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A House Can Break Your Heart - Be Careful What You Wish For


A House To Call Home

I can remember the first time I saw that house. I was 29 years old, it was 1995 and I had just moved away from the town I was born and raised in..... I peeked through the windows....it was new construction so it was empty.

Often times I would drive over to this house (with my then 9 month old son), from our little apartment that my husband's company had put us up in and just walk around it....always peeking in the windows.....staring in at the big sunny kitchen. Dreaming of how happy I would be, how wonderful my life would be if we lived in THAT house.

Well....just a short time later....with help from my parents, money from both my husband's and my 401Ks and some money we'd tucked away - we bought it. And it was everything I thought it would be. It was 1800 sqaure feet of wonderful.

I'd never lived in a new house.....so that was fabulous in itself! And once we finished the basement.....7 years after moving in - we had 2400 square feet and another bathroom!

We lived in that house for 10 years. At that point.....in 2005 - we (really, I) decided to put it on the market. I had heard all these stories about people making a bundle off their houses in our area.....so I thought.....lets just try it. I put a big ole high price on it. A ridiculous price, really. Guess what? It sold in 12 days. A solid contract.

The minute I signed the offer, I was ......feeling.....not quite right. Like....maybe I shouldn't do this. Plus....we had nowhere to go. I mean....we were going to make this awesome profit....but where are we even going to move to? Hadn't really been looking at anything.

I kept thinking.....hoping....the contract would fall through and go away. But it didn't. The folks that wanted to buy it - LOVED it - and they were from California ( we live in NC) - so they thought the price was CHEAP?!

Old Home

The old home....we added the picket fence and it was just so cute.

The old home....we added the picket fence and it was just so cute.

Saga continues....

My realtor....who really, in hindsight....didn't care where my family and I ended up - showed me one house. ONE. It was brand new.....gorgeous....big yard, lovely hardwood floors, plenty of space. More space than we'd ever need. The neighborhood seemed nice as well. A bit more upscale than my old neighborhood.....but I loved my OLD neighborhood ( I didn't NEED upscale or desire it!) - and my old neighbors had become like family to me.

But I was lost. I was truly dog paddling my way through this whole situation. Dog paddling with a broken heart....but I kept telling myself...."Oh Kelly...this new house is bigger, nicer...."

So I just said...."OK". OK. That "ok" still echoes inside me. What was I thinking?

I looked at one house and said....."OK". Like I was picking out toilet paper.....or something?? At 39, with two kids.....two cats, a dog and my husband....we moved into this new deluxe home. It should have been wonderful. It should BE wonderful. I finally had a real home office to work on my beloved blog. No more working in a cold basement. But to this day.....over three years after the fact, I miss my old house. I miss it a lot. I miss the location....the neighbors and of course....the house itself and all the memories that it holds inside it's walls. And you know what... I never "really" needed a home office - I can work on my blog on my laptop anywhere. I didn't need a "special" space. Just another "thing" I felt I needed to prove I was what? Successful, worthy?

As soon as we were out from the threat of capital gains taxes....we tried to sell the one we're in. This wonderful NEW, BIG house! We wanted desperately to get back closer to town like we were before. But the housing market was collapsing in July of 2007. It was only the beginning too.... Recently....November 1, 2008 - we gave up on selling the home that was supposed to so fabulous for us. So fancy. Bigger.....swankier.....

The housing market, the economy....it's just not in our favor right now. I always think of the saying....'Be careful what you wish for....because you just might get it." I got it. The house that is. I wish I'd "got" the lesson of wishing long before though.

We've (I've) come to terms with living here another two years (or longer). And yes....I'm not boo-hooing because I have a beautiful home and the money to pay the mortgage. I understand (especially since I have a real estate license) - that many people are HAVING to sell homes they love, or even forced to walk away from them. There is no doubt in my mind that my family and I are blessed to have a home.

My point is....that life teaches you many, many lessons. At 42, I finally get it....the grass isn't always greener.

My mind still wanders off now and then to the hallways, and rooms of my old home. I can see every nook and cranny as if I were there. It's ingrained in me. Part of my soul. I've made peace with my newer home too. I no longer "blame" it for my unhappiness. I've actually started to wallpaper and paint and decorate more. I was so hell bent on getting out of it.....but in these times of serious economic hardship that we're seeing - I'm feeling that this house has become my refuge - a quiet, patient fortress waiting in the wings for when I would finally call it "home".

