This past week, the Lancaster Sunday News featured an article about Lancaster residents Melanie and Bruce Snyder, who bought a house in the city as part of an estate sale only to find the place a time capsule.
Inside, furnishings had sat unchanged for more than 20 years and mementos throughout the home recalled the boisterous life of the woman who last owned it. She called the place “her mother’s house” because that’s who originally bought it at a young age in 1923; it was built in 1915.
The Snyders asked to keep the personal effects from the estate and are, I believe, working on a possible book about the family. I had the opportunity to talk to Melanie a few months ago and remembered being struck by the legacy the parents left through the home.
In a recent National Association of Realtors survey, financial factors did not rank highly among homebuyers when deciding to purchase a house (other than not paying rent to a landlord). The top answers were about safety, security and a quality place to raise a family.
On another note, my wife and I are completing an extensive, mostly DIY, first-floor remodel of our 1967 home. Around (and through) the mess and spilling out into the yard, my kids run and enjoy the summer.
After reading the story about the Snyder’s home, I was reminded of how our homes play a central role in the long-term legacy we leave to the next generation. We experience so much between those walls, from birthday parties to Christmas dinners to even, as in our case, childbirth. I looked at our brand-new kitchen island and asked myself if this is where I’d share coffee with my grown sons or a quiet moment with my now 4-year-old daughter when she thinks about dating. Time continues to pass, but the home remains in place around us.
As good an argument for home ownership as any I can think of.
Jeff Geoghan is a residential real estate agent and founder of www.yourlancasterhome.com in Lancaster County. He also hosts “YourLancasterHomeTV (tv.yourlancasterhome.com).” He also holds a Green designation from the National Association of Realtors and blogs about homes and green issues.