Dunaway Law July 2019

July 2019


One Perimeter Park South, Suite 100 North, Birmingham, AL 35243 • 205.705.3590 • MatthewDunaway.com

Where the Heart Is The Difference Between a House and a Home

When I think of home, I picture looking through the door and finding my wife and kids there. On really good nights, I’ll grill some meat, my wife cooks the sides, and we have family supper around the table. Afterward, my son does his homework and plays video games, my wife and daughter watch TV together, and I get to read in my favorite chair. Home is where my family is. We as human beings have a deep need to find or build our home. We crave a sense of belonging, and a home provides that. But here’s the thing: A home is very different than a house, and over time our culture has conflated the two. Homeownership was a huge deal, and there were a bunch of programs and incentives to help Americans realize that dream. Owning a house wasn’t just something you could do; it was something you had to do. Today, renting is seen as “not good enough.” You’re not a “real” American unless you own your house. We’ve come to a point that even people who own their home are made to feel like they should always be thinking about getting a bigger house, even if they don’t need one. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to own your house or wanting a bigger house if you can afford it, but the all-or-nothing mentality behind homeownership has gotten us into a lot of trouble. Just look at how the housing crisis contributed to the Great Recession in After World War II, our society was really sold on the concept of “the American dream.”

A home should never be a burden.

valuable than the house your grandfather built and lived in for 50 years. Home is where you and your family are at in that moment, and the house you choose to establish those roots in should match. When you think about your house, it’s important that you can afford it. We should aim to live comfortably within our means and not be seduced into spending more just because we’re told this is what we’re “supposed to do.” The concept of a home has been adulterated by social pressures. That’s why we have so many people with homes they can’t afford, struggling beneath the burden. A home should never be a burden. My home can be anywhere: a house, a rental apartment, or even a trailer. It doesn’t matter to me. As long as I have my wife and kids with me, that’s my home.

2008. People were getting houses they didn’t need and being approved for mortgages they couldn’t possibly afford. I think if we as a society were able to take a step back and ask ourselves what a home really is, we could avoid a lot of stress. What’s the point of having a home? Is just to brag about a big house on the hill? No. A house is a shelter, and home is the place where our family is at. When I was growing up, my family lived in rental homes until I was a sophomore in high school. I never noticed the difference. I only knew that home was where I could go after school, where my family was at, and where I could feel safe. A home is a place where we establish our roots. They don’t have to be decades of roots. A rental home you live in for a year is no less

–Matt Dunaway

1 Phone: 205.705.3590

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