A Great Life Lesson

Years ago when I was young in my Real Estate career I had the opportunity to work with a family looking to purchase their first home. They had three children and a dog. The husband had a good job that paid a reasonable wage. Their budget was fairly modest so we were viewing homes that were in line with their purchasing ability – starter homes. Finally I found them a cute little rancher, and I mean little! It had three very small bedrooms and a tiny kitchen with barely enough room for a table. The living room was not much bigger but it did have a nice picture window. There was a full basement with a recroom and some storage under the stairs. The house was situated on a small lot but it had a fenced back yard large enough for the dog and children to play. They were so excited and decided this was the home for them.

I, however, did not share their excitement. In fact I had a difficult time recommending the home to them. I just couldn't see how they would ever make it work. The problem was I could not picture myself personally living in a home this small. Well, despite my lack of enthusiasm they decided to make an offer. After I prepared the paperwork I visited them at their apartment to sign the documents. As I entered, I saw a one-room apartment with a blanket strung across a rope to serve as a wall between the sleeping area and the kitchen and living room. I was taken aback because I had no idea of their current living circumstances when we were searching for homes. Immediately I could see why they were so excited. Who wouldn't be, moving from a one-room apartment with three kids and a dog into a 6 room home? That tiny home must have seemed like a mansion to them. Well, their offer was accepted and they bought the home. I learned a very important lesson that day – never judge other people based on my own limited frame of reference. I realized that no matter what experience I brought to a transaction I simply couldn't know enough about my client's situation to make decisions for them. Since that time my goal has been to provide good information to clients knowing that with good information they will be able to make good decisions that work best for them.

That family lived in their home for over 20 years. It served them well and I am very grateful I did not get in the way of their dreams.

Thanks for helping me better serve our Real Estate Community.

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