My personal journey into real estate …. From 0 to 40 years of experience ….
I grew up in a normal middle class neighborhood In Orange County California. Moved there from Los Angeles when I was 1 year old. All of the new homes had a single orange tree in the backyard. In those days, there were no fences separating the backyards. In fact, we had doorbells at our back doors. I was the middle kid, with an older sister and a younger brother. Dad was an electronics engineer and Mom was a Mom, caring for the family and getting us through school. I spent all of my school years living at that same home. I did well in school, played sports, attended dances and all of ththerat normal stuff before the invention of video games. I even coached my kid brother’s flag football team to a championship. It was an idyllic life until one day in 1975, tragedy struck our family and we would never be the same.
On that fateful day, I was working in retail at the mall when I received a call from my Mom. My little brother had been in a car accident and was in the hospital. He was only 12. She instructed me to leave work and come to the hospital. As I ran into emergency, there was a Mom with her son who was waiting for treatment. No one else was in sight. The Mom looked at me and said nothing but pointed toward a hallway. As I walked down the hallway, I saw our Pastor standing alone and I knew that matters may be worse than I had imagined. As I turned the corner, there was my whole family sitting in a room … minus one. My little brother was hit by a car in a crosswalk, one block away from home. He was gone.
We all deal with loss in different ways. I had missed some time in college and quite honestly, my priorities of life had changed. My Mom got out of the house by starting in the real estate business. She was driven and quickly became successful, eventually buying into her firm. She also got involved in real estate trade associations and worked her way into the presidency of both groups. Her success came at a time when I was pondering my career choices and I caught the real estate bug as well. I followed in her footsteps in both career and a long tenure as a volunteer in our trade.
The years just creep up on you. I had just received my AARP card and was capitalizing on my senior discounts. I sold my home and the home of my parents and moved Mom and Dad in with me into a brand new place. It was a huge two story so we were able to keep our distance when needed. Over the years, my Dad’s memory was weakening. He had fallen off of a ladder and we almost lost him. He bounced back but his physical abilities became more constrained. Mom however, was doing fine. Years passed, and I lost my Dad at 84 to pneumonia. He was fine one day and gone a couple of weeks later. Although we loved our home, we realized that we barely used half of the space and it was difficult keeping up with all of the required maintenance. So despite the memories made there, I decided to sell and move to smaller digs.
My days of moving mattresses and refrigerators were over and we were overwhelmed with too much accumulated “stuff”. That’s when I discovered that I could hire a move manager and they would pack us up, move us, unpack our boxes at our new home and even sell and donate our excess belongings. Aha! I had become my own living testimonial of the differences, both physically and emotionally, when senior folks make a late in life move. Lessons learned and a unique and purposeful service discovered. Meaningful moves for seniors and Seniors Home Advisors
Are you an empty nester downsizing into a more manageable home, independent living community or a continuing care retirement community? Things are different with this move. Why? Because preparation gives you choice and helps you in preserving control on where and how your lifestyle will continue. The absolute biggest mistake you can make, is waiting for a crisis to occur instead of being prepared and planning ahead. It may be as simple as single story living or as critical as a medical emergency or the loss of a spouse. There is no substitute for being prepared.
In my old neighborhood, fences now stand where there once were none and most of the orange trees are gone. Change happens as time moves on and we reach a milestone in life where planning for the future starts to give way to thoughts of legacy and how we will be remembered. Advanced preparation enables us to maintain control instead of waiting for a crisis where others may be charged with making decisions for us. For me, that’s peace of mind and assisting folks in making those decisions is what Seniors Home Advisors is all about.