How Do You Emotionally Move On From A Home You Love?

lcdc99June 18, 2010

Does anyone have any tips, recommendations or suggestions for making a transition from an old, historic home to a 10 year old one? And how to come to terms with all the loss we feel with this change? You know the emotional end of things. I'm sure this sounds strange to some but it's truly something that our family is grappling with right now and we're looking for some feedback.

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I always recommend to my sellers that they detach *early*.

Packing up photos & mementos not only makes it easier for potential buyers to project themselves into the house, but makes it easier for the sellers to detach themselves & look upon the house not as their home, but as merchandise that they are selling & an obligation they are getting out from under.

Re-affirm to yourselves that this house has served its purpose & that you're moving on to your next adventure, that you're letting it go so that you can grasp your next home.

You can say this every time you meditate or say your prayers or bless your meals:

"Home is not in a building;
it's the life we live in a building."

Happy future adventures!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 12:07PM
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Stop focusing on what you are losing and start focusing on what you are gaining.Think in a positive way about the changes. Make it an adventure you are looking forward to.
Make plans to do things in your new house, new neighborhood.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 1:08PM
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Are you moving due to foreclosure or some financial reason, or a job change, or what? There has to be a reason you chose to buy the 10- year old home. Focus on the positive. Years ago, we "had to" give up a huge home out in the country on 2 acres. We moved 13 hours away to a smaller place in town, and we focussed on the fact that the school was a block away, that the kids to ride their bikes to friends' houses, stores and parks, and that we would have more financial freedom to do things. there's always at least one positive for every negative, sometimes more!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 2:50PM
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Thanks for your thoughts and insights so far. Some helpful ideas and at some level I know there are many things to be gained (or we won't even be openning up to this) even though on another level I fear that we might feel like we've made a mistake by moving.

Many gave us the impression that our home would be so difficult to sell and they are shocked that we have had 2 very serious buyers and a written offer that we really should have accepted this week without hesitation and no realtor involved.

The overview of what prompted this change is that when we bought the historic gem we didn't have kids. So, there has been a shift to the importance of family and safety of them - busy street and lead concerns. I sense that our energy, time and resources for ongoing projects might not be worth the cost to the added strain on our kids and us.

So, even though we're young - I can relate to people wiser in years that want to downsize and simplify everything. At the same time, I love our home and the possibilities it creates for us.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 4:50PM
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I completely understand your feelings and concerns but hopefully you and your family will come to love and be 'at home' in your new home, too. It sounds like you're doing this for the right reasons which should bring some peace as you move towards your new home.

Our story is similar. I lived in my last home 19 years and thought I couldn't go on when I left. What I found was as I packed I DID become more detached and began thinking of our new possiblities. My suggestion is to begin packing and hopefully as you begin this process and talk about your new place and new life together it will be a new beginning with new memories.

The night we left I bawled like a baby and thought "I can't do this, it's too horrible and painful to leave" but I've learned such a valuable lesson (as mentioned above) that the spirit of that home goes with you wherever you go and you CAN make a new home with new memories. Let go slowly and it will come. I assure you. My DH said some powerful words that carried me through and his wisdom rings true - you make the best decision you can at that time and even if later you have the 'wish we had stayed' thoughts you will know that you made the best decision at THAT time that you could have. He told me don't live in the past - look forward to what's ahead!

I hope it becomes easier in the days ahead.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 5:21PM
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Thanks, Sunny. I appreciate you sharing your story. That's encouraging. I also smiled when I read your name - Sunny - it so fits. I usually am good at doing just what everyone is saying (looking forward to what's ahead, being grateful, seeing the positive). For some reason this time it's a battle of sorts. Obviously, this is something that impacts my husband and we going through this as a couple. The goal is to get everyone's energy going in the same direction as we move through this.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 6:11PM
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In the mid 80's we bought a 50's rancher in Michigan and that house was my most favorite house ever. Loved the charm, the character, the well built custom feeling of the home, the older established neighborhood. We lived in that home 4 years and had the home exactly the way we wanted it and then my hubby was transfered to Colorado. In Colorado we ended up with a 70's tract home that had no character, was not well built and we felt like we were living on top of the neighbors, the yard was small.

I stood in the middle of the living room and cried, I hated that house. But it was in the best school district and had the room we needed for 4 kids and that's why we bought it! We just told ourselves that the house wasn't important, it was the family within the house that mattered. So the kids had the space they needed and the schools were outstanding. We took advantage of that and did not dwell on all the negative things or all the things that were not as good as our previous home.
We only lived in Colorado for 2 years before we were transfered again, and I can honestly say I didn't miss the Colorado home at all!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 10:50PM
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I just got off the phone with a person inquiring about our home. She said the following things to me...
"Is the price correct - sounds way too low?"
"You will never live in another house like that again."
"It would break my heart to leave it."

