The Previous Owner: Should You Worry?

by Paula M. Carlson, PA 01/12/2020

Photo by JayMantri via Pixabay

When you buy a new-to-you home, foremost on your mind is changing everything to make it yours. You paint the inside and even remodel the kitchen. A priority is removing the old carpet and installing new flooring. Lower on the list are changes to the exterior, but they are on the list. If you bought the house from family or people known to you, they might want to come check out the changes you’ve made. Sometimes, though, you notice a former owner driving by, and because you don’t know them, you don’t know what to think.

Should You Worry?

It’s doubtful. People move from a home for many reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they’ve improved their income and moved to a bigger home. Other times, the move was due to financial hardship, divorce or death. In the case of the latter three, the former owner naturally needs a time of grieving to deal with their loss and the home may represent a place of happiness for them. Or, it may be a reminder of their lost spouse or family member. Some folks like to drive by the homes they’ve lived in merely because they’ve moved away and are home for a visit. If the former owner built the house, seeing it may evoke a sense of pride that something they created still stands and shelters another family. If the house belonged to their grandparents or parents, they may simply need to see it to be in contact with their roots now and again. Humans form an emotional attachment to their homes and, even though they’ve moved on, might find it hard letting go.
Some families stay in the same neighborhood when they move so that children remain in the same school. Or, they may still have family and friends in the neighborhood, so driving past is incidental. It could simply be happenstance that they must drive past the old home to get to the new.

Does It Matter?

It might be worth your time to meet them and find out. They may have stories about the house that inform how you proceed with a remodel. What you thought of as an odd niche may be a boarded up dumbwaiter or fireplace. Each tree in the yard may have been planted at the birth of a child. Knowing your home’s history might give you a sense of its place in the community and even make it more valuable when you go to sell it.

Safety First

If you feel unsafe, for any reason, contact the police. There’s likely no cause for concern. In fact, you may find yourself doing the same thing when you move away. Make the effort to change a few things like painting the front door a vibrant color. Or, change out the garage door. Rearrange the flowerbeds and plant some bushes or a hedge. The more it visibly becomes your home, the less it will seem like theirs.
If you’d like to meet the former owners, talk to your real estate agent to see if they can arrange a meeting for you. Who knows, they might have a wealth of information that saves you from renovation mistakes down the line.
About the Author
Author

Paula M. Carlson, PA

My Client-First Philosophy

There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional - integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, marketing savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network, all of which are hallmarks of how I work.

That said, in my experience as a JACKSONVILLE real estate professional, I've also found that providing the very best service is essentially about putting my clients first. This means keeping myself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to your needs.

This "client first" philosophy has always been my approach and it requires me to continually improve my skills and ways of doing business. In addition, I've found that the latest technologies are enabling me to do everything I've always done, only much more quickly and efficiently. They've also helped me to extend the range of services I provide to my clients.

So when you decide that you'd like to buy or sell a home in the JACKSONVILLE areas, please contact me.