Having a home is like dating. I realized that recently while working with a new client. They have a beautiful high-end condominium that is well furnished and sits nestled on a lake. And yet, they find themselves a little “uninterested” in their home. It doesn’t feel quite right.
I assessed the usual culprits. We looked at the floor plan, the external and internal elements, and the layout of furniture. We discussed their lives, their goals, their occupations and their previous homes. There were some things about the home that were not ideal. Their unit sat next to the “party room” in the building. Which despite its lively name, often sat unused. On the other side of them, as well as in many other units throughout the building, are snowbirds – people who are off in some tropical location for a good portion of the year.
Between these factors and the condition of the lake, I found the home to have the potential for a lot of stagnant energy. This, however, seemed to be balanced out with a number of other factors: the large windows, the lack of privacy from the stairwell adjacent to their patio and a few other things. As I said, it wasn’t perfect, but the overall feeling was fairly balanced.
We went forward with the consultation and she spoke wistfully of their previous home and it’s red walls and gold damask furniture; a far cry from the current neutrals I was experiencing in the living room. They had chosen the colors and furniture here too, but were trying to accommodate the style of the place.
She revealed how it was a “perfectly nice home” and “why shouldn’t they love it?” That’s when the true “problem” revealed itself. It occurred to me that a relationship to your home is like a relationship to a person. You meet them. They are attractive and funny and kind. You date them and maybe you even decide to marry them. Then all of the sudden, one day you realize that they are not the one for you. Perhaps it’s one big thing or a series of smaller things. None of which seems like enough to warrant ending the relationship – and yet you are unfulfilled. They are a perfectly good person, after all. Why would I end it? Well, just because someone is a good or even a great person does not mean that they are always a fit for you. How many cool people have you met that you haven’t chosen to spend your life with for various reasons?
Well, a home is the same way. It may be attractive, comfortable and functional. But that doesn’t mean it’s a fit for you. It may be perfect for someone else, but not for you. And unfortunately, just like dating or marriage, you don’t always know that before you make a commitment.
But, the good news for most people is that you are not trapped. There is always hope. That doesn’t mean you have to break up with your house, but by identifying the “problem” you may make more peace with it and be able to create some suitable solutions. Perhaps some ways to make it a better fit. My clients are considering finding a new home. It may take a little while to sell theirs. But, either way, in the meantime, they have identified their biggest challenge with their home.
It’s simply not their type. I just hope they let it down gently….