Our homes are like people; they come and go

by: Willie Jose

People simply come and go in life. It’s also true when it comes to our home– our house.

There’ll come a time when we have to let it go, leaving behind us so many fond memories of living a happy home.

We’re leaving home for many reasons; maybe we want to sell a home to simplify life because of advancing age. Or maybe the children have grown up, gotten married—and then, they’ve finally decided to move out of home to live life with their own families.

Another reason could be that we just want to take advantage of the good 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’s in North America, keeping one’s home for some sentimental reason is not a popular thing; unlike in the Philippines, we often reminisce the memories about the ancestral home.

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 home 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 a seed money for their children’s initial down payment in buying home; in some cases, the money is used to pay 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 home— and we would rather have members of the family to 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 are leaving homes in North America.

Leaving home is not easy. There are many things that come into play specially when we think about those unforgettable memories that have been 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 say, 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 remember lots of memories– when my children were still studying in high school at the R. H. King Academy. Then, they started studying in universities, working in some firms, marrying their partners and finally leaving our home.

In this home, we experienced and struggled through the years of recession in this country, and but 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 used to be occupied by my youngest daughter, Katrina May, when she was still single. This is the room where I have done all my writings, a place where I will find solace and comfort.

And through 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 home.

Even if we sell it to other people, we want them to see our home in good condition; our home is a reflection on how we’ve lived life and it’s a show window of what we’re inside- our own character.

We want the new owner to take care of our home the way we cared for it. Even if we live elsewhere but when we come to think of our home, what we will always remember are those happy memories of ours when we were still rearing our young children, living life to the fullest despite problems and anxieties we faced, and while we were making friends and interacting with our neighbors.

The good news is that Our Home is not for sale yet!

(Editor’s Note: Willie Jose is the former Section Editor of the defunct Times Journal in Manila. He and his family have now settled in Toronto, Ontario.)