Home Guru

By Selecting a Home, You’re Also Selecting Your Future

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By Bill Primavera

Most times when a person or family selects a home, there is a clear natural progression that starts with choosing a town, a community, a neighborhood, then the house. 

With the purchase of my first home in Westchester some years ago, that process was topsy-turvy. I selected a home without knowing anything about its neighborhood, town or county! It is not anything I would recommend to anyone else.

But, just by dumb luck, I picked a home in a location that would prove eventually to serve all my long-term lifestyle desires. From an ad in The New York Times, it seemed as though all my criteria would be met. 

We were looking for a large home that could also support a part-time business, that of an antiques shop, as well as an accessory apartment.  I always liked the idea of having a home help support me, as my grandfather did, operating a soda water bottling business in the basement of his South Philadelphia home. 

Another example of that was the situation with a home we previously had owned in Brooklyn Heights. It featured an antiques shop on the first floor, our living quarters on the second floor and a two-floor rental above that. The location and features of the home supported our lifestyles for several years.

But because of a job opportunity, my wife and I had to move to the suburbs. Yes, I “had” to move because I didn’t like the idea at all. At that time, I found that my new environs did not support the sophisticated environment I enjoyed in the city.

I still remember that first weekend in my new location many years ago. The first time I decided to enjoy a lunch out, I found the options very limited. I went to a McDonald’s and sat there depressed, thinking that I had made a horrible mistake by leaving my big city haunts.

Forced to adapt, I eventually began to appreciate country living and all the benefits it offers in raising a family. I was reminded of that just this week when, in the mail, I received a publication from my town’s Parks and Recreation Department with the tag line, “Creating Community Through People, Parks and Programs.” And, indeed, my suburban experience did exactly that. 

Our first week here, I delighted in allowing my three-year-old daughter to run free on our front lawn and in the nearby park, without fear of her getting hurt in traffic.

I made good use of a nearby lake with a sandy beach where we enjoyed meeting neighbors and the beauty of nature.

I capitalized on a house which proved to be too large to not have it produce an income. With an accessory apartment and a part-time antiques business, it served that purpose.

Even when the antiques business didn’t work out, we adapted that space for a public relations business, which became successful and well-known nationally. Local law permitted us to run that business from the house (as long as we lived on the same premises), so several needs were met, almost accidentally.

As it turned out, I grew to love my neighborhood, my neighbors, the school system and all the services offered by the town. And all of that was linked to the particular home I had chosen almost by accident. 

But wait, isn’t there a saying that there is no such thing as an accident?

While both a writer and publicist, Bill Primavera is also a realtor associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com), specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.

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