Are you stuck trying to make a housing decision? Small wonder. Your housing decisions are about everything in your life, and they involve your inner motivations and desires as well as finances, design and logistics.
Consider this. Our relationship with our home is the most personal nonhuman relationship we may ever have. Home is something we “provide” for ourselves and our loved ones. It offers control over our physical setting and our leisure. It provides security and independence. In the best-case scenario, home is our sanctuary. The psychology of housing decision-making is rooted in our housing past. That history starts with childhood dreams of a safe, secure, happy home, dreams that persist long into adulthood. Identifying childhood relationships to home will help give you insight into your current feelings, and even what may be holding you hostage about your decision. The goal, however, is a home that fully reflects your adult values rather than needs mired in your childhood.
In addition, everyone has a “housing profile.” Discover yours and you are on your way to making a smart decision, whether that decision involves buying, selling, remodeling or investing in another home.
Your unique housing profile consists of four areas:
- Personal factors that deal with your identity, desire for autonomy, need for personal safety, security, and other aspects of the “real you.”
- Social factors that refer to your concerns about others: your partner, family members, friends, neighbors, and the people in your community.
- Tangible factors include the physical comforts that are important to you about where you live. The home itself and its surroundings, convenience, commuting time to your job or business, schools and other aspects of your home’s location.
- Money factors are what you think or believe about your financial affairs: how you handle money, savings and investments. It really isn’t about how much you have.
If you can recall your housing past and prioritize your current housing values, you can more easily make housing choices and push through any decision barriers that may be stopping you from having the home of your choice.
Fully understood, this system reveals competing values, needs, wants and “shoulds.” Your housing value system is your best tool for making good housing choices. It can help you stay focused and maintain your objectivity, guiding you through all that really matters to you. It can help you counter frustration and anxiety so you can sort through your alternatives and make your best decision. Most importantly, it can guide you to decisions based on your true housing values and needs rather than on subconscious wants or other people’s “shoulds.”