What makes a forever home? Top 3 things which make a forever home?
A home is more than just a house to live in. A home is a place which offers safety, comfort, warmth and familiarity. How a home makes us feel is almost intangible.
I regularly refer to my current home as my forever home. This is quite a statement and I’ve started to consider what makes this my forever home over the other 6 houses I’ve lived in.
So, what is a forever home? I like Strutt and Parker’s description of a forever home -
‘The forever home is essentially a family home – where people will have their children, watch them grow up and then retire into. It needs to be somewhere that can handle any changes life throws at it.’
Personally, for me, the most noticeable change is my mental attitude regarding my forever home over my other homes is my attitude to my interior design and styling. I am less concerned about resale potential and what others might think. Every interiors project is conceived and executed with my family and my needs in mind. That is such a refreshing change. There are no do-for-now purchases, every decision is made with longevity and foreverness in mind. This totally self-indulgent feeling is so refreshing and liberating.
Thinking back on all my other houses I have tried to identify the 3 key elements which makes home a forever home:
1. Location Buying a forever home is finding a house where you really want to be. My first home was little starter home on a 1980’s housing estate. It was perfectly situated for work, cheap to run and near to my friends and nightlife. It was a home of convenience and it served me well. My second home was my dream singleton home; it was a tiny country cottage in the loveliest of villages. It was ideal for one, really delivered on my country living dream and still within a sensible distance to work. I envisaged living there on my own forever but when I hooked up with boyfriend there was a hitch – at 6ft 4 he was too tall to stand up straight. After meeting my husband, we worked on a few do-er uppers, always knowing we were working on them to turn a profit. Finally, when I started looking for my forever home everything changed. There was no compromise. I wanted it all - great house in a great location; near enough to facilities but far enough away to feel rural, near to the coast but far enough away to avoid tourists. There were also my teenagers to consider – what were their location requirements? Would they be able to easily meet up with their friends? Would there be enough for them to do in the area? Thankfully my children enjoy a rural idyll just as much as I do but having a small town, little cinema and a coffee bar nearby helps.
2. Flexibility & Longevity With all my previous homes, they suited my lifestyle at the moment I was living in them and I knew that I would move again to suit the next phase. With a forever home however it needs to serve me over a longer period of time; from my primary school mum years, senior school taxi mum era, through to growing old disgracefully in retirement. I need this house to deliver a lot and scale up and down. When viewing potential forever homes, I really needed to visualise how it would function for me now, in five years' time and so on. One thing I knew I didn’t want was a house that was too big – I didn’t want a house which would feel empty when my children fly the nest. In the case of Starre Corner I could really see how we could use all the space now as a family but also its business potential this house could offer further down the line. Similarly to flexibility, longevity was a very important deciding factor? How long can I imagine being here at Starre Corner? The truth is, forever. It’s not too big, not too small, the garden once tamed will be manageable and I believe it’s somewhere my children will enjoy coming back to for weekend visits. It’s also a house which should be able to earn its keep over the years whether it’s serves as holiday accommodation or as a location house – it’s a building with money making potential. When I say forever home, I really do mean forever home. As my husband always says, we expect to be carried out of it in a box. It’s a gloomy thought but I get understand gist.
3.Emotional Attachment The intangible thing which we can’t quite put our finger on is purely a feeling. A sense of belonging which can’t quite be explained. I looked high and low for my forever home and relentlessly discarded houses which just didn’t give me the feeling. Starre Corner, my current home was exactly the opposite – before I even walked through the bag door I knew and as I walked around for the first time the feelings just got stronger and stronger. That emotional bond to my home never wains, in fact with friends and family experiences it just gets strong day by day. Visitors feel it too, describing it as a virtual hug as soon as they walk through the door. If that’s not a forever home, I don’t know what is.