I love my current home and made it from a house I bought about eight years ago. You see in my view, a home is something you make and a house is just a place where you live. I believe you can make a home in a tiny space and enormous properties aren't necessarily homes, but can be. You see for me, a home is a safe and familiar place where comfort matters and safety is real.
My grandparents came to America from Latvia, which was then a part of Russia. While both my parents were born in this country their sibling made the trip with their parents and understood the freedom and opportunities that would be available to them here.
My maternal grandmother died in her early forties and my Mother was the youngest in her family. I remember my grandfather and I remember the call from an aunt to my Mom when my grandfather died. I was three. My parents owned a hardware store and we lived in the back. Believe it or not I remember my crib and I remember when we were robbed. Shortly thereafter my parents bought their first home: a row-home in a suburban area of Philadelphia. It was the only home I ever knew and I loved the neighborhood.
When I went to junior high I had a ceramics teacher who was also the adviser of a youth group I belonged to. After a performance of some sort that my parents attended, my Mother recognized my teachers wife from her childhood. Apparently this woman had lived in my grandparents home with her Mother and Grandmother. They leased a couple of rooms. Talk about a small world. My Grandfather had owned a home too.
When years later I found myself in school in northern Wisconsin I met kids whose parents owned single family homes. I thought they must be rich because I had never seen a free standing home. They weren't rich, they just came from a different area where there were no row-homes. That's when I learned that all real estate is local.
My first property was an investment. I rented an apartment while owning a multi family home I couldn't afford to live in. I finally bought a townhome, yes I guess a throw back to my parents place, where I felt I had arrived. It was special and I knew I was safe and secure.
Home ownership for me is about freedom, freedom to do as you like in a space that is yours. Is it an achievement? I think so.