As excited as we were to move to South Carolina (from Michigan), unraveling the life we’d built, so far, was a big deal! Writing a welcome letter to the new homeowners of our “forever home” was so cathartic that I suggest writing this welcome letter even if you’re not actually moving!
You probably hear of buyers that write letters to sellers all the time. They hope to land a signed purchase agreement. In this case, we were selling and I wrote a welcome letter to the buyers—to a young family taking our place in a space that was “ours” for so long. Even when the buyer is a total stranger, there’s this built-in connection—especially if you have a genuine connection to the home.
I really felt it.
I felt it was almost my duty to be like, “You know guys, I know you’re excited about this big, beautiful home… maybe a little nervous as a first time homebuyer…. so let me tell you: you did good! Seriously! You made an amazing decision, lemme tell ya why…”
As exciting as this move was, it also felt like a breakup and I couldn’t have this home we treasured feeling all rejected! Especially when the home was in foreclosure when we bought it. We weren’t the first family to live there.
How could that home feel about being made as a family home only to have families leave?!
I know, I know… houses might not have feelings, but they certainly hold energy!
We had a party with friends and family to celebrate this milestone move, but that was more about our special people. Something from the heart, meaningful, and centered on our storyline with this home (our relationship) felt better to honor the home itself.
Writing the welcome letter was an opportunity:
It’s wild what happens when you investigate your stories—the tiniest of them!
We put our fingerprint on that home. We upgraded this and renovated that. We planted a tree. We went from being a family of three to a completed family of four. We entered the childcare / school years in this home. I started a business and learned about my love for meaningful stories. Dave went to third shift and learned new roles in his industry.
Our Pratt Rd. home nurtured us into the people we were becoming until it didn’t serve us any longer.
Isn’t that everything we want from a home?! That house gave us that.
Writing this welcome letter allowed me to pass the nourishment baton onto the next family in need of a warm space to develop & grow. Simultaneously, the welcome letter helped me process all the goodbye feelings and acted as a permission slip to fiercely and completely go after whatever comes next.
As you can see, even though the welcome letter is intended for something else, it’s a gift to yourself, too.
Documenting is more than photography, after all.When you write a welcome letter, you document important #memories. #dgsstoryactivity – Write a welcome letter to the new homeowners of your most treasured home (even if you're not actually moving). It's cathartic AF. See my welcome… Click To Tweet
The acknowledgement of the memories gave me another idea: My daughter and I went on a scavenger hunt to photograph what we could to represent these tiny stories.
The tangible result, highly meaningful photos, were the icing on the cake. The cake itself was how 🔥 on fire I felt 🔥 with my camera in hand. Not as a photographer, but as a person completely alive… real time experiencing what matters.
(You can see / read more about that project here)
Our Pratt Rd. home nurtured us into the people we were becoming until it didn’t serve us any longer.
In the end, acknowledging the past 4.5 years in a way that was doing something kind for others felt so so good for my soul.
All in all, writing that welcome letter—which was really acknowledging the past 4.5 years in a way that was doing something kind for someone else—was so so good for my soul.
Plus, my husband received a thank you text from the buyer after the closing. He said the letter made his fiancé cry!
(Happy tears, obviously)
Bookmark this story activity by pinning this:
(Note: Bits were removed for privacy. Should you decide to do this yourself, I also included a few things like our daycare, babysitter, pediatrician, and cleaning girl’s contact details—with permission, of course.
My letter was inspired by this beautifully written letter from another seller.)
Hello and welcome to your new home!
It’s nerve-wracking to buy a home and wonder if it’s actually going to be as wonderful as you imagined. So, we wanted to tell you –
This home IS that wonderful.
Certainly, it has its “charm,” such as the rockin’ aqua carpet around the Jacuzzi tub in the master bath or the, “just have Home Depot color match a chip of the original paint and you’ll get a perfect color match,” our drywall guy told us for the non-matching ceiling patch in the dining room.
But, at its core, this home was made to be an anchor for creating memories + harboring love.
I don’t know anything about you – if you’re a family, a couple, or someone solo. I felt connected to you in a small way and wanted to leave you with a warm note about the family who once lived at _________ Rd. To be honest, writing this is just as much for me as it is for you as I can’t help but feel a little sad to say goodbye to this space we completed our family in.
In this home, a hard-working dad, a big dreamer momma, a creative girl (almost 6), and a wild boy (just turned 4) lived. I wish I could convey how much our children have thrived here.
Could you use a deep-dive reconnect to what matters in your life? I can help. Click here:
This home provided plenty of space for our girl to push her imagination through pretend, crafting, coloring, and playing outside.
Our boy ate up every inch of this property driving his “Batman-mobile” aka Power Wheels! He’d bounce between pedaling his bike into mud puddles to stacking up buckets to climb + pick apples to loading the up the Red Ryder with pinecones + sticks for campfires.
My husband found his man-fort with his first garage and enjoyed new toys, like his zero-turn mower, and time shared with friends – in translation: a place to relax after long work shifts.
I built a career here as this home inspired me to make pictures of memories that have inspired photographers around the globe.
