Home Is Where My Story Begins

The Power of the People… In the ‘Hood

I’ve often said that I live in the greatest neighborhood in the world.  This story is proof.

We moved to the ‘hood (as we lovingly call it) because my sister and sister-in-law live here.  The cousins are all fairly close in age and we thought it would be great having them all grow up together.  The people who call this neighborhood home simply know how to take care of each other. There are plenty of stories I could share about the kindness and generosity I see every day, or the level of trust between friends in the ‘hood, but this is a story about someone who wasn’t really even part of the neighborhood yet.

In late May (or maybe it was early June), as we were waiting for our girls to finish gymnastics, my friend Diane and I were chatting.  She was wondering out loud what things would have been like if they had gotten a house, in my neighborhood, that they had made an offer on many years ago.  I jokingly mentioned that there was a really ugly house for sale in our cul-de-sac that she could live in.  She perked up a bit, but I warned her that it really wasn’t in good shape. We love the family who lives there, but after Mrs. M passed away, it had been rented for several years and needed a lot of work.  Diane went home and looked at the house online.  Yes, it did need a lot of work, but it might be “do-able” if the price was right.

(Insert scary horror movie music here!)

There were a lot of cosmetic things that the house needed, like paint, trim, new carpet, floors, windows, landscaping, cabinet updating, tile, and the list went on.  The house was on the small side, but there were some good options for adding onto the house.  My friend, Diane, starting seeing exciting potential.  Our kids have always been the best of friends and they’ve grown up right along with all of the other cousins in the neighborhood.  It would be the perfect place for them!

They pulled the trigger.  They made an offer on the house, which was accepted, put their own house on the market, and waited.  They didn’t have to wait long!  There was a bidding war that very day.  Done! 

Then came the inspection. 

The “ugly house” was not only needing some cosmetic repair, but also needed major structural work.  The thought of buying a house that they did not feel was structurally sound was a deal breaker. They had sold their “pretty house” lost the “ugly house” and now had no where to live.  You have to remember, the ONLY reason they were moving to the neighborhood was because of the neighborhood.  There were lots of other houses for sale close by, but not actually in the neighborhood.  (Honestly, I think the main reason they want to live here is for the dodgeball nights, but that’s another story.)  Anyway, they really wanted their kids to go to the schools my kids go to, but time was ticking and nothing was coming onto the market.

My sister and I started hunting… a dandelion hunt, as we called it.  First we knocked on doors.  Then we ordered mailing labels and flyers. We posted on our neighborhood Facebook pages and emailed everyone we knew in the neighborhood.  The emails came flying in. 
“Have they seen this house?”
“I have a lead for a rental if it comes down to it!”
“There is a house going up for auction tomorrow, if they are interested!”

People I had never even met before were contacting me to help out.

Then came the email we’d been waiting for.  It was about this house:

One of our friends had forwarded my email to a family in the neighborhood.  The family was thinking they’d put their house on the market next spring.  But would be willing to move sooner… like now, if they were interested.  Seriously? It was too good to be true.  Now, I know that not having to put their house on the market is in the seller’s best interest too, but I truly felt like this was a family going out of their way to help another family.  Diane and her family went to see the pretty house.  The sellers had been working on it for at least a year, getting ready to sell.  It had new windows, roof, paint, updated kitchen, and beautiful landscaping.  It was perfect!

Oh, how my heart goes pitter patter when I see that sink!

There’s a beautiful deck in the backyard, and grapes growing right outside.

To make a long story short, our friends have a new home.  They’ll be moving in, right down the street from us, in just a few short weeks.  I knew I lived in a great neighborhood, but the kindness of my neighbors to help someone they had never met before, just confirmed this for me.  The sellers’ willingness to drastically change their plans to help a family, the neighbors who emailed friends and searched for houses to help a friend of a friend, proves that this place is truly special.

Here’s to the power of the people in the ‘hood!
Thanks for helping my friends find their new home!

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The Comments

  • Diane at Perfectly Imperfect Life
    July 27, 2013

    And that's why I've wanted to live in that neighborhood for forever. Getting excited for it to become a reality!

  • Debbie
    July 27, 2013

    What a great story.. All you had to do was ask and your neighbours helped.. That's the way it should be. Glad it worked out for your friend and your family!

  • Nida Eisner
    September 5, 2013

    With all the renovations done in your friend's house, it now looks new – no more scary feel! I can't help but adore its outdoor deck, especially now that it is newly polished. I hope that your friends will enjoy living in their old – new house.

    Nida Eisner @ All County Exteriors

  • Kindra Ramage
    October 21, 2013

    Simple redesigning techniques, like painting, can create fabulous changes in a house. However, you should still check the house's structure before proceeding. It's best to make sure that your materials are still in good condition. There are times that replacing the parts is better than painting them.

    Kindra Ramage @ TheJonesBoys.com

  • Rolf
    January 8, 2014

    It was too bad about the “ugly” house setup, but it was a good thing that you guys found an alternative just down the street. It was really nice of them to give that offer, and it really shows how good the neighborhood is. Hopefully the “ugly” house gets renovated soon, so another family can enjoy your wonderful neighborhood. Cheers!

    Rolf Matchen