Grandmother’s Jade

Posted On: February 11, 2016
By: Matt Fuller

How could I explain to my Realtor 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 needed, much less wanted, that kind of yard?

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 plant it in our new backyard. 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 – 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.

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.

Buyers often change their minds a lot during their home search. Plenty of clients have sat me down and looked me in the eye swearing their home can only be a conversion loft only to… send me a message a few weeks later that they’ve found the perfect Victorian. As an agent with decades of experience with both buyers and sellers, we know that home brings up an incredible range of emotions and meanings that are unique and personal.

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.

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