It feels like home more and more every day. I just needed to open myself up again after closing down with guilt over selling the old house.

I sit here in my sweet little office tonight.....typing this hub. I have a beautiful view out my office windows of the porch Christmas lights, the horse pasture across the valley and even a little snow falling. I am at peace - I have let go - it's good to look forward. But what a long journey.

I actually mourned my old house. I believe that with all my heart. It was truly a huge "part" of my life. A life I had made away from all my family, my hometown, my friends, a radio career.

It was the glue for me. And I was silly to sell it. Silly to think MORE was more 'soul satisfying'.

There are lessons to be learned with all decisions that we make. Of course, we all know that. What you think you want.....or how you think it will make you feel or how you think it will change your life - is a product sometimes of our own self worth. Maybe I thought a new, big house would make me "happy" or better? At that point in my life - I KNOW I did. I thought material "stuff" was the goal. I don't think I would have learned otherwise without the heartache I had to feel. That loss. And without a "quick" fix - I am "stuck" with my decision. I am forced to make my lemonade.

So I am grateful. For the lesson. The lesson that material things....are just things. That having the big house and fancy car don't MAKE you happy. It doesn't make you cooler, hipper, better.

It took me until I was 42 to FULLY understand this. But I am so happy I did. It teaches me that something valuable can come out of great loss - and that's a lesson worth learning, even the hard way.

New home

The new home.

The new home.

Seller's Remorse


Tara Meadows on July 03, 2020:

Y’all I cry everyday because I miss my old house. I brought my daughter home there. We had 8 years of memories under that roof. My husband and I built a house on a friends farm and the road noise is very loud and I just hate it here. I feel like I need therapy because of this. I’m so broken hearted.

Jeorgia Byrd on June 01, 2020:

First I'd like to say thank you for sharing this as I really needed to read and know that I'm not alone in feeling like a house could break your heart.

Though My situation is a lot different. If you don't mind me letting it out here on this comment section id really appreciate it.

So right now as I write this today is the second day we are out of our home and it's second day that I cannot help but feel a broken heart literally like my heart is broken like if I just broke up with someone that I've been with for years. I try not to cry if that sounds ridiculous it's true. 7 years ago I moved in with my boyfriend who was renting the house that is Grandma owned. Recently his grandma was diagnosed with dementia and her new husband almost instantly put the house up for sale although this house was supposed to go to her son my boyfriend's dad his grandma's husband got a realtor to put a sign up and put the house on the market you never served as with any sort of 3 day or 30 day notice they just came to put a sign up in the front yard that's how we found out that we had to leave the house. Well time goes by and people are coming and going constantly wanting to look at the house. 5 days ago my boyfriend's father said that as escrow just sold the house and that we had only three days to get out. I didn't believe it was being said I didn't believe it was actually happening legally we could stay if we wanted but my boyfriend's father didn't want to deal with all the drama so what we did was rush to get out. I knew my heart was breaking every step I took when packing but I didn't really understand the impact in the pain that I would feel just having to leave a place that I love so much my neighbors are amazing we're like family the countryside is amazing right enjoyed the view for my photography the birds that I became friends with over the years from feeding all of them I miss dearly. I truly don't like Realtors anymore and I wish I could go back home.

raman on April 15, 2020:

me too lost my old house too it sucks i regret leaving there and i wana move back there a stay there for good that would make me happy since im unhappy over loseing it

Jamie on April 06, 2020:

I hate the house we bought, absolutely HATE it. I don't like anything about the house or the place we moved to. I am absolutely miserable. My husband made some offhand comment that he had always hated all the houses we have lived in and had never "picked one" himself. He loves it here, lured me in with promises of fast renovations to make the house exactly what I wanted. 2 years later and I've barely seen him pick up a hammer, anything that has been done has been done by me.

