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Moving Back Home

Dennis Friedman, 1:14 pm ET

WHEN MY PARENTS were alive, they would ask me what I was going to do with their home when they passed away. I knew they wanted me to live there. My sister and brother-in-law had no interest in the house. They were planning to move to Tennessee to be close to their son.

I never really gave them an answer on what my plans were. They probably never understood why I wouldn’t jump at the chance to live in a bigger house with more amenities in a safer neighborhood.

The simple answer: As a retiree who was single, I thought I would be lonely living in their house. It was much larger than my condo—and the neighborhood was very quiet. I couldn’t imagine living there by myself.

Where I lived, I never felt lonely. I lived on the top floor of a multistory building overlooking a fairly busy street. You could see and hear cars whizzing by, people talking while walking their dogs, and customers chatting outside a small cafe across the street. All the noise and commotion in the neighborhood made it seem like I wasn’t alone, plus the other 41 neighbors living in the building were only a stone’s throw away. I thought it was the perfect place to retire.

But my life changed and I moved into my parents’ home. I got married and the house no longer felt too big. Younger families started moving into the old neighborhood. I could hear the neighbor’s child practicing his piano lessons, the sounds coming from an ice cream truck, and dogs barking in the distance. The neighborhood had more life after all.

The experts are right. The three most important factors when choosing a home are indeed location, location and location.

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