Buying a home is one of our most important purchases, not only because of the financial significance, but also because of the emotional impact. A home means more to people than simply somewhere to live; it is a place that evolves with us over the years and becomes the scene of many important memories. So what is it exactly that makes homes so significant?
Susan Clayton, an environmental psychologist, says that our homes are tied to our identities, which is why we put time and effort into how we decorate and maintain our living spaces. They become a reflection of our family, our interests, our taste and our lifestyle, as well as a backdrop for the important moments that take place while we live there. As noted in the article The Psychology of Home: Why Where You Live Means So Much, homes are simultaneously a way to distinguish ourselves while also creating a sense of belonging. Most people will clean and tidy their homes before company comes over, the same way they might dress nicely for the occasion; our homes are almost an extension of ourselves, which makes it only natural that we care about how we present them to the world. At the same time, a home is also a private place, which people often associate with their loved ones, making it a symbol of family and comfort.
It is not just our current homes that contain this level of meaning. As Clayton explains, “You might choose to identify as a person who used to live somewhere else, because it makes you distinctive.” Whether we grew up in another city, moved temporarily for school or work, or used to live abroad, all of our various homes inform our identity. This is especially true of our childhood homes, which Clayton says remain iconic throughout our lives.
When choosing which home to buy, it is important to consider practical elements, such as size, location and budget, but it is also important for a home to feel like the right fit, and to be able to picture yourself and your family living and growing within its walls – after all, your home is part of your story.
If you are looking for a new home, take a look at our current listings in the Ottawa area.
Why is your home important to you? Share with us in the comments.