My beautiful old home that I absolutely loved from the minute I saw it, a 1927 craftsman was recently back up for sale and the new owners just destroyed parts of it. They removed the leaded glass windows and stripped the oak floors to finish them a horrible light color that doesn't match the rest of the house.

anna on June 08, 2019:

Has anyone ever thought of actually moving back to their home? I am also grieving after moving away from our first home a couple years ago. Sadly, the owner has passed and his mother is doing some fixer uppers (which I love as I creep into my old neighbourhood now and then). I'm seriously considering dropping a heart felt letter letting her know that if she is thinking of selling we would buy it back. Is this nuts? We moved for financial reasons so it would be silly to move back, but the grief is too heavy for me. I miss my old community that took 10 years to build. I just want to be back home. Thoughts?

anna on June 07, 2019:

Has anyone ever thought of actually moving back to their home? I am also grieving after moving away from our first home a couple years ago. Sadly, the owner has passed and his mother is doing some fixer uppers (which I love as I creep into my old neighbourhood now and then). I'm seriously considering dropping a heart felt letter letting her know that if she is thinking of selling we would buy it back. Is this nuts? We moved for financial reasons so it would be silly to move back, but the grief is too heavy for me. I miss my old community that took 10 years to build. I just want to be back home. Thoughts?

sylviaFleur930 on September 27, 2016:

I am in another house now and have had a lot of people tell me how much they like it but it's not anything like I had and it's just not "me" like the other was.... worst is I'm paying more in my "downsized" house. I totally understand the energy level being so low - very sorry to hear your husband isn't well.... and feeling like you'd be able to handle things so much better when you were in the place that felt safe and comfortable to you....I hate to keep sounding like a victim as well - and don't mean to because I accept almost full responsibility for my stupidity.... I do blame the unscrupulous realtor I had for some of what happened as well but, basically, I was stupid to put trust in her and fall for her scams. I have found it's hard to talk to a lot of people about this because they get tired of hearing it or, either, they don't get the grief over a house...... so glad to have this thread..... please, also, any others who are in this situation because of "downsizing", please respond. It's become such an accepted thing to "advise" others to downsize when they retire, I think others who might be getting to that point need to hear the alternative view of how it can be a type of tragedy to do so. To the Moderator: Can you ask for people who've found a way to deal with this to give any advice?

Diana2016 on September 14, 2016:

I'm really glad to hear that physically you're so much better and thank you for your response, I only wish you felt a lot better with your "grief" because that's what this is isn't it. And yes I completely understand everything you're saying and like you, I think to myself that you've had SUCH similar thoughts and feelings to mine! I've had a bad day today - my hubby is going through a nasty health scare and I constantly think of how I would be able to help him if we were still in the house I loved - instead here's me with no energy to even help myself! How our minds torture us, I like you just keep thinking every day about our old house, I even wonder if I'm afraid not to think about it in case somehow I forget (as if!!!) I agree it's a true loss and needs to be worked through. Trouble is for me, we're still in rented accommodation and can't find anything remotely okay to buy so this makes the pain really hard to bear, in fact it seems to be getting harder as we may have to face another winter in this place (sorry as I hate to sound like a victim). You're SO right in that at least we can get comfort from others and one another via this thread ... thank you!

sylviaFleur930 on September 12, 2016:

Thank you very much for asking. And I should say that there were lots of stresses in the past year that led to my physical illness, but the majority of those stressors wouldn't have been there if I hadn't sold my home I loved - it just started a downward spiral where one thing after another went wrong.... and ending up paying more than I ever was paying before "downsizing". But, yes, I am physically better.... still wake up every morning and asking "How could I have been so stupid??".... and get tired of people saying "Oh well, you can't change the past. You have to let it go and move on"..... well, don't we know that if anyone does, ha! It's like any loss though - people don't truly understand. The best help is a thread like this one of people who have experienced what we have and who can relate. Btw, your comment about it being so easy to sell at the time and were you mad - yes, I, too, looking back, besides feeling so stupid, wonder how it was easy - I did get caught up a little in having less responsibility, supposedly going to have some extra money to do more of the things I wanted to do, etc. All ended up totally the opposite! And I think every day of how much I loved just being home when I was there.... I know I have to "move on" and "let it go" and am working on that every day but I think it's like any true loss - it will never completely go away and you just learn a new way of coping....

