At the end of June 2012, a chapter of my life closed and a new one began. It wasn’t a dramatic change. We aren’t talking a John Grisham novel where a bombshell goes off at the end of a chapter and you, the reader, are left incapable of putting the book down. Heck, if you know me, you’d probably say that my life’s story would read more like a textbook than a novel. Still, that month began a new chapter in my life that can best be entitled, “Homeownership.”
I was fortunate to be in the position of buying a home in the first place. The effects of 2008’s global economic meltdown (that’s the technical term, right?) lingered in the housing market for years, leaving prices still severely depressed in 2012. Fortunately, that was the year I was able to enter the market, making my timing extraordinarily good as a result of my simple dumb luck.
I distinctly remember two feelings the day I became a homeowner. First, I remember feeling like I was punched in the gut when my down-payment left my checking account. Even affordable homes are far from inexpensive, after all. A great deal on a television runs you a few hundred bucks, but a great deal on a home is a different thing entirely. Down payments on those are still big numbers.
But that feeling was dramatically overshadowed by the second one: pride, with a healthy dose of gratitude and humility. I was a homeowner, and even more exciting, a landowner. A place on God’s green Earth belonged to me. I could make of it what I wanted. More sobering, it was entirely up to me to care for it, and the new responsibilities were formative. I’ve become much more of an adult since being blessed with the gift of owning a home.
I was reminded of becoming a homeowner by the recent news from one of my favorite nonprofits, the Lifecycle Building Center, that they’ve successfully purchased the warehouse they’ve been leasing for the past several years. They have a permanent home, and I’m sure that Shannon, Adam and the whole team are feeling that sense of pride. Given their hard work the last several years, they deserve this moment.
If you live in Atlanta and aren’t familiar with the organization, I urge you to check them out. They give new life to old building materials, saving high-value materials from deconstruction projects and selling them at a fraction of the cost of new materials. If you are working on remodeling your home or business or on a new construction project, you should definitely check out their inventory. Further, their environmental benefits are impressive, having diverted over 2 million pounds of building materials from landfills since their operations began in 2011.
To Shannon, Adam and gang, thank you for all that you do, and congratulations on becoming homeowners!