People buy homes, or rent them, for a variety of reasons. Initially, those reasons may include a particular school district if young children are part of the equation, the price of the home, the additional expenses for association dues or maintenance, the layout, the feel, the look or appearance, and other tangible features and intangible benefits.
It may be a case of love at first sight, or they may have to grow to love that home. Maybe that home never pans out to the potential they thought it had and they move on to something else. For those who like their home selection – a little or a lot – they begin adjusting to how the home lives. After a while, again faster for some people and slower for others, they begin to really get attached to this home. Now they and the home are one.
This is when a house (the structure) becomes more than a home (something that has an emotional attachment) to a true home (one that is loved like none other. Just as in any type of relationship – cars, people, or other things we cherish – if we continued looking we might find an equally good match or one even better. Then again, we might not. But why invest the effort? When we have a home that fits us, that we enjoy, that we see no reason to leave, we have found our true home – and one that will give us a lifetime of service and friendship (in its own way).
We want our homes to be non-intimidating and friendly toward us. We want to be able to move about freely and easily in them without incident or injury. We expect that our homes will provide sanctuary from the challenges of the outside world. We want our homes to provide shelter and safety from the weather (hot, cold, precipitation, and wind). We want our homes to grow old gracefully with us (even if they are older than we are when we initially occupy them) and to be nice to us – to not fight us by giving us a hard time or handing us obstacles that we have to deal with or handle.
Once we have begun to establish this trusting relationship with our home where we know it intimately, we feel that we could get up in the middle of the night or during a power outage when it’s dark and walk to the bathroom or kitchen and find what we want without stumbling, tripping, or stubbing our toes – as long as no one has placed anything in our way that we weren’t expecting. It has taken us a little while to get to this point – again faster for some than others – but now, this is our home. Out of all the other houses on our street or in our neighborhood or general area, this one is ours. It cannot easily be replaced – nor would we want to try. This is our true home.
Anyone who has raised children in this home or had grandchildren visiting on a regular basis will have so many memories. Even without children being a factor, there are going to be vivid memories – pleasant and less so – of what has transpired within those four walls. Children’s activities (schoolwork, sports, youth groups, hobbies, friends, and just the way they grew and matured) provide additional meaning to the home.
There should be no shortage of memorable occasions in this home – they cannot be duplicated, replicated, or replaced. This is what makes this home so special, and the longer it has been in the family, or the family in it, the more inseparable they are from each other.
This true home – however long it took for it to attain this status – became the permanent, long-term home for its owners. It doesn’t matter how early in life it was obtained, but it grew with its occupants. They have no interest in replacing it or trying to move on to something else – even if it is not perfect (by our standards as professionals or theirs of living there). Still, it fits the needs of the people living in it and can be modified as desired fix any weaknesses or imperfections. The owners may have the ability to do a little redecorating or modifications on their own, or they can contact us as aging in place professionals to help them make a few tweaks and adjustments to their property.
The main thing to remember about a true home is that it has integrity and really cannot be replaced or duplicated – there is just too much that has happened here.