not question our decision to finally move.

All of these thoughts and memories cascaded through my mind and heart the day we removed the final condition and firmed up the purchase of our new house - yes, we looked at the home my wife asked about. Yes, we fell in love with the layout and the location. Yes, all our kids supported the decision – especially because we could get a new dog!

I Know How You Feel
Over the last few months I have learned, firsthand, about the incredibly exciting and anxious journey that all my clients experience when we work together.

The great leadership guru John Maxwell wrote “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” It has become obvious to me that as a Realtor, I sometimes forget the day-to-day anxiety of my clients. I trade in Real Estate every day. It’s my paradigm. However, it’s not the norm for my clients.

It’s not just a transaction, it’s lives and memories; joy and tears.

These past few weeks have been a slow walk down memory lane. The passing weeks have allowed me to bring closure to the past 15 years of our family’s life in Aurora and allow me to embrace the joys and blessings of our new life ahead.

And for my clients, I truly believe this experience has created an awareness and an empathy that I was lacking in my relationship with them. This move has blessed me with an insight and a wisdom that will allow me to walk along side and better assist with every step of a move.  

After all, someday someone may casually suggest to you, “I think we should look at this home.” And at that time, you will want a Realtor who truly knows how you feel.