Fearless giving

Years ago, when our three children were quite small, my husband and I decided to purchase a house just down the street from where we were living. Our intention was to put a small amount of money into fixing it up, and then quickly place it back on the market (or in real estate terms, flip it). We conservatively determined the amount we expected to net from the sale of the house, and we decided this was going to be our nest egg for our children’s college edu­cation. 

Around the time we purchased this house, our neighbor’s landlord told her that she needed to move out of her home. This neighbor was a friend of ours, and her kids were our kids’ playmates. She really wanted to continue raising her family on the island where we lived, and she preferred to stay in the same neighborhood. 

After we closed on the house, it occurred to us that this friend would be the perfect buyer. We agreed to let her know about the house before we put it back on the market, even though at this point we hadn’t begun any of the repair work. After we let her know an approximate selling price, she politely informed us that she would not be able to afford it. We decided to ask her what she could afford, and the figure she gave us happened to be the same amount we had originally paid for the house.

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Lifted out of grief
December 29, 2014

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