Diana2016 on September 10, 2016:

I'm so sorry to hear how much you've suffered and I really hope you're starting to feel some relief now? But you're SO right, no-one would get it unless they'd been through this awful awful experience. I go over the scenario in my head and even I can't make sense of what's happened - selling our lovely home was SO easy to do at the time. Were we mad? We must have been!! I really appreciate your response by the way. How are you now? / how's your heartache?

sylviaFleur930 on September 09, 2016:

Thank you for writing back about your experience - as I was reading it, I said "this woman is me!" Yes, we are feeling the same things -one of the worst things for me, also, is that I had a choice and still did this stupid thing! I did have an unscrupulous realtor who manipulated me in a very vulnerable time but ultimately I was so stupid. And this had been my dream home!!! Sometimes I think it almost would have been easier if it had been foreclosed or I'd had to move to a different city rather than losing it with my own totally absurd choices....I, too, ended up ill, in fact, ended up in the hospital 3 days with acute pneumonia and acute sepsis, they even thought at first I'd had a heart attack. And most people just don't get it - they don't understand grief over a house! I probably wouldn't have understood it, either , until I experienced it with my home.

Diana2016 on September 05, 2016:

Yes, I too was totally convinced that downsizing was the right thing to do, I didn't give any thought at all to the fact that I would miss my old home SO much! I'm incredibly 'homesick'. We even moved as a 'no chain' to make sure we got a buyer (I can't believe it now) we did sell, we have the cash in the bank and have been living in an apartment for months, waiting for the 'right property' to come onto the market - trouble is that I'm totally heartbroken because all time the 'right property' WAS my old home but I didn't appreciate it! I miss my old home to an unbelievable level - I feel SO ill and am pretty well incapacitated by the sheer grief I feel. Even worse is the fact that this was our choice, there was no need to move. We'd also convinced ourselves that the area had gone down (it had but that doesn't matter to me now). I just long to be 'back home' and can't get my old home off my mind, I'm obsessed with thinking about it. I'm on antidepressants, I too cry every day and have a complete feeling of 'dread' whenever I think of what I've let go of - its like a living nightmare because no matter how I feel I can't go back and I know from searching for properties but nowhere will replace my old home. I too am having a very hard time, I hate my life now and didn't realise also how much my old home was truly a part of me - I don't feel that ill ever get over the loss.

sylviaFleur930 on September 04, 2016:

PS to my above comment (under Sylvia) - I so relate to the comments above; only thing most of them attribute their mistake to consumerism. Are there others, like me, who were foolishly thinking they were downsizing? I loved my house dearly (had built it, made it inside just how I'd wanted it) but stupidly began to listen to people saying I should downsize since I had retired. I was becoming a little fearful of the payments but was handling them okay - got caught up worrying about yard upkeep and things starting to go wrong with the house after 16 years.... and started thinking maybe it would be good to have extra money to have some of the life experiences I wanted instead. Well, instead, I'm not in a house that is less house for more money. It's nice enough but not "me" as my other one was. I miss my house so much and cry over it almost every day still.

Sylvia on August 12, 2016:

I totally relate. People can't understand it. My house was "me" and I'll always regret the stupid decision I made in thinking I had to downsize. Turns out that the downsizing ends up costing more than what I had since it had been financed 16 years ago. I'm miserable. I'm constantly seeing my old house in my mind and feeling myself in it. I don't think I'll ever get over it. I was so stupid and before I'd always been so careful in housing and money decisions and I totally blew it. On top of that, having an unscrupulous realtor (could write a whole article about that) at a vulnerable time in my life who pretended to be such a friend but ended up destroying me - I would never have sold my house at that time if she hadn't come in with her ploy of doing it for a 1% commission (while plotting for the future commissions when I had to buy another). That would have been a red flag to me except she had been referred by a really good friend (who doesn't have anything to do with this realtor anymore either). I mourn for my house - it represented "me" - had everything I loved.

Katherine on May 01, 2016:

We lived in a 1960s ranch bungalow in a beautiful community that was adjacent to a not so nice side of town, but I never felt unsafe there. The schools weren't stellar and our house at 1600 square feet started to feel a lot smaller after our son was born. Still, we loved our beautiful home which had a lot of light and character. When I got pregnant with our second child, I started to have terrible anxiety about the space. I was also concerned about the schools and general location, and I basically told my husband we were moving. To my surprise, he agreed with reservations, and we moved into a much larger modern home in a suburban community. When we looked at this house, I fell in love with the idea of living here, but actually living here is quite different. The house doesn't get much natural light despite having large windows everywhere and the high ceilings which made the house seem so open actually cast large shadows. Our new neighbors are nice but keep to themselves. There doesn't seem to be much sense of community. What's more, there are dogs everywhere that just seem to bark constantly. I miss our old home and the memories we had there terribly. I cry almost daily. I wish we had never moved but feel o can't talk to my husband about it as it was my idea and he is frustrated, which I understand. My feelings of sadness are also making him sad so I need to try and find a way to be happy for myself and my family.

