SPONSORED POST: Dede Long of Pinnacle Residential Properties writes about the importance of home and giving thanks during this holiday season.
My Nana loved Thanksgiving. She had this beautiful, old, framed cross-stitch hanging in the dining room of her modest home in Georgia that read “If Contentment is the Theme, Life’s Melody is Sweet.” When I was little, she would read it to me and then ask me if I understood what it meant. When I didn’t get it quite right, she would explain: “Sugar, everyone wants to be happy in life. But happiness cannot coexist with discontentment. Happiness is the result of contentment.” She gave it to me when I graduated from college, reminding me of the importance of finding contentment. It has hung on the wall in every home I have lived in since.
When I moved to Wellesley years ago, I was stunned to discover that the town settlers originally named Wellesley “Contentment.” It felt like I had somehow found my way home, with a little help from my dear Nana Helen.
This year has been a lesson in contentment to be sure. As we come upon Thanksgiving, my Nana’s favorite holiday as well as my own, I think back to all the memories of Thanksgivings past—things I may have taken for granted—and realize that most all those memories are tied to a feeling of being content at home. The aroma of sweet potato pie wafting from the kitchen, images of the dining room table covered with lovingly prepared dishes. Loved ones sitting in mismatched chairs around card tables, and sounds of laughter as children run up and down the hall while my granddaddy fussed that we better behave ourselves. Football games and second servings, followed by naps we blamed on the turkey. Board games and touch football. And long hugs goodbye. The state of being content at home is what Thanksgiving is all about.
Our homes, redefined:
As Thanksgiving arrives this year, many of us have been questioning our sense of being content at home. The circumstances of this year have redefined the role of home in many practical ways. While homes are and remain a place of refuge and rest, the functionality of our homes has expanded into areas we never before expected. That has thrown our ability to be content off-balance in some cases. As a result, we have seen the market reflecting the struggle of homeowners to reestablish their sense of balance between these new demands and their contentment with where and how they live at home. Three primary groups have evolved: The Remodelers, The Relocators, and The Redecorators.
The Remodelers are homeowners who want to (or need to) stay put, either because they love their current home or moving is not feasible, and they have chosen to transform their current home into what they functionally need. Home offices are being built to support and sustain the family well-being. School-age children have dedicated classroom space to further their growth and development and to provide a sense of order and continuity. Basements are being converted to proper in-home gyms to promote mental and physical health. Families are asking their contractors for entertainment areas like game and media rooms. There has been a rise in the installation of amenities like pools, fire pits, backyard zip lines, and treehouses. These homeowners are completely reworking, and in some cases rebuilding, their homes to establish a sense of contentment at home.
The Relocators make up the buyer pool responsible for a noteworthy shift in the real estate market this year. Some families are moving within town, but many of the buyers we see are relocating from more densely populated areas to the suburbs in order to enjoy the things more square footage or land will allow. This level of buyer demand, coupled with the lack of inventory, has created a seller’s market unlike what we have seen in many decades.
The favorable interest rates have also fueled this segment. Despite the seller’s market, both sellers and buyers have the incentive to upgrade with the attractive rates for mortgages. It has been the busiest year on record for Pinnacle Residential Properties since it was founded in Wellesley 17 years ago. The buyer demand remains high even now as we head into the holidays, a time we normally see a slow-down. Simply put, it is a very good time to list your home if you are considering it—the buyers are eager and waiting.
These homeowners are exploring ways to rediscover their home through redecorating and repurposing. They, too, are doing things like setting up home offices and school-room space, but in a more DIY fashion. For example, many homeowners have purged their attics and storage spaces, donated their unused stuff, and are putting their newfound space to good use. They are painting rooms to renew the energy, or have gotten new furniture. