Laurie Czaplinski, our Agent Services Director, shared her grandfather’s story with us:
My grandparents were married in 1945. My grandfather had just served his last tour in the Navy for World War II. One of their immediate goals, as a newly married couple, was to find a home where they could raise a family. While in the service, my grandfather dreamed of meeting the girl of his dreams and building a home with her. Their goal was independence and buying a house was the first step.
While talking about the home they were planning to build, my grandmother described a large kitchen where she could cook and bake. My grandfather dreamed of a basement workshop and a yard where he could grow vegetables and lounge under a tree during the summer.
The home they built was what we would now call a bungalow. It’s a one and half story that they built for less than $3,000. Today it would sell for at least $130,000. It is only a three bedroom, one and half bath but there is a lot of living square footage packed into this little home and they have used every inch of their home for the past 68 years.
As I asked him what he loves about his home he recalled all of the good times our family has shared there. “A home is not only a place to lay your head at night.” My grandfather said to me. He reminded me that every Thanksgiving we would pack into their finished basement and my grandmother would set up a large buffet feast for us and that my mom somehow used to be right by his side every time he opened a Coke in the basement. He talked about the door in his workshop that has the heights of my aunts, mom and all of the grandchildren recorded, every year up until now. He talked about the day he found his dog, “tuffy” and cat “killer”. Then told me about the neighbors and the block parties they had. And I remembered all of the weekend sleep overs and how he would make us ice-cream floats and “pop-pop sandwiches”.
“It doesn’t matter how big or expensive your home is, it’s the people who live there and the adventures you experience together that matter.”
This talk with my grandfather reminded me that homeownership means so much more than a roof over our head.