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A Home of Their Own

August 21, 2022

Another Way for week of August 12, 2022

A Home of Their Own

I stared at my daughter’s sweet photo of the first real meal she’d cooked in their new home. It spoke volumes to me. I was so happy for her. For them.

This daughter, our youngest, had waited a long long time—and worked hard —for her own kitchen, her own dining room, their own home. She had lived in apartments with roommates, in dorms, at home with us for several years after college. There was always shared refrigerator and freezer space to squirm over, shared cupboard and counter space, and coping with roomies—some who were great friends of course—who had different standards of neatness in the bathroom or elsewhere. And living with your parents after college? Well, it went well, but most people yearn for their own space, right?

Daughter got married in the midst of the pandemic and enjoyed sharing a townhouse with her husband and mother-in-law for over two years.

But there is nothing like your own digs, your own kitchen, your own little backyard.

They worked hard to find a suitable, affordable place. Of course this was all in the midst of rocketing home prices. And naturally they were quite green about how to go about financing and shopping for and bidding on a property. Hey, we’re all pretty green when we buy our first home, right? Their experiences really took me back to those long-ago days, and how the reality of shopping for a home was totally and remarkably different. NO internet shopping for previewing homes, for example. No signing papers online or by email.

They had disappointments, and faced some shocking finds as they swiped through photos online of possible homes for them. One place, for all practical purposes, had an unusable kitchen: one wall faced a kitchen sink with walking space so narrow that anyone other than a very small person would be able to use the sink or open the doors beneath it. That place had been beautifully renovated and looked impressive online, but with such a major flaw that after a tour, they walked away.

They fretted and stayed up late completing bids for homes. How much was too much to bid? What would the sellers scoff at? All the while they were wondering what we all wonder: can we really afford this? How will we make payments? What will the home market do next? Should we wait? How long?

They settled for a townhouse in a community a 25-minute drive further out, but a little more affordable. It was not the dream house you might long for, but as we moved their belongings in on a recent sweltering Saturday, my heart soared for them. Our daughter had waited long for a guy she wanted to marry, and together they seem like a dear pair. We love them and they us. Our pizza lunch (doesn’t everyone have pizza on the day they move in somewhere?) with a small gathering of several family helpers was a meal of happiness.

First home cooked food in their new home.

They had found a dining room table and six chairs on Craigslist (of course) and brought that furniture—with some difficulty—to their new place a week earlier. Now the table sported a lovely homemade tablecloth, cloth napkins, nice stemware. A laptop sat on the other end of the table: they are still settling in of course, still unpacking—but it all said “home” to me. We’re so happy for them.

A home of one’s own is a precious commodity and one that millions of folks around the world have never had, with little hope of ever owning one. A table to sit down at with your spouse is a luxury. A spaghetti dinner may be a simple meal but it is indeed savored and something to celebrate. I’m glad they want to hang on to the tradition of keeping dinnertime—as much as feasible!

***

Your own memories or experiences of the first home you owned as a married couple? Or with a friend or companion?

Perhaps you prefer to rent, or have no other options! We want to hear your experience as well.

Chat here or send your comments to me at anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of ten books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

6 Comments
  1. “A table to sit down at with your spouse is a luxury” for a young couple these days. Kudos to the your daughter and spouse, who through thrift and diligence, found a homey place. I heard your happiness and pride in their accomplishment as I read.

    We bought our first house in 1969 for $14,500.00 with a very small loan from Cliff’s parents, which we promptly repaid with interest. Ten years later we had children and needed space for them and Cliff’s studio and bought a tri-level house. I remember our payments were $300.00/mo. at the time and we wondered if we could afford that, even though we had an “assumable” mortgage, no longer an option for home buyers. Next came our current house, a newer one-story with no stairs to climb. Because of the domestic migration of people from New York and Michigan especially, house demand has skyrocketed here in Florida. We couldn’t afford to buy the house we now occupy: its value has nearly doubled since 2016. We are happy to stay put for now.

    Thanks for this joyful post, Melodie. “Time does softly sweetly glide, when there’s love at home” comes to mind. 😀

  2. Melodie permalink

    Interesting figures and experiences, Marian. Thank you so much for wading back into all this. I’m glad you could feel our/my joy and happiness as they’ve gotten to this goal.
    Not living in Florida, I appreciate the reminder that northerners are constantly migrating south–which sounds like a good thing until you live with it!

  3. Elaine in KY permalink

    We spent almost 40 years in ministry (mostly pastoral) and in 2008 we were blessed to be able to purchase our first home in preparation for retirement!! Many of those years we lived in a parsonage provided by the church. It took a few years to get used to the idea that this house was actually ours, but God knew just when we would need it. So grateful!

  4. Thanks for adding your story, Elaine! I’m curious as to which part of Kentucky you are in. Nice to have a parsonage available (I guess!) but even nicer to have your own place now, I’m sure. Our church has never had a parsonage and the pastors seemed to work out their housing allowance to their satisfaction and a different stability of income. Blessings as you enjoy your retirement years!

    • Elaine in KY permalink

      We are in the central part of KY halfway between Lexington and Somerset. We retired here to be near our daughter and her family. We’re originally from eastern PA and I grew up Brethren In Christ–now a Presbyterian. 🙂 Still Anabaptist at heart, though.

  5. Thanks for filling me in further, Elaine. I can understand wanting to be near family especially grandchildren! I guess you know I’m Anabaptist-Presbyterian too! Blessings!

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