GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH) – Hanging from a house, an American flag flaps in the breeze with the sun beating down from a clear blue sky. Joan Dye is at the front door of her newly built home and welcomes guests as they step inside.

She has a piece of the American Dream and recognizes the difficulties of trying to buy and or build right now. Houses can be listed on the market and sold in less than a week, and home sites have waiting lists.

(Photo by Tony Mirones) American Flag waving in the breeze in July 2021.

“My husband and I decided that we wanted to downsize,” Joan said. “[We] lived up in the Akron area,
He had lived there all of his life, he had some health problems as well as I did.”

After 45 years of marriage, Ken and Joan decided to move to Central Ohio to be closer to family.

“It was very challenging,” Joan said while recalling the experience.

The Dyes chose their floor plan and started building in a new subdivision in Grove City.

“It was difficult because that was something that never happened before,” said Joan.

Her husband Ken built their house in Akron, so imagine the sentimental value they were leaving behind. That challenge became more difficult in December.

“My husband became ill with COVID and passed away,” Joan said with a crack in her voice. “The house was already being built, and I wanted to continue.”

Photo by Tony Mirones: Joan Dye stands in the doorway of her newly built Fischer Home.

The dream of moving closer to family and starting a new journey together after 45 years of marriage became an emotional roller coaster.

“I’m so sad that he’s not here to share it. Those who have been here realized that he would love it here,” she said. “I wanted to carry on, and I wanted to make my husband proud that I was able to complete the plans that we had made.”

In order to make move forward, Joan had to get the builder on board and redo all of the paperwork, including the financing. Now, Joan wants everyone to know, that through a pandemic, a housing boom, and the death of her husband if she can build a home, you can too.

“I’m anxious to see how everything finishes up now. With all the homes that are being built and all of the neighbors, I’ve met many of the neighbors,” she said. “I just love it. Everybody is so friendly, ” Joan said.