An acquaintance of mine (we used to be in Sunday School together and have some mutual friends) said after she and her husband bought their first house, that they finally, after three years of marriage, had a place to call home.

I agree that there is something wonderful and special about home ownership, but I don’t think my name on a deed makes where I live a home. And that’s what she said – that if they lived in an apartment, it wasn’t a place they could call home.

Owning a home is wonderful, and when we lived in an apartment, we knew home ownership was what we eventually wanted, but I never felt like coming home to our apartment wasn’t really coming home, that I had disappointment and anxiety living there. It was a place we could afford while working towards the goal of home ownership, and it was where Hubby and I spent the first months of our married life.

No, I couldn’t paint the walls, but I could decorate, practice making yummy meals, have friends over and spend time with Hubby. And those last two things are what I think are most important when I think about what makes a place a home – the people who are there.When we go visit my grandparents I always say I’m going “home” because that’s what it feels like. I don’t own their house, I’ve not stayed there for more than a week consecutively, but it feels like home because of the people who live there. Same thing goes for my parents’ house and friends’ houses where I feel especially comfortable.

Yes, home-ownership provides a sense of belonging in an area, especially if you don’t have long-standing ties there, but it certainly doesn’t make a place a home. At least, that’s what I think. What do you think?