Ralph on April 14, 2016:

Little update from me, having sold my second house (the money pit mentioned above) I had several more weeks of feeling regretful of leaving my first home. It wasn't until I had settled in my current new house and got xmas over with that it all hit me. One day I was thinking about my first little street house and then it was almost as though I accepted that loss, then the realization of giving up my second house hit me.

That second house (money pit) was the right property after all and I deeply regret leaving it.

I am even more miserable than ever in this new home, they are characterless boxes and I just want to go back to the old money pit if I'm honest!

Again I have put consumerism first and I feel like a complete idiot; I have not learned a single thing, not one lesson.

It really feels as though I have been made to face my demons.

I am probably the most saddest I have ever been in my entire life, my relationship with my wife is suffering, I can barely get up on a morning, I have no motivation to do anything.

I plan on selling up this new house in a year and try get back on that previous estate. I am now coming upto a year from my first move and in all honesty I wish I had just left well alone and not bothered with any of it, but its even worse knowing that the house I gave up had so much potential.

Dawn on March 25, 2016:

I can completely relate to this scenario. I have recently moved houses and day by day the guilt of moving overwhelms me. It's a pity that you only realise what you have when it's not by your side. In my situation too, the current owners adore our old house, my new house is also adored by my relatives, but it just does not make me the happy person I used to be. It frustrates me that the huge label of the house price tempted me into selling the home.

Weather OR Not on February 29, 2016:

We moved her to sunny NC about six months ago. I find myself crying at some point during each day, ever since. I thought mourning over moving from your old house has got to be a thing or I must be losing it! I have found such comfort in reading this thread. Thank you.

We moved from upstate NY to the "number one place to live in America." I thought we were making the right choice because of employment opportunities and being near family. However, I started doubting everything I was telling myself when I actually had to start packing up our house. Our cute little starter house. The house I complained about constantly. As another person here stated, I was always finding what was wrong with the house, or if we could just knock this wall down, add on this room, move this, fix that, but it still wouldn't be good enough, right?

We lived in that house for sixteen years. We replaced or repaired just about every inch of it. I put so much thought into everything, inside and out, that I agree with what someone said about your house feeling like it's a part of you. When we were about to walk out for the last time, I felt my breath escape from my chest. I was flooded with memories and remorse. I wondered what have I done? What have I done to my family, my kids? Why? Is the new job that important? Couldn't we keep looking for a new job, here? Why isn't this good enough for me? Everything I need really is right here, not where the sun shines more. Not where there are so many more opportunities, things to do, blah, blah, blah.

I know I sound dramatic, but I saw some flowers today, and I missed my garden, my sunny kitchen, my peaceful quiet space, so much so that I couldn't stop crying. Our old house was almost paid for. Now we have a mortgage and a house that looks like everyone else's.

I keep wondering if I can make myself feel better. Does it get easier? I tell myself I can deal with this, accept my decisions, and learn the biggest lesson of my life. The grass isn't always greener and you can't run away from yourself. BUT, the hardest part is watching how difficult the transition has been for my kids. Wondering if their education and opportunities will be better or even the same. Feeling guilty for taking away their comfort, their friends, their huge yard, and completely disrupting their lives.

I tell myself the kids are resilient. My husband loves his job and is doing well. I am getting there with mine. I shouldn't complain about what I have. I have never lived in such a big new house. I am truly very grateful for what I have. I just wish I was more content and satisfied with what I had. It's not about a bigger house or more stuff. Lesson learned.

I hope someone who is considering a move like this comes across these posts and takes a pause to think carefully. Each person's story is different, depending on where you are in life, how old you are, how you deal with change. Maybe it's just harder to change so drastically when you're older! Maybe if I moved here twenty years ago, before kids, things would be different.

As MMM stated, maybe this is an end and a beginning that is forcing me to see and do things differently.

