By Willie Jose
People come and go in life. It’s also true when it comes to our home – our house.
There will come a time when we have to let it go, leaving behind us so many fond memories of living in a happy home.
We leave home for many reasons. Maybe we want to sell a home to simplify life because of advancing age. Perhaps the children have grown up, gotten married and finally decided to move out of the home to live life with their own families.
Another reason could be that we want to take advantage of the right real estate climate; since it’s a sellers’ market in Toronto, we might be thinking that now is the right time to sell a home to get the right price.
Here in North America, keeping one’s home for some sentimental reason is not a popular thing. In the Philippines, however, we often reminisce about our ancestral homes.
Buying and selling homes is a big business in this part of the world. It’s part of the culture, and it is also well entrenched in the people’s mindset that a time would come when they would have to sell their homes to fund their retirement years.
Instead of transferring the home’s ownership to their children, parents would rather sell it and share some money with their children as seed money for their children’s initial down payment in buying a home.
In some cases, the money pays off a part of the children’s mortgage, a good way to help their children in this time of economic uncertainty.
As part of the Pinoy culture, we seldom sell our homes — as we would rather have members of the family inherit it. There’s no need for parents to live elsewhere because their children and other members of Filipino households would always be on hand to take care of their aging parents.
In short, there are so many reasons why we leave home in North America.
Leaving home is not easy. Many things come into play, especially when we think about those unforgettable memories accumulated over the years of living life in our own home.
I, myself, could not imagine that someday, somehow, I would have to decide to sell my home. As I said, it’s not easy to do that. I’ve been living in our home in Toronto since 1995, a year after arriving in Canada. I have lots of memories – when my children were still studying in high school at R. H. King Academy, when they started taking courses at university, worked in some firms, married their partners, and finally, when they left our home.
In this home, we experienced and struggled through the years of recession in this country, and we survived by working part-time and paying the mortgage despite the downturn of Canada’s economy in the early 90s.
How could I ever forget always sitting in front of the table, pounding on my computer in my little library – which used to be occupied by my youngest daughter, Katrina May, when she was still single. This room is where I have done all my writings, and it’s where I find solace and comfort.
Throughout the years, we’ve kept on improving and beautifying our home, not necessarily to add value to it, but I think it’s human nature that we always want to see good things happening in the house.
Even if we sell it to other people, we want them to see our home in good condition; our house is a reflection of how we’ve lived life, and it’s a window to what we are inside, our character.
We want the new owner to take care of our home the way we cared for it.
When we come to think of our house, we will always remember those happy memories of ours; when we were still rearing our young children, living life to the fullest despite the numerous problems we faced.
Of course, we will also remember making friends and interacting with our neighbours.
The good news is that our home is not for sale yet!