When I put down roots in San Francisco – when my husband and I bought our home – one of the first things I did was take a cutting from my grandmother’s jade tree and and plant it in our new back yard. When our buyer’s agent asked us during the home search why I wanted a yard, I said it was for the dogs. This was absolutely true and completely practical. There was something deeper, though, that was incredibly important to me, but I couldn’t yet put it into words.
My Grandmother was an incredibly important person to me. She bought me a subscription to The Economist magazine when I was in sixth grade, and she was also one of the first people I came out too, shortly before she died in 1996. It makes sense that I would want to remember and memorialize her – but how could I explain to my buyer’s agent that I needed a yard fit for a memorial to a special person in my life when I didn’t even yet realize that I wanted that kind of yard? Yet I knew, because I was really particular about yards.
There’s an industry saying that, “buyers are liars” – and it comes from some of the about faces that happen during the home search. Buyers sit down and look us in the eye swearing their home can only be a conversion loft and that they would never live in a Victorian, only to… send us a message a few weeks later that they’ve found the perfect… Victorian. We don’t think our buyer’s are liars. As a buyer’s agent we know that home brings up an incredible range of emotions and meanings that are unique and personal.
My grandmother – Florence was her name – was a gardener, or at least she enjoyed working the stingy hard-scrabble dirt of New Mexico in pursuit of fruits and vegetables, which I remember her gardens delivering in abundance. It’s also where I learned the hard way that you shouldn’t name animals your family plans on eating (Johnson the pig, you were a fat slob. A tasty one, too!).
These are just a few of the memories I think of when I weed around her jade plant or glance at it in the morning light, or brush against it in the dark when taking the dog out late at night.
In our experience, a home search isn’t just about the building. The memories, beliefs and expectations that are unique to your life will influence your home search, often in ways that don’t make sense to any of us. That’s okay though – as a buyer’s agent we aren’t interested in just finding you a home. We want to help you find the right home. While the right home begins with beds, baths and parking spots it never ends there. At least, not at our brokerage.