Disability and Real Estate

This is the week we expected to be moving south, and we are still at home in the north.  It has been twenty years since we made a major move and sold a home. Much has changed since then in the world and in real estate. We made some mistakes early on, but with the help of many, we have corrected these things.

A plethora of comments have come our way on how to improve our chances to sell quickly. One is that we need to try to remove all, or at least as many as possible, vestiges of disability from the home.

Wow!

Not only is this our home, but we both work from home, and disability is very prominent in our life. We had our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) pictures cleaned up houseof disability.  I’ve come up with a plan of what I can easily move out of the house when we have an open house or showing. My husband understands, but sees this as another form of discrimination toward disability. People want new homes built with universal design, but don’t ever expect to need to use it. Encountering a home that does throws people off.

Because it has been so long since we’ve sold a home, we did a search on disability resources in real estate  From our exploration we have not found any standard training that is offered to realtors to help them understand disability and accommodations.  Nor is there any clearinghouse or single reliable site to share homes that do have disability accommodations.  It is a check box on the MLS, but that may mean that there is one grab bar someplace in the bathroom.

question-mark-160071_1280           So, dear readers here are my two questions for you. I would really love to get your thoughts!

  • Have you sold a home while living in it with disability (physical, intellectual, or any other type of disability)?  If so please share a tip, or two or three or four that you employed.  I’d love to compile a list to share with others who sell an accessible home.
  • Are you aware of any resources (aside from MLS, or Craig’s’ List) that does serve as a clearinghouse or publication of accessible homes for sale?

I am excited to hear from you!         sculpture-2275202_1280

A Foot in Two Worlds

Holy Week.  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday.  This is the pinnacle of my faith.  Jesus whose birth I celebrate at Christmas as Emmauel, God with us, took the golgotha-1863767_1280ultimate step of being with me.  He didn’t offer his life on the cross because it was easy.  He didn’t carry my sin because it was light.  He didn’t break his fellowship with the Father because he wanted to.  He did that because he loves and wants me – and you – to be with him and his Father forever.

I can’t explain exactly how it all works in detail – that a sinless God-man died for me before I was even conceived, to forgive and destroy the penalty of the sins I would commit.  But I don’t need an explanation. I only need faith to believe.  And gratitude for this life changing gift.

I have been stressing in the last week about the  living with one foot in Pennsylvania andone foot in Florida.  Wrapping up living here while preparing for the life to be lived there. But whether I live in Pennsylvania or Florida, this world is not my home.  This is not the home I was designed for. sunset-3054191_1920

This week as I remember and celebrate my Savior and King, may it reinforce my focus toward Heaven.  Jesus carried my penalty and gave His life so I would never have to be separated from Him again.  He rose again to prove he conquered death.  He returned to Heaven to prepare a place for me, and for you. This coming move for us is temporary.  hand-truck-564242_1920Heaven is my forever home, prepared for me by my Lord.  I sure am glad I won’t have to pack or organize transit for that final move!

A Puzzling Move

“Never again!”  Those were the words my husband emphatically spoke after our last move 19 years ago. Jerry was not saying we would never move again. His declaration referenced that we would never move again without professional help.

Nearly two decades later there is not one room in our house that does not have boxes.  Some are full, many more yet to be taped up for use. And there are no professional movers in sight, at least not yet. In fact, the nature of this change is that we know where we are moving, and why, but we don’t exactly know when. There are scores of shifting parts to synchronize. Everything may come together tomorrow, or it may be a couple more months. For a planner like me this is the ultimate challenge.

My home office has become “moving central.” It is where all the supplies are kept and where boxes come on their way to the garage. Furniture being given away or sold rests in my office until the new owner comes to claim it. And yes, I still carry out my job functions in this room.  My little corner counter holds my computers and Bibles. Active work projects are strategically placed so my back is to the moving madness and my eyes catch the beauty outdoors.

But that’s not the best part. If you were to walk in to my office now you might remark as most people do, “You still have a puzzle set up in the middle of all this?”

Why yes, yes I do.

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I started this puzzle before my office took on the packing motif. As the piles grew around it I thought about giving up on the puzzle. Only partly because of space. There was also the fact that I was stuck. There were too many similar colors, and strangely shaped pieces. I wanted to call it quits.

But I couldn’t. Somehow, I felt that if I could walk in and see that puzzle, a favorite form of relaxation for me (even when stuck), all was ok. I needed the mental picture that my life did not have to be consumed by the myriad of details swirling around and inside me. It is a visual of peace to me in what often feels like a raging storm. I wish I could say I acted on that thought and took some breaks, but I didn’t. . . until my ten-year-old neighbor came over.

