guest contributor: Del Taylor
Although the words House and Home are highly interchangeable, it is necessary to stay focused on which word is dealt with first. When buying one, a “House” should always be in the forefront, not the opposite. The word House implies a structure with doors, windows, and rooms. This is what is being sold, it is up to you to transform that House into a “Home.”
You can get an emotional attachment too quickly for a House, distracted by the House’s makeup. Great decoration at the front entry, pleasing color scheme inside with furnishings that pull at your visual taste’s hunger; beware, it is a mirage. What you are experiencing is a reaction to one of two things: a well-staged planned emotion getter, or someone else’s “Home.”
Nothing is wrong with your reaction, on one hand, you are seeing what you would like a Home to look like. You may be feeling that an unspoken authority knows what a home should be and has portrayed it in such a way, using physiological tactics; a pulling at the human craving for symmetry and current trends. The second effect is that this person has a life different, and you may feel more exciting than yours, “just look at all the interests they have, they have a fuller life!” These are emotions that tend to take us away from the real issue about the House, does this house have the bones that we can build upon to make it our Home? I have personally been pulled this way, or the other, by the same emotions.
We were looking at houses to purchase. One, in particular, had a fantastic large garage that was furnished with state of the art storage and enormous spacing that was perfect for my woodworking projects. Everything was there, well-placed equipment, exceptional hanging lighting and enough space to spread out my projects. It was a free-standing garage to the rear of the property so the noise of the running tools would not bother anyone inside the house. I believed I had found the right Home.
As you found, I was not thinking of how the House itself would accommodate my family and our daily lifestyle. Taking a breather for recounting the pro and cons of this House, we found that there was not an eat-in-kitchen we needed for a family with three kids. There was no bedroom on the first floor for our visiting parents who could no longer use the stairs, the baths needed to be updated in the very near future, and the HAVC system may be on its last leg, yet there was my ideal garage/hobby space. This would probably be my last chance to realize my dream shop.
I was so close to offering a contract at that moment, but because of other property visits scheduled that day, I went on with the showings but placed this house at the top of our list. In four days, we again made 2nd visits to my idea House and one other House that had every aspect for us to turn it into our own Home. We arrived at my favorite House only to find out the sellers had to move in the meantime. Due to the seller’s employment transfer, the property was now empty. As the family entered the House, I headed around to my ideal garage. I found an open and huge space, bare to the walls. No tools gleaming, no illuminating lighting, just an echoing cold chamber. What had been my attraction? I knew that all those tools and equipment were not mine but I was so overwhelmed emotionally with the objects and the design they lent; I had been seeing someone else’s Home and brought it into my fantasy idea as my own. Now I had to return to the House and explain that it was not ours. We needed to move on to the other House in quick order, it would allow for our lifestyle and lend itself to making it our Home.
Fact: emotions happen, but they can be enjoyed and spur ideas to incorporate into your own turning of a House into your Home.