Kelly Land (author) from Weaverville, NC on January 13, 2016:

Hi Ralph :-)

Glad you found your way to my post. I agree 100% with you about consumerism. There are people sitting around conference tables all around the world trying to figure out how to make human beings feel "less than" if they don't buy this, wear this, use this, go to this place, live here, drive this... etc. On top of that... social media has compounded the problem by making people feel small and unworthy just because of their facial features, body shape or size etc. It's really sad. Marketing execs and marketing companies are paid MILLIONS to get "inside our heads" and make us feel inferior. But we have the power to say no. And we should.

Many right now, a few weeks after Christmas are swimming in debt because they felt the need to buy their kids, family, friends etc gifts that were out of their budget range. Credit card interest rates hover around 24.99% -- that's insane.

I fell into all these traps. The more money I made... the more I felt compelled to buy bigger, buy more. In hindsight, it brought me no joy, no real pleasure. I was foolish with money. I have learned so much. Simplicity, gratitude, people.... those are the pillars of my life now. I'll be 50 next year -- and it's been a LONG journey.... but the lesson has not been lost on me. I just wish I had learned it long, long ago.

Ralph on January 13, 2016:

Absolutely MMM, If love to hear more about the story, I too have already saved someone utter heart ache from offering my advice to them. My advice to anyone even thinking about selling is ask yourself a BIG WHY, talk to others see what they think of it. I am now 2 months into my brand new build home from the money pit I left behind (this was an essential move given the issues) but it does still not give me that feeling which my street house gave me even though it is perfect in every way and warmer/cosier. I think a lot of the regret most people have on this thread is the fact that they really didn't to move, but they allowed consumerism to rule their actions in thinking they needed more. If you are happy and can live somewhere for 12 years then there is really no reason why you cannot retire there. I am mostly saddened that I neglected my street house towards the end, it was like I thought "I want to move so there's no point fixing that" I would have been sat in there now with a stove chopping wood in the yard and relaxing in the open plan living area. Like someone above said it is like god has done this to me to let me start appreciating what I have actually got and that we should always be thankful for having each other.

Kelly Land (author) from Weaverville, NC on December 30, 2015:

I'm glad that years after I wrote this post, it still touches others. I feel like it's rarely talked about... even with the massive amount of content on the internet. I've seen sites dedicated to organization, debt elimination, simplifying your life.... and so on. But nothing that really touches on how a house itself, whether big, small.... fixed up, run down.... whatever the case -- can honestly break a person's heart. Though I don't have time to go into all of it today -- I will say.... in hindsight, at this moment in my life -- the selling of my original home... was the beginning of the end for many things in my life. It was a catalyst down a path riddled with regrets. But one regret I do NOT have.... If my article helps just one person feel better, or think twice about selling a home they love.... I feel that it was worth the time to write every word.

Ralph Jordinson on December 28, 2015:

Wow reading this, I too surprised that this situation is not more well known about. I owned a 1870s build on a Street bought in 2004 for 30k. Spent 18k refurbishing it from top to bottom only to decide to sell to buy a house with a garden. How I bargained with the universe to help me sell my old house and get a different one. Little did I know that house made me who I was. From the day of the move I felt terrible regret, factor in the fact of the new home being a complete money pit and had so many hidden surprises I part exchanged after 5 months and got a new build but it still hasnt filled the void of my first house and I honestly do not think anything ever will. That litte street house was me, finished to just how I wanted and even though it was cold and had its faults I would go back tomorrow if I could not to mention the tiny mortgage I had on first place. It has sent me to my darkest hour and although I have days of relief it is still so hard to come to terms with what I lost.

Doug on November 12, 2015:

5 months later after moving, I still have anxiety when I wake up in the morning comparing my old home...all the work I put into it to make it our style...now I feel like I have to do it all over again at the new place and I am overwhelmed. I too miss the neighborhood, the routine,.The new neighborhood everyone keeps to themselves and I feel,very out of place. I am having a very hard time.

john carroll on September 24, 2015:

