Today, My "Job" Gave Me Goosebumps

Yesterday, I received the coolest email from my clients....

I have their home listed as a Phoenix short sale, and they sent me a list of homes they wanted to look at to lease in their neighborhood.

One of the many services we provide to our Phoenix short sale clients is to help them find a rental while they get their credit "back to normal".  While the pay isn't very good, we always do anything we can to help.

Yesterday, after signing up for our Phoenix homes for sale search, my clients sent me a list of rental homes to look at today.  At the top of their list was 334 W. Butler.

Immediately, I got goosebumps.  I grew up in this home, and couldn't wait to see it.  This was the home that my grandfather bought for my mom, using his VA Loan, in 1977, after she and my dad divorced.  My mom was a struggling Realtor® (2nd Generation, as her mother, my grandmother, was a well-known Realtor® at the time).  I was 8 years old at the time, and spent the next 8 years of my life in the home, along with my sister.

What made this visit so special was being able to share it with our 8 year old daughter.  She loves going with me to be my "assistant" when showing homes to clients.  She knows my MLS code, knows how to turn on the lights, etc. :)

Yesterday, when I told her that I was showing homes today, I told her that this was extra special.  Today, I would be showing the home I grew up in.  To make a long story short, she was ecstatic, and couldn't wait to join us!  To make it extra special, we showed up at the home early so I could share a few memories (and take a few pictures) with her.  Following is a list of things I went over with her before my clients showed up.....

1.  My grandfather (her current great grandfather, who is still alive), purchased the home for my mom, using his VA Loan in 1977 (shhhh, don't tell anyone), after a divorce with my so-called "dad".

2.  My mom met my stepfather, who ended up being my true "father" during my most impressionable years, while living in this home.

3.  It was the last home that we have pictures of my great-grandparents in.

4.  My stepfather and i built the "bee-hive" fireplace in the home (which still stands to this day).  We also built a swimming pool (by hand, with our own shovels/wheel-barrows) which is still there as well.  Granted, it's not much more than an oversized jacuzzi by today's standards).

5.  By today's standards, it is a small home (1400 square feet).  My sister and I shared a "tiny" bathroom with ONE sink (can you believe it?), and the bedrooms are now what many would consider to by "tiny" (10X10).  I bring this up because our two daughters dream of having their own bathrooms.

6.  We had a goat and rabbits in our backyard because I loved animals (this would NEVER be allowed in the neighborhood today).

7.  Because of the season we are entering, I told her that this was the only house that I actually saw Santa in when I was her age.  Of course, she wanted to see the exact place I saw him, then started questioning me of how he got in/out of such a small fireplace.  If anyone has a good come-back for this one, please let me know!

As you can imagine, there are many more memories that "came back to life" for me once we entered the home.  The biggest thing that stood out to me was the size of it.  I was shocked to feel how "small" it seemed for a family of four. When I was a kid, it seemed HUGE.  Today, if felt so SMALL.  Three bedrooms (now four), two baths and 1400 square feet.

As a kid, it felt like a mansion.  All of my needs were met, and then some.  Our home was full of love.  We had some tough times, I'm sure, but I never knew of them.

Today, I take buyers to homes that insist that every home they look at must have a bathroom for each of their children, must be 3,000+ square feet, etc.  If only people knew what I know now...

Now, for the best part.  Before my clients got to the home, we walked to the backyard.  On the side of the home was a concrete slab with the words "Bob & Kelly 1982" inscribed into the concrete (Kelly is my sister, her aunt).  She couldn't wait to call my mom and stepfather (her grandma and grandpa) to tell her about this "inscription" that she had found (and the Santa revelation I had shared with her).  By far, the best part of her "adventure" today was that she saw something that I had scribbled in concrete 28 years ago!  Trust me, I had a lump in my throat. :)

I'm sure that many of you have similar stories to tell regarding showing homes that you previously lived in.  Please feel free to share.  In today's world of "doom-and-gloom" stories, I'm sure that fellow AR members would like to hear similar experiences.

The moral of this story is that anyone can make a house a home.  My fondest memories came from this home, and I'm sure that many of you reading this story can relate.

By the way, the Santa story isn't an embellishment.  I actually saw him.  We all remember that "if you don't believe, you don't receive". :)

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Bob Hertzog

Summit Home Consultants

Find Your Phoenix Short Sale Realtor

Copyright © By Bob Hertzog 2010 *Today, My "Job" Gave Me Goosebumps*