Shelter, House or Home ?


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I love real estate.
Real estate is in my blood.
My dad is a retired builder and my earliest most fondest real estate memories I have are of me sitting on the dining room table watching over my dad’s shoulder as he explained in detail how to interpret house plans, later followed by the inevitable walk through of the property once the ‘framework’ was erected, finished off with a final inspection before hand over to the owners.  
On so many different occasions I found myself on a building site hanging around for Dad to finish up for the day –  I can still remember the distinctive sound small off-cuts of timber made after the circular saw had ripped through the wood – It was a sort of hollow clank matched with a strong aroma of freshly sliced timber.  Just thinking about it now I am transported back in time to a happy place.
This strange love affair I have with homes, floor plans, sunlight aspect, soil, bricks and mortar is distorting my some what usually well balanced way of thinking, and I believe it is because I seemed to have attached so many different strong positive emotions onto owning a place in the hope to call it our dream home and this has left me feeling almost paralysed throughout the decision making process.
Do we build our own home?
Do we purchase a ‘project’ in need of a face lift?
Do we live close to the water?
Do we purchase the worst house in the best street?
Do we live a little further out and get more ‘bang for our buck’? and on it goes.
I am smart enough (just) to know that the size of the home doesn’t dictate the size of the memories for our children, but it does play with my mind a little when I think of the home, in the neighbourhood and the dog, alongside the cars overlooking the garden, surrounded by the picket fence.
Can I have that North of the city? Does an established tree lined neighbourhood bring contentment or will sprawling land and a lack of neighbours bring more joy? 
I am sure there are many happy home owners living North, South, East and West of the city, so why can’t we just pin the tail on a map and settle down wherever it lands?
Okay so I realise I am beginning to sound like a snob here and on the surface I get that, but the bigger picture is beyond high end living, it is about living a lifestyle – walking to the beach, having the butcher the baker and candlestick maker all within a stones throw from home, it’s having a choice of trams, trains and buses, it’s close proximity to hubby’s place of work (which at the moment would be Melbourne city) it’s a wide selection of schools for our girls, it’s location for resale.  
Each of these questions on their own do not hold much weight, but collectively a bigger story can been seen.  I can’t walk to the beach if I am living on the other side of the city.  I don’t want hubby sitting in a car for 2 hours a day travel time.  I would prefer more than one Secondary school to fall within a catchment zone. 
How do you put your list into ‘must haves’ order and what is a must have today, might become a ‘not that important’ item down the track.
How did you decide on where you bought your home?
What were the driving forces behind your decision to purchase your latest house?
Did you just know once you walked through your home, was there a certain feeling and everything felt ‘just right’?
What things did you finally decide to do without from your list?
Were you prepared to put yourself into debt for your dream home?
I would love to hear how you arrived at your decisions.
Any regrets?
Sorrento Moon

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