These posts have been so comfoting to me. I am going through the exact same thing right now.I did the same thing that another person on this thread said, praying to god, making deals with god for this new house I am in. It was under contract for two months with another buyer.I asked my agent whether we could compete for it with the buyer, searched the internet for info about how likely it is for deals to fall through. And prayed. All this while pacing back and forth in my beaitiful old house.Miraculously it fell through and I was able to buy it.I bought it less than 24 hours after it went back on the market.I thought the where aligned and believed in gods greatness. Then two months after packing up and moving to my parents to wait to mov in, the bottom fell of my spirit. I missef my neighborhood, my freinds, my routine. I have never felt pain and remorse like this in my life. I can really relate to the other folksin this thread that talked about having no idea how connected who theye are is to the home they had. Its like we get so comfortable and so happy in our environment and believe that we will be that same person, just in a new house. Its only when we leave that we learn this hard lesson about thinking we need to trade up and do something more or better than what we are doing and think that a new house is going to accomplish that. I hope someday I can see this as a valuable life lesson instead of just a collosal lapse in judgemen sabotaging behavior. I do believe I will never be the same and I suppose that is what I was trying to accomplish, but the pain and regret is unrelenting and so destructive to positive thinking. I do find it interesting that this situation effects people mentally and emotionally on such a profound level and that there is not more discussion about it on new homebuyer blogs and websites. It should be likened to the death of a family member or loved and talked about very seriously when offering advice on home buying.I am so thankful just to find out I am not alone in this struggle and I am not the only one suffering from this loss of self.

Kelly Land (author) from Weaverville, NC on July 15, 2015:

I do think it gets better with time. Do I still, after writing this post six years ago wish I'd never sold my first house..... sadly, yes. BUT -- I've also found out that worse things can happen than having sellers remorse. Life can knock you around way more. As Mary Kate said, negativity can honestly spin you right out of control -- and it spills over onto everyone you love most in your life.

Try and forgive yourself, and truly try to find gratitude for all the blessings you do have. People are irreplaceable. My Mom always told me that it doesn't matter where you live, as long as you and your family are together. She was right.

MaryKate on July 14, 2015:

I just want to say that I'm so consoled by these posts and its good to know I'm not alone in this experience of really missing a beloved, old home. I, too, made this same mistake and I've learned a lot about myself from it. The first thing to realize is that you can really go through actual grief over this sort of thing. I had no idea that this was possible. It took me a long time to unpack and understand the whole experience, but I really grieved for a couple of years. Second of all, I can't believe that I had no idea how much I actually loved the home I ended up walking away from for no good reason!!!! What a lack of gratitude I was guilty of!! I couldn't see the amazing beauty of what I actually had. Always onto the next "better" thing. I was in that house 12 years and I was always focusing on what was wrong with it. It was really shameful. So, the one thing that caused my problem (a profound lack of gratitude and a spirit of discontent and negativity) has also helped me through it and come out the other side a better person in a better place - but NOT necessarily a better home!! Oh well. It was lesson I had to learn the hard way and I think God let it all happen to teach me something really really big about myself that He wanted to change in me. So, I uprooted my whole family (6 kids, two dogs and a very agreeable husband) because I "just had to have this other "better" house. How I prayed and prayed for it. Making all sorts of deals with God. Well, I got it and, boy, did I wish I never did it. It was like torture. It was crazy. I still wonder what the heck I ever saw in this other house, besides incredible curb appeal. It's entirely too small for 8 people! I had a 3200 square foot Victorian and I stupidly bought a 2,300 cape cod on a busy road (sorry kids - kiss your bikes goodbye). We've easily dumped $50K into it trying to make it bigger and that's on top of the horrible truth that we overpaid for it (2006 housing boom). Next I had to get though a ton of self-condemnation. I was so mad at myself, mad at the Universe! Mad at God! I was so mad that I was so mad over a stupid house!! Then I realized what a drag I was becoming, so I decided to change. I couldn't bear the thought of my kids remembering me as a unhappy, discontented mother. And I slowly changed and started to look at things differently. I have learned to find the good in what I have and to make the best of things. I've learned to hate the negativity that was in me which caused me to make the mistake in the first place. It's not so much this house or that house - it's really just "me". I have had to learn to practice gratitude for the tons of good in my life and learn to see it in all the areas I easily overlook. So, this is what works for me. Every time I start to feel sorry about not living in my beautiful old victorian, I try to reflect on the fact that I was a pretty ungrateful and negative person back then - never really satisfied. Yes, yes, I was living in a beautiful place but I wasn't really a happy person which caused me to experience this loss - but I grew from it. When I feel unhappy in the house we live in now, I remind myself that such thinking is how the old ungrateful girl thought and all of that is behind me now in the old house. I had to just pack up the whole thing. My new house is a place where I try to enter into a better state of mind. I've made it a place of promise. The place God put me to teach me about gratitude and enduring joy. I've got to work on it everyday, but it's got that promise.

