When Caryn Viteritti’s parents moved into their newly-built Mount Sinai home in 1977, her mother was six months pregnant with her. Now six months pregnant with her own daughter, Viteritti has bought the house back.
“It has come full circle,” she says. “This was the only home I ever knew. So we did whatever we had to do. We were not letting this house go.”
Born and raised in the house, Viteritti lived in the four-bedroom, 2 1⁄2 -bathroom Colonial with her father, mother, brother and sister. She first moved out in 1999, but returned after her father died in 2001 to be with her mother. She left for good in 2004, and her mother ultimately sold the house in 2008.
Buying the house back had never been a consideration, Viteritti says, until a neighbor she had kept in touch with alerted her that it was on the market. After the house had fallen into foreclosure, a Realtor purchased and flipped the house, she says. Viteritti and her husband, J.R., immediately made an offer and closed on the house on June 21 for $450,000.
“We’d been looking to buy a house for a long time,” says Viteritti, who for the last five years has lived in a three-bedroom Farmingville condo with J.R. and their 8-year-old son, Joey. “We looked at hundreds of houses and nothing was appealing to me until the second I saw this house go back on sale. As soon as that sign went in the ground, we got a Realtor and made an offer. We didn’t even come look at the inside.”
She was, after all, already familiar with much of the inside. There were some changes. A wall separating the living room and den had been taken down, creating one large room. The kitchen had updated appliances. Some alterations had been made to the bedrooms.
But much remained intact, including sentimental features. Written on the wall of the garage, in Viteritti’s father’s handwriting, are the names and heights of his children. At the center of the red brick patio, which was laid by Viteritti’s father and grandfather, were black bricks forming the letter F, the initial for the family name of Franklin. Each room holds a memory, whether it’s sitting around the fireplace in the den or playing Skee Ball in the basement.
Viteritti’s old bedroom will become a nursery for her daughter, who is due in September. Her son will take over his uncle’s old bedroom. Viteritti and her husband will move into the master bedroom that once belonged to her parents.
“My mom is very excited,” Viteritti says. “She keeps asking a lot of questions. ‘Is it the same as how I left it? Is this still there?’ I asked her if it’s going to be weird for her when she comes to visit and she’s in a spare bedroom instead of the master bedroom. She said it won’t be weird at all. And she’s happy she doesn’t have to clean the house.”
Christine Hodulick of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, who brokered the sale, says this is the first time she has helped put a client back in their childhood home.
“And it was kind of unique in the way that it wasn’t going from parent to child,” she said. “There were two owners prior. So for her to get it back is a nice story.”
Adding to the nostalgia, Viteritti says, is that she first met her husband in the mid-1980s when he and his family moved into the house across the street.
“My son loves the fact that he can say, ‘My mommy lived here and my Daddy lived across the street,’” Viteritti says.
Any plans to purchase J.R.’s old house should it come on the market?
“One is enough,” she says with a laugh. “I told my husband we are never leaving this house. It will get left to our children.”