Gift with Purchase- Buy a Home, Get a Neighborhood! by Jennifer Prestwich your Belle Creek and Dunes Park REALTOR

Gift with Purchase- Buy a Home, Get a Neighborhood! by Jennifer Prestwich your Belle Creek and Dunes Park REALTOR


Hey, Ladies- when I said “gift with purchase” did your heart rate increase?  Just a little?

When my husband and I purchased in Belle Creek in 2001, we were excited to be building our home.  We choose our location, the style, the floorplan….  We spent hours at the Design Center choosing finishes, colors, carpet, tile and hardwood.

We waited with bated breath as the basement was dug, foundation poured and framing went up.  It seemed forever as drywall went in, the kitchen was roughed out and the stairways installed….

We were in the first phase of construction, and moved in in 2002.  At that time, the street we lived on wasn’t even finished yet.  We lovingly arranged furniture and put together our daughter’s crib, hung art work and installed wood blinds.  And we settled in.

Since then, the home values sky rocketed, then fell back to earth…  dipped under sea-level for awhile and are now bobbing along the surface.

Even more importantly, I got a Gift With Purchase. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept (men), a GWP is usually seen at the cosmetics department.  When you purchase an item of a certain dollar amount, you get a “free gift”- usually sample sizes of several cosmetics.  (Or, as comedian Rita Rudner put it: “You buy something you don’t need to get products you don’t want in a bag you will never use.”  But I digress…)

For the first few years in Belle Creek, I didn’t open the Gift with Purchase. I liked the packaging and saw the picture on the box, but we were busy setting up house and raising a family, training a puppy and hosting family from afar.

Then about 5 years ago, I opened the box.

First were my immediate neighbors.  The ones who mowed my lawn when I was out of town and shoveled my walk when it snowed 18 inches overnight. I never asked them to do this, and I didn’t even know it was happening until it was done.  It was just something that my neighbors and I have done for each other over the years.  We have celebrated birthdays and watched each other’s children.  We have shared laughs and meals and hung over the fence chatting.

As I delved deeper into this gift, I realized how rich it really is. I have danced and partied with my neighbors from close by and across the community.  I have hugged and worried, prayed and hoped, shared books and played bunco.  When one mom’s son was in the hospital with a severe infection following surgery, the community came out in droves to feed her family of 7.  When one young father was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, a community spaghetti dinner fundraiser helped pay his medical bills and expenses while he recovered.

And I received the best gift I have ever had.  When I bought my home, I received a community for no extra charge. When you bought your home, what was your Gift With Purchase?


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