You don’t have to work in real estate to know that the Charleston real estate market is BOOMING. Things are selling for crazy prices at a rapid pace. And although I am not in real estate, my husband is the broker in charge of a very large real estate company in the Charleston area. He is also born and raised here in the Holy City so he is fully aware that this is the strongest real estate market in his lifetime.
My husband grew up in a real estate family, so buying, selling, and moving was a big part of his childhood. Whereas my parents are still living in the house that they moved into when I was three years old. So to say we approach home sweet home with a different perspective is an understatement.
You see, I LOVE our home.
I love our home with every fiber of my being. Even the broken cabinet in the kitchen, the unpainted trim in the loft, the dents in the wall in my son’s room, the leak stain on the ceiling in the living room. I love it all! Because each scratch and scar and dent is a memory of a life well-lived in a house well-loved. We are blessed to live in an amazing community, surrounded by friends and playgrounds and pools and neighborhood events and shops and restaurants and running trails and bike paths and concert venues and great schools and beautiful views.
We moved into this idyllic location when I was eight months pregnant with my firstborn. So every one of his memories, and of his two sisters who came along later, revolve around this house. First birthdays. First steps. First days of school. First bike ride without training wheels. All the holidays and all the celebrations and all the late nights and early mornings happening within these four walls.
How can we part with that?
But being married to a real estate-minded man who does not have a childhood home to revisit and relive his memories has made it difficult to choose to stay. You see, we bought our home in the height of the recession. The days of foreclosures on every corner. The exact opposite of the current reality. So we would make an excellent profit that could ultimately set us up for a very nice future.
Yet, I am leaning heavily into the word priceless. I don’t know that I ever fully understood or appreciated this word until right now. Because the adage money isn’t everything is beyond true in my current situation. How do you quantify the feeling you get when you smell the Carolina Jasmine that blooms on your front porch every year for the past fourteen years and takes you right back to a three-year-old in her dance recital costume, posing before the big show?
And how do you put a price tag on the many sunsets filled with a plethora of colors that you literally see every single night? Granted, sometimes it is just a quick glimpse amongst the chaos but other times it is a long conversation with your husband while your day wraps up. Or a walk to the bridge over the marsh with your soon-to-be teenage daughter to look at the pink moon. Can you really monetize your yearly Thanksgiving in your backyard that you hope will continue long into your Golden Years? Because I cannot.
I may regret not selling now in a distant time. Maybe. We have college tuition coming towards us fast and furious. And maybe a few weddings. And then hopefully the spoiling of grandkids. And if hardship hits us, which we all pray every night that it will not, but if it were to hit, we would be kicking ourselves for not acting now.
But I am a firm believer in having no regrets and only accepting what you can change. So, we will take the risk of staying. And continue to bask in the glow of our memories and our future. We will continue to feel blessed when we drive down our tree-lined streets, filled with trees we have watched grow and flourish like we have watched our own children grow and flourish. We will love taking a ride on the golf cart to our favorite restaurant or our best friends’ homes. We will enjoy hearing concerts meander over the marsh. And savor a lazy afternoon on the porch bed while smelling hot dogs on the grill and children playing in the street.
So Mamas, if you are being pulled to sell your home by your brain but your heart is telling you you just can’t, know that is ok. You truly cannot buy happiness. And while a home is what you make of it, and as long as those you love are in it with you, there is no price on sentimental value. So if you love it, accept it. Celebrate it! Enjoy it! It is ok to be truly satisfied with what you have and lean into that word priceless.