Becca saw the puzzle and noted it wasn’t any further along than the last time she visited. Since the next day had already been called a snow day she came over to help me.

For an hour, Becca and I worked the puzzle and shared our lives with one another.  Together we got past the hurdle of “none of these pieces fit together!”  Becca’s company and help inspired me so much that the next night I decided to not tend to any moving, household or work tasks.  Instead I spent several hours puzzling. This time not about how to get everything done, but real jigsaw puzzling.

The puzzle is not yet complete, but I moved it forward from about 40% finished to about 80% done. More importantly, I was reminded that a beautiful puzzle picture is IMG_5180made up of thousands of small, some very odd shaped, pieces. It may take some time, but as each piece is placed where it belongs the picture becomes clearer.

That puzzle is a picture of my life right now. No not the idyllic country scene with kids flying kites, dogs running and ladies gardening.  Rather, the thousands of pieces of our life and move will come together in God’s timing, and what an incredible masterpiece they will make. As much as I love to make lists and want every detail accomplished tomorrow (though yesterday would be preferable), that is not the path God has me on right now.

I look forward to the day when the pieces that now look like they will never fit anywhere will someday click and I’ll exclaim, “oh, that’s where that was supposed to go.” Thank you, God, that your picture is grander than anything I try to piece together.

What Am I Packing For?

Almost daily Jerry and I have conversations about our upcoming move to Florida. Last week one of those talks was followed with a devotion about Heaven. Jerry made the comment that it would be ok with him if God moved us on to Heaven before we got to Florida.  Smiling I said, if He is going to do that I hope it is soon before I sort through and organize any more boxes.

box-1209969_1920Packing and sorting, or more to the point, discovering memories, sorting, recycling, trashing, or repacking seems to be my constant activity these days.  While we don’t know the when of our move, we know the where (Lakeland, FL) and the why (just look at the weather in Philadelphia and Lakeland, among many other reasons).  I don’t want to be caught short when “the when” comes, so I am trying to stay ahead of the move details doing a little each day.

Like Jerry, I would take Heaven in a heartbeat over Florida or any place else. Like our upcoming move, I know the where (with Jesus) and the why (because I accepted His gift of love and grace to forgive my sins) of Heaven but I don’t know “the when.”  Most of us don’t. Each week, sometimes more often than others, I hear of people, from little ones to seniors, who enter eternity on a different time table than they or their loved ones thought they might.

I don’t know if I will be one of those who will still be alive to meet Jesus in the air when He comes again or if He will call me home sooner.  The chat Jerry and I had reminded me that I don’t want to get caught short when “the when” to eternity arrives for me. coast-565401_1920

He’s right that I don’t have to pack and sort any belongings for that move, but I still have a lot of preparation to do. Sorting out the areas of my life that don’t reflect Jesus and parting with them forever.  Packing my days with the joy of serving others, of building my relationship through Scripture and prayer with my Heavenly Daddy, and learning to know His voice better.  I can even make heavenly deposits by sharing my hope and inviting those I meet to join me in the ultimate move one day.

What about you? If you wonder how I can be so sure of my final move please ask. . .

Today, what are you doing to prepare your life and loved ones for the move to eternity? I’d love to hear from you.

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An Unintentional Look at the Past

Neither Jerry or I are big celebrators of New Years or ones to make resolutions.  This New Year’s Eve has been spent like many others – quietly at home playing or watching games, puzzling, reading and writing.

I went on a hunt for a new journal to use for my prayer time (I have probably a dozen unused notebooks and journals). I picked up one that had only a few pages used, and began to set it up for my prayer journal. But first I looked at when I had written in this journal. It was 12/14/97; nearly 19 years and 3000 miles ago.  old-journal

I have been gifted with a good memory (though sometimes that doesn’t always feel like a gift!) and as much as I think I remember about the past reading journals always reminds me of times long forgotten.

What was most interesting about this glance at the past was that 19 years ago we were in a very similar period of transition as we are now.  We were living in California but knew we needed to move east for a number of reasons.  We were waiting on God to show us where and how. Reading about the process we pursued and the lessons we learned was encouraging and a great reminder that God’s loving kindnesses never fail and He will continue to be faithful as He has in the past.

That move from CA to the east meant a change of relationships (and a loss of some) with those who had been so dear to us.  The transition we are in now has also resulted in relationship changes with those we hold dear from our years with Joni and Friends.  God knits people together for seasons sometimes and other times for life.  I am grateful for those He has knit into the pattern of my life and excited about the “new yarns of friendship” that He’ll knit in during this next season.

Thank you God for leading me to this journal tonight, and for the reminders of your grace, love and mercy.