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The steady spring rain falling on the roof of the covered deck above my head was a slice of heaven moment. That deck is one of the things I love most about our home. It was a must-have. It is not my favorite thing about my home, though. My favorite, as it turns out, is the place, and the people -- my little community.

They were looking for a walk-out townhome in Southwest Lincoln. He worked in that direction, and convenience was important. We had some possibilities but not a slam dunk. A new one came on the market. They were traveling, and timing was terrible. Even so, I gave them a call. I had spent some time with these folks and had a sense of what they were after -- the things stated but the unstated and unquantified, too. Their initial "no" quickly turned to a "yes." A few hours later, they had a contract for a detached, non-walkout home in East Lincoln. He bought a new little energy-efficient vehicle and took on a longer commute. The price of the commute was dwarfed by the priceless quality of life they found in their new place.

I met them at an open house at my darling country club charmer. They were charmed and quickly wrote an offer. Perhaps too quickly, because as the process unfolded, the pitfalls of charm and character became apparent and not what they were prepared to tackle. They changed course. A few months, a few showings and many conversations later, they bought a newly constructed split foyer. They were shocked at how perfect it was for them.

East Lincoln and three bedrooms were their must-haves. They kissed a few frogs that met that description before they fell in love -- with a two-bedroom in not quite East Lincoln. It suited their budget and it suited them. Today, they too are reveling in this spring rain under their covered patio. It is their favorite thing about their home.

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None of these stories should surprise. We can all use help seeing ourselves and sorting out what matters most. But I certainly should have known to put "covered patio" on my own daughter’s search criteria.

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