Making the decision to sell a family home is often a difficult one. Sometimes people find themselves with a home that needs a significant amount of work and the land is worth more than the house itself. Even if money is available to make repairs, it often just doesn’t make good sense. Deciding to sell, knowing another family will live there is hard enough, but deciding to sell, knowing that the house has outlived its useful life and will be bulldozed and replaced, can be even more difficult
A Willowdale Anglican church faced the same predicament a few years back. St George on Yonge’s 1956 red brick church was cramped, damp, in constant need of repair, and mould was an issue. The City of North York had transformed in fifty-plus years. The church was no longer an out-of-the-way suburban location, but on a vibrant urban Toronto main street. It took several years and much angst, but the congregation decided to sell a portion of its valuable Yonge Street land and replace the aging structure with a brand new house of worship. It meant vacating for two years during construction, but the new church is better than ever. The new Yonge Street presence has injected renewed energy into the congregation.
I couldn’t help but think of the parallels between what this church faced and homeowners facing the same decision, especially when Mom or Dad stayed on in the family home into their elder years and the children had moved to a distant city. Losing a parent and then letting go of the family home can tug at the heartstrings. You know every nook and cranny of that house – good and bad. It’s not just a house made of bricks and mortar. It’s your home. Losing Mom and Dad was one thing, but losing the touchstone to them is quite another
As a Realtor®, I believe in giving back to the community. I decided, when I started my career, to donate a portion of each sale to a local charity. When I recently sold a 1955 Willowdale bungalow, which was just such an estate sale, I decided it would be fitting to earmark this donation for St. George on Yonge. Like many homeowners who build, the cost of building exceeded the budget and the church has a small mortgage.
When I shared my intention with my client, I learned the late original owner, Doreen Browning Rawlings, had been a tireless member of the St. George’s congregation, so the circle is complete. I would like to think Doreen would be pleased that she is still giving back to her new church.