Just a week ago, congress passed a bill that effects most people whose homes lie within flood plains. Flood insurance rate increases, though stayed a little by this recent bill (HR3370), will be on the rise. This could effect the marketability and even the value of your home if you are in a designated flood zone.
This video gives a very short update on the recently passed bill.
The Story of a Home
I love the idea of thinking about our lives as a story. Every good story has meaning and purpose, drawing the reader in, giving them something to identify with. There are main characters, a plot & sub-plots, context, history, conflicts, and resolution (sometimes). Sometimes we play a large part in the crafting and creation of our own stories & and sometimes circumstances are thrust upon us, shaping the direction of our story. No story however, has significant meaning without the joyful triumphs and the painful experiences that punctuate the background story of one’s life.
What intrigues me most, is how stories intertwine as people cross paths. The story of one person affects the story of another. Indeed, the story of a community is simply the story of how the lives and stories of individuals interact. We see this in the smaller communities of family and friends and work, or in the larger communities of cities, regions and even nations.
And no story makes sense without location, a place for that story to take shape. Over time, even the land itself seems to develop a story and sometimes even a story that goes beyond the people who have lived there. One of the things I love about real estate is that it represents the intersection of the story of people and the story of a place. What people do and don’t do in a particular place, defines the story of that land. And likewise, often the layout of the land or the design of a building often defines how people use and live in that home or workplace. A home with a pool will define part of the story of those that live there. A home close to the city center or near a school can greatly affect the story of the people that live in that home. Is there a garden, an extra bedroom for guests, outdoor space, etc? All these things speak to the kind of story that will take place in that home. Sometimes even the layout of a house can affect how a family interacts with one another.
The individual and collective stories of families is what gives meaning to the home. After all, doesn’t most of our story take place in our homes, both the good and the bad – growing up, marriage, entertaining of friends, raising our children (sometimes even their births) and growing old. It is where most of our big decisions are made, where meaningful discussions are had, where our joy is fullest and sometimes where our pain is deepest. Whatever our stories may be, the homes we have lived in will forever be a part of our lives, and in part, defined a little piece of our stories!
I am currently representing some clients that are in escrow on a beautiful Santa Cruz home built in 1910. As we researched the house, talked to neighbors, gathered documents from the county, we have been able to piece together a little bit of the story of this very unique home. When at the county building pulling records, we discovered the county official helping us lived in the same house from 1955-1968. Piecing together her story with the story of other owners and neighbors, my clients got a deeper picture of the story of the home and how their story will interact with and add even more beauty and depth to the story of this home.
Choosing a home is like setting a stage for a play. It sets the tone and boundaries of the story that is going to be played out. It becomes a permanent piece of everybody’s story that lives in that home – a vault for the memories you and your family will carry with you.
What kind of story do you want to live in?