Chapter One: The 2012 Journal Entry
It's September 2012 and my husband is living in Tennessee, in the home of a fantastic couple from our Church. I, however, am not. I’m in New Jersey, living at my Mother in Law’s house with my 9 month old baby and my almost two year old son, after paying $14,000 to sell my house. And I’m about to lose my ever-loving mind...
Let me back it up. Several months ago, I was awakened at 5am to a text from my Father in Law, alerting my husband that the State Police were hiring. I was your average entrepreneur stuck in a young Army Wife’s body: REALTOR®, building her business, whilst teaching 10+ competition dance team classes per week, leading the kid's ministry at my church, and raising a newborn and toddler... with a husband out in the field with his squad once every month, for 1-2 weeks at a time. But then, my husband wanted to try to get into the State Police. In New Jersey. 900 miles away from everything I’d been working so hard to build.
We caught a plane to New Jersey in June of 2012. We searched for homes in three counties online, which got overwhelming. I then made an important decision, which I believe directed my path to my dream home. I decided to dig deep and think about what I really wanted. I asked myself an important question: What I would change about my first home? For starters, my neighbors were… interesting, to say the least. One of our neighbors would get drunk and fight constantly. They were a dual Army family, and the cops would show up constantly. One Friday night, one of them drove a car into their garage. Need I say more? Onward.
Next door was a young Army couple. He deployed and she invited a surprising amount of male friends over the entire time that he was gone. One of them actually stayed there for a few months. On the other side of us, our neighbor let his grass grow to my knees, and would leave his rottweilers outside at all hours of the day and night and all weather conditions. They would bark and cry and I had infants who I desperately needed to nap. There were actual creatures living in the man’s lawn, on top of the dog excrements that he never cleaned up, which gave off quite an aroma on sweltering Tennessee Summer days. He finally abandoned the home and it went into foreclosure. The grass touched the throne of God, I believe. It may or may not be holy.
“A great Community with awesome neighbors,” I thought, “That’s what I want. I want a neighborhood where my kids can play outside until the crickets begin chirping, and where I can hang outside with at least somewhat neighbors and share a glass of wine and the day’s activities.” It sounded so charming, so idyllic, yet I couldn’t find anything that matched the vibe that I really wanted deep down in my heart. Things started to look bleak. We had been in NJ for 6 days and nothing that we had seen seemed to fit. We took an impromptu drive, discouraged, and now nervous, and stumbled upon THE ONE: Cherokee Lane. It was the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. It was bigger and better than I had ever dreamed was possible. More importantly, it was in our price range!
I listed our first home for sale, and because my REALTOR®, “Timmy’s” lack of negotiation skills, I paid full asking price on a home that had been listed for months and was previously owned by a fugitive. (Yes, I said fugitive.) I had overpaid for my home and could not get what it was worth, so I sold it to a couple who had adopted a baby. It cost me $14,000 to sell my home to them. I worked myself into the mindset that it was “soul deposit money”. I cut my losses and back to Jersey, I went. So here I am, sitting in my Mother in Law’s home with my babies, no job, no real plan, except a PRAYER that my husband would get accepted into the State Police Academy. What am I thinking?? Am I an idiot?? Andrew is living in Clarksville without me and will be for months, while he finishes up his time in the Army, and I’m totally cramping my Mother in Law’s style. I have to be! She’s the most kind, generous, loving woman, and yet if I were her, I'd probably poison me, with two babies, taking up space in her home. This royally sucks.
Chapter 2: The 2020 Reflection
What I didn’t know at that point of my life was what the next step of my journey would bring- everything that I ever wanted in a neighborhood. It would teach me deep-seeded lessons on the power of Community. My surrounding 7 neighbors became like family to us. Every day, our kids would play in one neighbor's yard or home, the men would share a beer and talk about lawns (?), and the women would watch the blood moon over a bottle of wine and a fire outside. Super bowls were (and are still) spent together. There were impromptu dinners together, and celebrations when the kids had a birthday or achievement, Christmas Eve always involved stopping by everyone's house, if they couldn’t make it to our’s. We hosted a traditional 7 fishes Dinner and all were invited. All 7 families. Most of the neighbors would show up for our reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas to end the night. That is the stuff dreams are made of. Community 5.0.
All of the stress… and there was so much stress up until the very end… was so worth it. I got exactly what I wanted. I know that it was because I first asked that questions and got clear on what was MOST important to me. Clarity is POWER... that is true for more than just real estate, y'all! I knew the right home when I found it, because I knew the mold that it needed to fit into. I’ve since purchased three homes. I'm a REALTOR®, what do you expect- it's. the greatest investment you can possibly make, and I practice what I preach! Each time, before I ever begin looking for a home, I pause to get absolute clarity on what I really, truly want in the next step of my home buying and selling journey. It has worked every single time for me, and hundreds of my clients, and I know it will work for you too.
I used that experience to shape the way we consult with our clients at Rockstar. I teach our Agents to dig deep into your why, to help you establish clarity on what you truly need and want, so you can recognize THE ONE, when it hits the MLS! Need a team who will give you NEXT LEVEL clarity and service? We're your girls! Contact us to get the home buying and/or selling process started! Until next time, Rockstar Community, I'm sending you peace, love, & good vibes from my home to your's...