How do you define home? This seems like a simple question. Most often my clients define home with a price range, a particular style of house, by the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, a town or school district. In my own experience, I have done the same thing. A home search starts as a result of a need for something that your current home no longer adequately provides. I have moved a lot in the past 12 years, so much so that I have become the butt of many jokes among my family and friends. Part of the reason for all the moves had to do with a need for more space to accommodate our growing family, part of it was a result of my passion for all things real estate and part of it was something more. The something more is rarely talked about and it is something I never defined until recently.

How do you relax? Do you need peace and tranquility or do you prefer the steady hum of traffic? Do you feel at home in a close knit neighborhood, or does the thought of being surrounded by homes on all sides make you anxious? Our overall well being is something that is often overlooked when we start to search for a home. We become consumed with finding just the right aesthetic and having all the latest updates and upgrades. We want the right school district and the perfect commute and we just don’t think about how a home is going to make us feel. All your must haves and wish list items are important but they should also complement your personality type. Each time I moved, I overlooked the most important factor for my well being. I need to be able to look out any given window in my home and see nature and not my neighbor. I didn’t realize that until I bought the home I am in now. I would make blanket statements like, “I need more trees.” My husband often looked at me like I was a little crazy and accused me of being antisocial. Unconsciously, I realized that I loved the woods and living among nature, but I didn’t make the connection between my appreciation for nature with my need for this type of surrounding to be able to relax. Let’s face it, there is a lot of noise in the world. Our lives are controlled chaos most days and they are just getting busier. If you don’t find the right environment in which you can truly relax and be at peace, then your home may add to your stress. My Godmother always says, “A home should be a soft place to fall.” What does that statement mean to you? The next time you are looking to make a move, define what your soft place to fall looks like and add it to your list of must-haves.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.