Saturday, September 11, 2010

POST OFF What makes a house a home?

There are so many platitudes and cliches about homes, houses and properties:
"It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home"
"A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams."
"A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body."
Is this all a load of codswallop?
I interviewed the Australian Psychological Society about this, as they had studied why we choose to live where we do, and they found that function and convenience had more to do with why we choose our homes.
But with houses and property costing us an ever-increasing portion of our incomes, what features, factors and ideals make a house a home?
Is it budget?
Is it location? Most of us need to be close to work or schools or uni.
Is it being a part of a community or village of other people who understand and like you?
I really don't know the answer, except to say that it is something that you feel inside. 
Demographer Bernard Salt says our property ideals are related to our lifestyles - or the lifestyle we aspire to.
He says more of us want to live in places where we can be surrounded by people "like us" rather than being too worried about whether we have the fourth bedroom or the triple garage.
I suspect that every person has different ideals of home, different lifestyle needs and wildly varying ideas of decent accommodation. Which is why it's always so hard to find the perfect "home".
Since most Australians buy established homes (that's the fancy word for "second-hand"), a property is usually tapered to someone else's ideals rather than your own.
When I bought my current home, I had to remove the carpet that smells like four truckers rubbed their armpits on it and scrub the kitchen clean. Oh, and put in a bathroom that didn't look like a kitty litter tray.
"Home" isn't just something that's three bedrooms or is in a particular suburb - it has to have all those other quirks, tweaks and little things that determine whether a property will suit you and your lifestyle, don'tcha think? What makes your home "home"?

Related renovation stories:


  1. You have chosen very good sentences for your article. I would say for me home is where the person I love is.
    after builders cleaning

  2. What a fantastic kitchen. It looks super functional without looking industrial or sterile. The counter tops are amazing and I love the cabinet paint color. Great job!

    Arrielle P


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