I was a fortunate young man. Fortunate that when my grandmother passed she chose to leave her house, the house my grandfather built, to her grandchildren. I was working in the area at the time and so I made the decision to offer to buy out the other heirs. We agreed and soon enough I was a homeowner at the ripe old age of 25.

It was great – I owned a wonderful home in a nice area and felt the freedom to begin to update it – to turn it from my grandparents house into my house. I did this, removing the carpet covering the wonderful red oak floors, laying laminate flooring in the kitchen and eventually gutting the master bath and the kitchen/dining/living areas removing a large section of wall to make the space more of an open concept. I loved my house. Yes, it was a lot of work but I was proud of it and my design choices.

Yet despite all this, the house felt like a millstone or anchor weighing me down to the area. I was never free to travel as much as I wanted as limited vacation time and funds due to the hefty mortgage and FEMA’s decision to reclassify my house as a flood zone. Flood insurance easily added an extra 1/4 to my house payment. It cost more than my everything-but-flood insurance – even though in case of a flood about two days and two shovels would be sufficient to restore my walkout basement to it’s normal state. I began to fall out of love with my house. This, coupled with the dearth of dating opportunities present in the area (plus some other stuff that I’d recently discovered about myself) only added to the speed at which I began to fall.

Fast forward several years and I find myself working almost 8 hours away from my house, and probably here for the next 12 years or so. I traveled home on the weekends and amassed a shit load of frequent flier miles but never gained the sense of place – and it’s damn hard to date or make anything other than work friends when you’re never in the same spot on weekends and weekdays. So I eventually decided to rent my house. I found a nice couple with a kid and the desire for more kids and offered them the place. They jumped the the chance and absolutely love the house.

A few weeks ago it rained for an entire week at the house. The wife posted pictures of her kid playing in the rain at the house and I recall doing that exact same thing when I was sick of being stuck indoors. The pictures sparked something in me – a satisfaction in seeing a growing family enjoying mine and my grandfather’s hard work. Knowing that they were filling the house with love and were taking care of it in a way I couldn’t since I was never home – and as any homeowner will tell you something almost always needs fixing at a house.

So I made a decision. I asked them if they were interesting in buying the house and they said they were. I’m now just waiting on them to figure out financing and everything and I feel a sense of hope that soon, I can cut the millstone off my neck and begin to enjoy my life fully again. Not anchored to any one place, but rather anchored to the people I’ve met here and everywhere. Free to travel as I wish without worrying if another tree has fallen in the backyard, or on the house or if my pipes have burst and flooded the place.

Freedom. There’s great peace in that word, and I can’t wait to feel it.