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Beginnings of all sorts tend to be exciting. First jobs, first cars, first trips to faraway places, and, of course, first homes. This one was no exception.

It was modest, as firsts tend to be. Priorities prioritized, needs met, and more than a few wants too. Eyes that could see beyond the not-so-pretty (to state it nicely), an optimistic glass half full attitude, and ample elbow grease and patience to prioritize the fixes, meant she was ready for this first foray into homeownership.

This first house sat on a tidy street conveniently located amid services and shops of all sorts. It was a seemingly quiet street, not one of those established, full of the fullness of life streets. No lawns littered with little girl bikes or driveways with big boy toys here. That was, or will, come someday.

What unseen force propels us into these beginnings? T.S. Eliot said:

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“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

It’s a delight and a privilege to walk with buyers into their homeownership firsts. They are all special. To be part of beginnings is always a thrill. But some are just a touch more special. There was something that set this buyer apart.

Because this particular street was on the back end of this bell curve of life, with bikes and strollers long put away. And because endings can be beginnings in disguise. She had lived in many houses before, but never as the homeowner. Life threw her a curve ball on the back end of the curve of life; she gracefully caught it and went and bought her very first house, in a 55-plus neighborhood. She “never ceased from exploration” and is happily starting again.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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