Your new home is the best of both worlds – a place for individual space + high family connection.
In the 4 years we lived here, I’ve always felt safe – even all the years my husband worked nights and I was alone with the kids.
Cars sometimes drive a little too fast for comfort (being a parent) down our road, but overall, you’re entering a peaceful neighborhood. During the spring and fall, you’ll notice more tractor traffic than cars – something our kids never got tired of seeing!
Walk west down Pratt, just before the greenhouse, and you’ll find a creek. You’ll also find one on your way to Bordman (off Deland). Many walks to collect rocks + toss have passed time in our family.
Your new neighbors are hospitable and have been graciously dependable when we’ve needed to call on them –
Like the time we were buying this home and my husband’s car got stuck in the snow on the day of the inspection. Your southwest neighbor dug him out with his farming tractor!
One neighbor may seem a little rough around the edges (and you may hear some choice words occasionally) – but I promise you, he is a wonderful neighbor. Have a beer with him.
Beyond your new property, Memphis has been a pleasure to be a part of! Both kids attended Adventure’s Daycare right inside the Memphis Elementary School for years – LOVED it there.
Go to Mom’s for breakfast. Make sure to ask for the homemade whipped cream to go with your pancakes.
Drive east on Bordman. It eventually becomes Rattle Run. Stay on it and drive the 35ish minutes to the St. Clair riverfront. Go to Bub ‘n Ellas for pizza (Mondays is ½ off large pizzas). You must get the fresh cannolis + bring a blanket to picnic along the riverfront.
St. Clair is also the best place to go for 4th of July fireworks too – but space DOES fill up fast. You can claim your spot by laying down a blanket early in the day. They also do a holiday kickoff parade with Santa and Reindeer to see.
Memphis does a Tree Lighting in town each year – Santa rides in on a firetruck and then you can head to the firehouse for free hot cocoa. It’s small. It’s quaint. It’s perfect. Oh – and attend the Memorial Day Parade!
For Halloween, head to Richmond. The houses get festive – especially on Main St. We always parked between the fire station and the church. When our boy was 2, he was a firefighter, and the fire department filled his entire bucket of candy!
Assuming you’re cider and donuts kind of people, like most of us Michigan folk, our favorite time to go to Blake’s Cider Mill on Armada Center is NOT during the typical touristy fall time. Instead, go on Black Friday. Cut down your Christmas Tree (if this is your holiday). It’s a quiet experience and you can indulge in cider and donuts while you wait to see Santa at noon. This quickly became our annual tradition!
A little past Blake’s is Crooked Creek. It’s a hidden gem that we only discovered in 2016! There’s almost always baby calves + goats in the warmer months to pet and feed. Turtle Swirl ice cream is out of this world.
You’ll love Goodells Park – including the splash pad. Just around the corner is the Pine River Nature Center.
Look up the Wadham’s to Avoca trail – specifically the Trestle along the trail. It’s super cool!
Hop on I-69 to Wadham’s Road. Take the backroads north and head to Lakeport State Park – the Day Park has a quiet beach on the blue Lake Huron. A bit north, on M-25 there’s a killer BBQ stand. Lexington is lovely for a day trip too.
In the addition of the house, if you leave the lights on in the summer, you may find tree frogs on the back window waiting for dinner. Our kids loved that!
Garbage + recycling happen on Thursdays.
The addition and master bedroom ducts are tied together. You may want to keep the master bedroom vents closed because it will get hot in there in winter as the geo tries to heat the back room.
DEFINITELY take advantage of using Kroger’s Clicklist. I didn’t set foot in a grocery store for almost a year! You can shortcut to Kroger by taking R on Deland > L on School Section > R on Lowe Plank > L on 31 mile to avoid the city traffic.
There’s so much more I could add, but I’ll let you make your own discoveries.
May you find much happiness, abundance, and contentment + make a lifetime’s worth of memories in this home!
The Masse Family
There you go. That’s my letter.
Even if you’re not moving, see your home through a fresh lens by trying this story activity.
THINK ABOUT THE TINY STORIES:
⇢ What if you were moving from the home that you’ve loved the most? Maybe it’s not your current home, but another special home. Maybe, it’s a home you gave up long ago.
⇢ What would you put on paper about your time there?
⇢ Consider: Where we you before this home? Think both literally and in terms of the season in your life?
⇢ What did it mean to move into this home?
⇢ What does it mean to leave this home?
⇢ What are your favorite things about the home?
⇢ Favorite memories?
⇢ Hardest memories?
⇢ Did anything crazy happen while you were there?
⇢ What drove you crazy about the home? Any funny quirks?
⇢ Describe the area surrounding the home: the street, the neighborhood and neighbors, the community. Where are your go-to places? What about the places you stay away from (and why?)?
⇢ Any events to watch for?
⇢ Any resources that would be helpful for the new homeowners to know? i.e. trash pickup day, any rules, watch out for so & so’s dog, best babysitter in town, etc.
⇢ Finally, how did living in this home change you? Who are you now and how did this space contribute to that?
When you write this letter, please do share it with me!
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