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A New Home for Thanksgiving

For many years, Joy and Bob traveled back and forth between upstate New York and Tucson for extended stays to visit their only two grandchildren, who are 7 and 10 years old. Joy even took a new job with a pay cut so that she could work virtually from Tucson when they were visiting. Their two children also live in Tucson.

They had considered moving to Tucson, but the decision to move was an emotional one. While they wanted to be with their children and grandchildren full-time, their home in upstate New York had been in their family for three generations and held an intense sentimental history.

In July of 2022, when the real estate market was still in a frenzy of multiple offers and bidding wars, a home came up on the market that was in the same cul-de-sac as their daughter and grandchildren’s home. Their daughter contacted me and asked me to research this new listing and neighborhood comps as their realtor.

In August of 2022, they took a huge leap and decided to make an offer on the Tucson house, but the offer was contingent on the sale of their home in New York, and their New York home was not listed yet. The real estate market had slowed down some, but not enough for the seller to want to be in contract with the sale of a New York home that was not on the market yet. So, the offer was rejected.

In September of 2022, the Tucson house was still available. Joy and Bob listed their home for sale and got into contract in New York. They made another offer on the Tucson house, and this time it was accepted. However, a few days later their New York home fell out of contract during the inspection period, so they had to cancel their Tucson contract.

In October of 2022, they were in a 2nd contract on their New York home. This time the New York buyer was a family friend, and the decision to leave their family home held less of a sting. Meanwhile, the mortgage interest rates had also climbed dramatically. After having done inspections when under contract the first time, they knew the Tucson home had a lot of deferred maintenance and needed extensive repairs, requiring even more up-front cash. The buyers decided to switch to an FHA loan to keep interest rates lower and reduce their down payment, so they locked into a good FHA interest rate.

In the meantime, we had made offers on two other nearby homes along the way, and looked at many more listings, but their hearts were in this home on the same cul-de-sac as their grandchildren. Amazingly, the cul-de-sac home was still available. It seemed this home was meant for them, and even the listing agent (representing the seller) told me the house was “waiting for your buyers”.

So, in October of 2022 they made their last offer on this house, and this time it stuck. During this entire process, Joy and Bob had only seen the home over video calls. They had never visited in-person. Their children toured in-person, and we all tried to prepare them as much as possible.

On November 18th, during a massive snow and ice storm, they packed up their three large dogs in their SUV and left their family and friends in upstate New York for Tucson. They arrived in Tucson on November 22nd, two days before Thanksgiving.

On November 22nd. they pulled into their new driveway, and the dogs bounded out of the car and raced through the yard. Their children and I were waiting for them, and we all greeted them with heartfelt excitement. I got the call from the title company that the county had recorded the deed and the home was theirs as they were standing in the driveway. Their children and I escorted them into their new home and the start of their new life chapter. Joy, Bob and the dogs all love their new home. Their grandchildren get to run back and forth across a cul-de-sac to visit. To me it will forever be a story of family and gratitude for Thanksgiving. I am grateful for the opportunity to share in this journey with them, and to be part of bringing this family together.

December 2022 Post. Names were changed to protect privacy