When I told her that we were staying in the area and not relocating she encouraged me to think twice about what we were doing. I jokingly asked if she was a messenger from God. Ultimately, she's not interested and yes we're still confused. She did provide some humor and I am very grateful for all the people I've met and talked to on our journey with this old house.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:19PM
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I moved from a antique Georgian in MA I had lived in for 18 yrs to a 20ish yr house in MD to be closer to my aging parents. I loved that old Colonial, problems and all, and had put my heart into renovating it and the gardens. The old house's location was great, too: in an historic district in a waterfront town. Lots of activities and restaurants in walking distance.

The new house, on the other hand, is in a rural but waterfront area. Felt totally alien to me to drive 20 minutes past farms to reach a grocery store. And despite being such a young house-it needed work! Seven years later, after putting in sweat and blood making some needed improvements, I enjoy living in this house more than the old one. This house offers things like central AC, large decks and waterviews that the old house didn't. I'm loving the new lifestyle, too: quiet and unpretentious, a rural retreat with an acre for my active dogs to run.

You can do a lot to improve the appearance of even the plainest house to add more character. And maybe you'll find a new one that has a few endearing quirks to embrace.

P.S. I did divide the perennial plants in my garden before leaving and took some of each with me-over 50 of them. That helped a lot-having familiar "friends" show up the next spring.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 1:00PM
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I've always felt that the only "real" home I ever had was the family home that I left at age 22. Once you've moved out, it's just real estate. I've demolished two of the homes I've lived in since. By this fall, I hope to have made that three.

Home Sweet Home: Time to Say Goodbye

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 6:02PM
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To the OP: Once you starting taking down all your personal items (esp. off the walls) and packing things up, it will not "feel" so much like home. And your new home may not feel like home until you go through the same process in reverse. You'll make it!

To Worthy - why did you demolish two houses with a third one up for the bulldozer? Were these all on the same site? Maybe you could start a new thread, so this one isn't hijacked!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 8:24PM
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I kind of slipped into it. I had just started demolishing '50s homes to make way for new executive homes. A customer wanted but couldn't afford one that was finished. So I thought, why not offer to build him a somewhat smaller one a block away where I was living? True prospects for million dollar plus homes--as opposed to time-wasting dreamers--are a prize you don't want to lose!

After that, it was easy!

We moved into our current home at the end of May and it should bite the dust come October. Depends on how fast the designer comes up with something and the town processes it. Unfortunately, I will have to use the old foundation, albeit reinforced, heightened and attached to a new addition. That makes it a "renovation". Otherwise, anything sensible would need complex variances to conform with new restrictive zoning.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:45PM
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Read this thread started by the OP for the backstory - the house has lead in it and both of her children are testing positive for lead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lead in the house.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:34AM
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I left a house I loved and was very emotionally attached to once and it was extremely difficult, especially for the first year. What made it easier was making the new (old) home my own - Painting, minor remodeling, landcaping, planting a veggie and herb garden, etc.
What also really helped was that I have wonderful neighbors at the new location.
So, make the house your own and reach and meet your neighbors. best of luck!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:50PM
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If my child tested positive for lead - I'd dump that old POS and never look back....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:19PM
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amen, David.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:55PM
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"the house has lead in it and both of her children are testing positive for lead."

Then that should make you HAPPY that you are leaving that place and improving your kids' health!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:06AM
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"If my child tested positive for lead - I'd dump that old POS and never look back...."

My son has an autistic spectrum disorder, and like many parents, I have had him tested for lead, mercury, etc. Also like many parents, I have since found out that many of the lead-testing protocols are complete B.S. developed and promoted by charlatans trying to extract money from parents desparate for 'cures'.

Of course, I have no way of knowing how valid your childrens' tests and/or test results are, and how valid the results of your home's tests were/are. My point is just to suggest that you really dig into the company and testing methodology you used to make sure they are highly reputable and scientifically validated before selling a house you love to move to a place you're lukewarm about.

It would be a real shame for you to find out it was all for nothing down the road...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Would you be willing to share some of the resources that you've found to be helpful? It would be greatly appreciated for myself and maybe others. I've listed a few in the old houses post that was referred to by others.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 10:26PM
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It was more than 10 years ago that we went through this, so I'm afraid I really can't. But with the even larger number of kids diagnosed today, I'm sure the scammers and their pseudo-science are still out there...

I did a quick Google, and there's a lot more information out there now than there was back then. Maybe your county's health department can help?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:09PM
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