The Ferrises and Morrisons both needed a place to live. They found one, together. This is how their story worked out for everyone.

NORTH CANTON  Sometimes a real estate deal can be more than business.

The Ferrises and Morrisons made their transaction more like a merger, temporarily combining their families under one roof.

Living together has been an experience, one they will never forget as their friendships have deepened.

John and Joan Ferris lived in their home together 14 years before deciding to build a new house down the street.

"We put our home on the market last month, and a couple we know from church choir made an offer on it and wanted us to move out early," John Ferris said.

"We couldn't do that. We made a counteroffer, but couldn't move out early because our house wasn't ready to move into yet and we did not want to have to move our furniture twice."

No place to go

The real issue was timing. Last month's Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival complicated the deal. Even if the Ferrises could move out, local hotels were booked.

"Have you tried finding a hotel room during Hall of Fame?," asked Joan Ferris. "You can't find one, so I went to my sewing machine where I do my best thinking, and came up with the idea of inviting them to move in with us until we could move out."

She and John, who have no children living at home, discussed it and decided to extend the offer.

The Morrisons (a family of seven) accepted and the two families have been living together for the past month.

"We knew Kelsy and Marshall from church and we knew Marshall was looking for work in this area, or wherever he could find work," John Ferris said. Marshall Morrison recently finished a 20-year career in the Navy.

In making their decision, Joan Ferris thought, "We have two bedrooms upstairs and a big bathroom we don't use, so we could let them use those rooms. There was just a great calm that came over me once we decided to open our home to them."

It was a relief for the Morrisons, too.

"Our lease expired the end of May on the house we were renting, so we've been living with family and friends or in hotel rooms all summer, out of suitcases," said Kelsy Morrison. "We didn't know when we asked them to move out that their house was not ready for them to move into yet."

Happy ending

"It has been wonderful," Kelsy Morrison said. "I can't believe the kindness they have shown us. We share our meals, we sing together, have regular game nights, and we really get along well."

What the Ferrises did not know when they extended the offer to the Morrisons is they had five children.

"We thought there was four, but we invited them to dinner to work out the details of our living arrangements, there was a fifth child, so we set another place at the table, and it has been wonderful for us, too," Joan Ferris said. "They have even invited us back for game nights whenever we want."

As far as moving, it has worked out great for both sides. The Ferrises have been slowly moving their boxes out while the Morrisons have been moving their stuff in. The older children have been walking boxes down the street to the Ferrises new home. The bigger things, like their furniture, are going out Friday.

"We love this house," said Joan Ferris. "We will miss it, but we are so happy it is going to such a wonderful family. We are like family now and it is good to know they will love this place as much as we have."

Reach Denise at 330-580-8321 or denise.sautters@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter:@dsauttersREP