Doug on June 19, 2015:

I just sold my home of 23 years that we raised our family in. I thought I wanted more land, nicer home. We moved about 5 miles away but it feels like 50 miles. I was 10 years from paying off my mortgage, now I have a 30 year mortgage. I feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life. I now know more is not better. I am depressed, numb, not motivated. It's affecting my wife and my family. I don't know what to do to get out of this feeling of remorse. It is very heavy sadness and I am thinking about it all the time. I know I made the mistake and have told my wife that I accept the responsibility but what do I do next?

Kelly Land (author) from Weaverville, NC on February 25, 2014:


Ya know... it's been almost 10 years later and three houses later and looking back.... and thinking about it all -- It was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made and one of the biggest regrets.

The first house would have been paid off by now and in the end - even three houses later - I can say I loved it the most.

I mean... I can't say for sure - it would have been for the best - but my "heart" feels it would have.

I guess you do ultimately move on and get over it as best you can. But one thing I can say for sure - no amount of money or fancier house ever bought me the happiness that the first house did. It was a life lesson for me - for sure.

Jennifer on February 25, 2014:

Kelly, how did you get over it? I read this and could have written it myself. I live with regret every day. I'm so depressed, miss my house, old life. I'm just wondering if I'll ever get over it and how you did.

gemini161980 on March 27, 2013:

I bought my first house thinking I was ready for the next big step in life. What I failed to realize was that after a home inspection that it was infested with rats. I almost did get the house and overpaid to do so. There is not one day that goes that I don't regret that decision. If it wouldn't ruin me financially I would walk from it and leave it with the bank. The stress and work is unbearable. I wish that I never fought so hard for a house infested with rats everywhere.

Kelly Land (author) from Weaverville, NC on February 23, 2013:


It always makes me a little sad when someone comments that they can relate - because I know how it feels. We did eventually move at the end of December of 2009. We bought a smaller cottage down IN the village which we love. We are much happier with less. And MUCH happier being back close into town. The driving was really getting to me.

And though the house I'm in is adorable - I still miss my first home and wish I'd never moved. the people that bought are still there and love it.

Not that I would try and ever go back -- life moves on and I just want to be settled and have peace now.

There is talk of the housing market recovering.... meh.... I'd say not.

It's still a tough go to try and sell a home right now. (And get what you need out of it!)

Out of everything I learned in all of this...material things do not make you happy. As long as your family is together and you can afford the simple things -- life is abundant in so many ways. Don't let other people or society (especially commercials, movies, celebrities) ever make you feel less than because you don't "have" what they have. Release all that and you'll feel your chest open up and you'll finally be able to really breathe.

Gina on February 22, 2013:

I totally understand. We moved about a month ago. Your article spoke to me. My biggest take away is to get to work and make it feel like our home. I haven't decorated much. I have been very indecisive and scared to make a mistake-I don't trust myself right now. This was written a while ago. Have you moved? Did you ever live the house? Both homes are beautiful!

Kelly Land (author) from Weaverville, NC on December 21, 2012:

I moved away 7 years ago and have again moved - but still miss that first home. Bigger is not better. As a matter of fact - we sold the big house after 5 years and moved to a small cottage close to where the first home was. We're much happier.

Karla on December 21, 2012:

I have had a similar experience. In retrospect, I can't even remember why we sold our home. I was content there. Everyone thinks we should be happier in our new bigger home but I'm not. I regret leaving our old home every day.

Isobel on February 15, 2012:

I feel exactly the same. I'm still in the mourning stage. I think about myself sitting in the family room and looking out to our lovely garden that took us hers to get the way we wanted it. We're in a classier neighbourhood and a detached house, yet I feel such sorrow at times.

I really wish i could get over it.

Sally on July 06, 2010:

This story could be mine, as well. We lived in the same house for 27 years, raised our kids, etc. Mostly me--always looking for something better. So, we bought another house--one I had been stalking for almost two years...it is only 6 weeks here--but today, I regret what we did a lot.

MRS Great Caruso on December 19, 2008:

What a great and sad story. But now that you mention it, I have had similar situations!!!

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