Based on my birth certificate, I was born in Wilmington, Ohio on June 6, 1961, and continued to live there for the first year of my life. I am not exactly sure the age I started to remember things, but my days at that location are not included in my memory bank.
My oldest grandson; however, once said to me, “Papaw, I remember everything. I even remember being born.”
My curiosity got the best of me with my memory capabilities in mind. So, I just had to ask him what that was like. His reply: “I cried a lot.” I then felt better about my own limited early memories.
My earliest memory of anything real estate was hearing the old saying, “Location, location, location!” Like most time-honored sayings, it does have a ring of truth. However, there are a few other things to consider when purchasing a home. Some locations for homes are more desirable and bring more money than others. Homes, say in California, where the folks live that we watch in movies, will sell for much more than homes in Highland County.
Growing up in Highland County, one of those desirable locations was Westover Drive. Today, that is still very true, but many other areas can be added to the desirable location list. Nothing stays the same forever, especially the real estate market.
Part of me has always been a little envious of families that pack up and move to a different location maybe even states away. Often, a job change or a marriage enables, or maybe even forces, the change in location for many. To pack up and move to a place I know nothing about is beyond my comprehension. I tip my hat to those of you that have endured and succeeded at it.
On the other side, it is also good to still be in the same area where you grew up. Remember the theme song from the old sitcom “Cheers,” “… where everybody knows your name.” You can still run into one of your teachers, hangout with a buddy you were in Little League with, or stop in and see your family any time you want. You can go most anywhere and know someone or at least see someone you have seen around.
A couple of weeks ago my wife and I had our 40th class reunion. The class of HHS 1979! That almost hurts to say that it was 40 years ago we graduated from Hillsboro High School. We saw some dear friends we have not seen in years. It was so good to see them all again. Things do change over time and sadly the names were read of the ones that have passed away — more than any of us wanted to hear. Some were retired, most all had grandkids, some were heavier, and yes, some were even bald. I have always wondered if you can still lead a productive, fulfilling life bald, and I found out from some of my classmates that yes, you can. We even had a teacher, Mr. Tate Taylor, there as well. I think we were one of his first classes out of college. We all knew he was at least 9 feet tall through those seventh grade eyes.
Jeff Gilliland had the combined welcome and a, “See yah next time” speech. He said something that I will never forget. He asked us to look around the room at all our classmates. Jeff further said, “Everyone in this room played a small part in who we all are today.” That is so true. The friendships we make as kids never seem to leave us. Those dear friends don’t really care what our job is, what we have acquired or accomplished, or how much money we have or don’t have. They are just our friends because of the bonds we made as kids. Being close to many of these old friends is another advantage of staying in the same location, close to your roots.
Now, the location of your home can be very important from a resale standpoint as well as the emotional standpoint. Your home is really wherever you make it, the place where you and your family reside. Although resale value needs to be a consideration, you should really make a home purchase based on your family’s needs and not all effort put into resale value. The best location in the world will not work if it does not meet the needs of your family.
Now back to roots. I grew up in the small town of Hoagland, about three miles west of Hillsboro. I have many memories of Hoagland and all the schools I attended in Highland County that will last the rest of my life. These memories are both good and bad. Some I look back at and smile. Some I will never admit to being a part of. But more importantly than the events are all have faces connected to those memories. That is priceless!
Dorothy Gale, I think, was 100 percent correct when she said, “There’s no place like home.”
Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.