Well, here we are, the Monday-est Monday of all time! I doubt there has ever been this much enthusiasm for a fresh start. I for one am ready to embrace this shiny new year, although I’m hanging on to some of the nice impressions 2020 left on me – like the comfort of knowing my home, my nest, was the safest place for us to be. The 'year we will never forget', now in my rear-view mirror, was a reminder of why I do what I do.
Some of our oldest, fondest, and most ingrained memories begin at home. The rituals of bed making and table setting. Sunday evening roasts and Kraft boxed pizza kit night. I watched The Queen’s Gambit over the holidays and flashed back to playing chess with my dad before school. We’d sit at the pine kitchen table, the smells of my mother’s incredible cooking filling the air with warmth and love. That pine table sits in my dining room now, and there’s nothing I love more than seeing my flock gathered around it. If only I could remember how to play chess.
We lived in a number of houses growing up, and they were all 'homes'. Nesting is the difference between a house and a home. Nesting is an instinct that adds comfort and evokes feelings – sometimes tangible, like smells or music – or sometimes intangibles that drift under the surface, until a randomly disconnected event suddenly takes us back to a long-forgotten place. A familiar pull on the heartstrings, and we are led back into the safety of the nest, or to the barn where I rode as a girl, with its apple orchard out back. I see a box of Cap’n Crunch and I'm watching Saturday morning cartoons on our 2-channel TV, constantly adjusting the rabbit ears to get the picture just right. (I'm that old.) One of our homes had a pair of his-and-her Gremlin hatchbacks in the driveway. How could anyone forget the ugliest cars ever made... and we had two of them!
Residential real estate is driven by emotion. Ultimately, value is determined by what the buyer will pay. Buyers fall in love with the hopes and dreams of a space, a neighbourhood, a future to fill with memories.
Selling is about letting go of the physical space, while keeping the memories and experiences exactly as they were. Your home is your story. We won’t all love the same book, just as we don’t love the same cars – and we don’t all see houses with the same vision. The hardest thing I ask sellers to do when preparing to list, is to pack away their ‘stuff’ – always with a gentle reminder that another chapter of their story awaits.
With this new year barely hatched, I already know this much: I will never forget my dad’s English breakfast complete with mandatory blood pudding. Ew. And, my mom ironing our sheets is something I take with me to bed every night when I snuggle into my wrinkled but cozy percale.
What drew me to becoming a Realtor was helping people find their story, which is the true art of nesting. This year, more than any other, I am putting my Nesting Instincts to work – for myself and my family, for my clients, and hopefully for all those still searching for a place to call home.
Happy this year!