The phrase “New Homes For Sale” makes me cringe. Kind of like when someone pronounces espresso “expresso,” or says “nukular” or “orientated.” Yeah, I know what they mean. This is what they mean: “New Houses For Sale,” or “New Condos For Sale,” or something like that. Essentially they mean, “These shelters we are building might be something you could call home one day.” But I understand that’s too many words for a sign.
In most real estate advertising, the word “home” has been misappropriated. “Home” does not refer to an architectural structure. It’s a spatial emotional concept, usually geo tagged to a specific location (that changes over time), and it’s a sacred thing for all of us. It gets created through a rather complicated experiential collection of objects, emotions, people, memories, plants, and animals.
Consider this sample dialogue:
Person A: “Where are you going?”
Me: “I’m going home.”
What Does the Word “Home” Mean?
Home, to me, has been many different things during my life including:
- my Mum and Dad’s house
- a log cabin
- my college era townhouse condo rental
- a 1979 Volkswagen van
- the feeling of being wrapped in the arms of my first boyfriend
- a 30-foot Yurt
- a 300-square-foot shed
- another Volkswagen Van (1992)
- a 28-foot Airstream Trailer
- an old Hawaiian church
What Kinds of Things Happen at Home?
- watching Netflix
- stressing out, over-snacking, mowing the lawn
- hugging people, making tea, making too much coffee
- fighting, then kissing and making up
- drunk domain registering (the evolution of “drunk dialing”)
- gaining weight
- losing weight
- crying, laughing, farting, singing, reading, making love, contemplating, working, fixing things, resting, composting
- getting licked by your dog (or cat, or watching Diane the Lizard lick an apple core on your cutting board)
If all the above is what makes a home, then how could I possibly sell it? That just doesn’t make any sense. Your home is a private intangible object that moves with you. It’s yours until the day you die and I have no business meddling in that which you call home.
When Does a House Become a Home?
I remember moving into my first apartment after I graduated college. Let’s face it, moving into a space is awkward. It takes awhile for your personal elements, animals, and things to coalesce into that lovely intangible thing: HOME.
This is the shelter I currently refer to as “home”
As I climbed into bed on the first night, I noticed that having my trusty duvet and my old pillow and a few of my things scattered around the room was the first hint that this foreign place was being transformed by my presence. Staring at the darkened ceiling in a new bedroom is always weird. The brain has no familiarity with it – but the comfort of my own mattress and bedding were old friends reassuring me: “Don’t worry, Liam – this place will soon become your home.”
And they were right. It eventually became my trusted refuge.
Buyers: I Will Not Help You Buy a Home
You already have one! I will, however, act as your real estate matchmaker, and introduce you to some awesome structures that could become home for you. And I’ve done my job if we find a space that gives a familiar tug on your heart strings – that whispery gut feeling – “Yeah, I could see this becoming home for me.” That’s what my goal is.
Here is a picture of the shelter that I’m hoping will one day become my Haiku, Maui home:
What Does Home Mean For You?
Once I understand what home means for you, I will do my best to find the perfect match, whether it’s a condo, a house, or a piece of land, but the real work of finding your home happens within you and I promise to never buy or sell that.
Gimme a call, text, or email and let’s go look!
Liam S. Ball, Realtor Broker
More pictures of places on Maui I’ve once called Home:
The 30-foot Yurt I once lived in
My current home on Maui during construction