Throughout our lifetimes, we may have the opportunity to live in many homes although the average number of homes a person can look back on as having occupied is less now than was the case several years ago. People still move and decide to look for a different home to occupy, but they also are finding long-term homes in the process.
When we start out as children we live with our parents – in a home, condo, or rental apartment. Depending on the professions of our parents, we may change homes several times – and even live in various cities – or we may remain in the same home most or all of our time growing up in the family. As we are living at home, we find features in that home that we like, ones, we don’t care for, things we would do differently. and some things which for us seemed to be missing. We filed that away for the time when we would shop for a home for ourselves.
Then, we go off to college or find that first home or apartment. Many factors have a bearing on what we choose, but two of the most significant ones are where it is located and how much it costs to rent it or make the monthly mortgage payments. Typically, that first home we get on our own after leaving home or graduating from college is an apartment that we rent. Many of us aren’t certain if we’ll stay in that area so we want to have the flexibility to move at a moment’s notice without having a home to sell first.
Regardless, we begin to use some of what we filed away in our memory bank as we were growing up to help us select one apartment or home over another. The location and price are the main determining factors, but what they home or apartment has in it, how it’s laid out, and the primary features may lead us to select one over another when other factors are similar.
Then over the course of our working years – and child-raising time for those with children – we may occupy just one home or several. In years past, people would typically stay employed with the same company for all or the majority of their working lives. That has largely changed so it would seem that people would be more willing to move about as they sought new positions, but this often was not the case.
This is the point of finding a long-term home. In the past, people looked at homes and purchased them because they liked the neighborhood or where the home was physically located in their community, they liked the yard the house sat on, the layout met their needs (most of them anyway), and the monthly expenses to own or rent this home fit their income . They could picture or imagine themselves living in that home comfortably, and they really weren’t thinking about that next home – if they ever decided that this would be necessary. Another factor in selecting a home was determining how easy it might be to modify some of the features to meet their desires since it may not have come exactly as they would have liked it. They were willing to do some work themselves or to hire it done.
People were looking for a home to meet their needs at that time. Some were forward thinking enough to imagine that home serving their needs for thirty or forty years – or even longer – but most wanted something that would work for them at that moment. People were not looking for that long-term home that seemed to check all of the boxes they had identified as important for a home they wanted to occupy long-term.
Today, more people are doing this, but over the past few decades, this was not the normal practice. However, many people found that the home they selected could continue to work for them as the years went by. They found that they really liked their homes and that they generally provided for their needs. Thus, long-term (permanent, forever, or lifetime, as well) homes were identified or discovered from the homes people already had. They had not necessarily selected them or sought them as a long-term home, but they found that to be the case.
Today, many people are looking for a home that seems like it will allow them to live in it for many years, but the majority of people who are aging in place are living in the home the bought years ago. They found it to be to their liking (or that it could be modified as necessary) rather than seeking something special to move into now or looking for a home that they had identified as having long-term potential for them.