Fab Real Estate Blog: What Makes a House a Home - New Fairfield, Connecticut

What Makes a House a Home - New Fairfield, Connecticut

As a real estate agent and an appraiser, I spend my days looking at a lot of homes here in Connecticut.  Nice homes and ugly homes.  Clean homes and messy homes.  Large homes and small homes.  Extravagantly updated homes and homes with just the bare essentials.

They all have one thing in common:  They're not just houses, but rather, they're homes.  There is a difference.

When you are selling your home, it becomes a house.  You clean it, fix it, stage it and present it as a commodity:  a house for sale.  Of course, you do so in such a way that potential buyers will be able to envision it as becoming their new home.

But marketing your house for sale is so very different than living in your home.  When you live in a home, there are imperfections that you let slide.  You hold off on repainting, because you know the kids are just going to ruin the new paint job, too.  You let your family room sofa continue to deteriorate, as the kids are still young enough that they're going to jump on it and ruin the next one anyway.  You don't always repair the brown patches in the lawn, because the kids will now use that spot as home plate.  Or is that just in my home?  Am I the only one with kids that trample through their home like wrecking balls?

What makes my house my home?

wall damage

 

 

The wall damage caused by the kids pushing my chair into the wall every time they sit in it.  Of course, the chair hits the wall just below the chair rail, which I now refer to as the "Above-the-Chair Rail."

Sure, I could spackle and repaint this area.  But not yet.  Not until I get a taller chair.  Or until the kids move out.

 handprint

 

 

The handprints on my windows.  This one is upside down.  How did they do that?  Was it planned?  It must have been.

I go through a lot of Windex.  Though, I've learned that baby wipes are quite good for quick window cleanings.

 

 

  toys

 

Toys...toys...toys everywhere.

Of course, the kids can't play with just one or two toys at a time.  Instead, they dump out a box of toys and then play with the ones they want.  At least they now clean up after themselves...usually...

 

 

 crayon art

 

Crayon Art.  This has to be my favorite.  Though it wasn't originally...

Two weeks after we moved into our brand new house (it was still a house...we hadn't turned it into our home yet), my then-4 year old son snuck his crayons into his room...and created this masterpiece while we thought he was napping.

His artwork is still there.  I figure we'll leave it until he's old enough to know better.  I think that will be when he hits the age of about 32.

 

 

 

Of course, it's not all bad.  And, I do know that if the above is the worst I have to deal with, then I really don't have much room to complain.  My home does have some bright spots...

fireplace

 

 

There's the gas fireplace that doesn't put out much heat, so we can enjoy it all year long.  Of course, we can't use it again until we find the remote control that turns it on and off.  Where could the kids have put that? 

 

 stuffed nemo

 

 

The many over-sized Disney items...yeah, I enjoy them as much as the kids do.

 

 

 

 tub

 

 

There's the Jacuzzi tub, because the kids do eventually go to bed.

 

 

 sofa

 

 

And with careful reconfiguration of the cushions, my family room sofa can be made to be kid-sized, with room to spare for the dog to supervise.

Did you notice there are no pages in that book he's "reading?"  He ripped them all out.  I guess the book cover is more fun than those silly words on all those pages, anyway. 

 

 

A house is what you buy and sell.
A home is where you live.  Warts and all.

 

 Search other What Makes a House a Home entries.

 

Don Fabrizio-Garcia, REALTOR
Connecticut Real Estate & Appraisals
203.746.1199
Connecticut Real Estate and Homes for Sale

Comment balloon 17 commentsDon Fabrizio-Garcia • May 23 2007 11:09AM

Comments

Love the hand print....  that is a mystery. 
Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 11 years ago
Maureen - My little guy loves to put his handprints all over my kitchen windows.  On the sidelight windows by the front door, he likes to smush his face up against it, leaving lip and nose prints.  He's very proud of his work.
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
personally I love making nose marks myself.  I do resist when showing homes though. 
Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 11 years ago
Hi Maureen - It's probably a good idea to refrain from making squishy-nose-prints on windows when showing homes.  I don't think the owners would like that too much!
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Don, this was AWESOME!  I rated you a five out of five!  I love how you not only told us about the charms of your home, you showed us.  The "Above-the-chair-rail" is my favorite.  :o)  Your son is adorable, thanks for sharing!
Posted by Sarah Cooper (Real Estate Shows) over 11 years ago
Hi Sarah - Thanks for the kind words.  My son says thanks, too!  The whole "Above-the-chair-rail" issue is really pretty annoying, but we gave up worrying about it for now.
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Don, all loving homes with family's in them should have hand-prints and crayon Art. I love it!
Posted by Danny Smith (DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES) over 11 years ago
Danny - Handprints, crayon art and Sharpee marker on the granite counters - but that one at least rubbed right off!  And, hey, it was my fault for leaving the Sharpee out...
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
I love the crayon art!  And, you really should have taken a picture of a shmushy nose/lips print too.  By the way, they never outgrow that -- my 16 year old still does it on our storm door and sidelights.  Windex will never go out of style, no matter how old the kids get.  Great post - thanks for sharing!
Posted by Jeannie Kontis over 11 years ago

Don,

That brought back "fond" memories of eldest daughter. We had just painted her bedroom pink; bought matching curtains and bedspread. A room fit for a pink princess.

Princess found a permanent purple marker...and when we thought she was napping, she was drawing whales and waves all over her wall. She was talented! I left the art masterpiece up until we had to move. Then repainted. 

Posted by Eileen Landau, ABR, CRS, e-PRO (BAIRD & WARNER, NAPERVILLE) over 11 years ago

Jeannie - The crayon art wasn't so great when the house was two weeks old.  But we've learned to love it.  We keep saying we're going to paint that bedroom, but then we realize it's probably not worth it yet.

Eileen - Purple and pink.  Now that was one bright room!  I'm glad I'm not the only one who leaves this art on the walls.

Though I do my best to clean up the "food art" on my kitchen walls.  At least now that they're getting older, the food art contests are becoming more and more infrequent.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago
Great job!  Congratulations on capturing the spirit of this contest!     
Posted by Colleen Kulikowski, Creative Real Estate Solutions... (The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago
Thanks, Colleen.
Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Don.....  I liked your outlook on this, that a home as imperfections. That it's yours and why clean something that the kids will wreck anyhow. And you ending statement, that a house is what you sell and a home is where you live.  Thanks for sharing this.

                                                                                                            jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 11 years ago
Don - Thanks for sharing your family and your home with us. The handprints on glass, walls with nicks, Picasso's on the wall........everyday reminders, this is home. When my children were small, I had a saying, "Someday, I will wish there was someone here making a mess, so I don't make too much out of it." Sounds like you have the same hilosophy.
Posted by Paula Henry, Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174 (Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group) over 11 years ago

              All i wanna know is how many kids u have...

Posted by diamond over 11 years ago

Paula - It took us a while, but yes, we no longer worry about the messes or the handprints or the stains...they can all be painted or cleaned or repaired.  They're kids.  They should make a mess.  Of course, when we have company coming and we're trying to clean up...then we're not as pleased with all the handprints everywhere!

Diamond - three kids.  All boys.  They make a mess.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) over 11 years ago

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