Today, more that ever, real estate experts advise consumers to detach their emotions from one of e biggest financial moves of their life, reminding us that there’s a difference between a “home” and a “house.” I read about one California architecture professor who urges buyers to make sure those emotions get their due.
Clare Cooper Marcus, author of “House as a Mirror of Self” (Conari Press, $24.95), counts a box of crayons among her preferred tools to draw out deep-seated feelings about homes. Before you start looking at new house, she suggests that everyone in the family separately doodle a sketch of what the word home brings to mind. “You should think about the most “homey” home you ever knew, whether it was your childhood home, a grandparent’s home or a friend’s… then try to articulate what it was that made it really wonderful. Ditto for the neighborhood,” she says.
I’ve never heard of anyone approaching the purchase process from this viewpoint, but I found it intriguing. She further suggests that “you sit down as a family to discuss your drawings. If you have family members who have completely different ideas about a home, it’s better to find that out now.” I can definitely see how this would be helpful in blended family situations, and with multiple aged families (with grandparents and the like pooling resources).
The other hint she gives is for folks who look at dozens of houses and still can’t make a decision on the right one. “It could mean that you haven’t property said goodbye to your old one. Talk to friends, write letters, even have a little goodbye ceremony to mark the end.” I could also see how this would be an important step for families who were “forced” for one reason or another, to seek a different home.
Getting in touch with the emotions of home buying allows us to “somehow free our self so that we can feel pretty comfortable going with our gut reaction to a hew house.” I think it’s good advice!
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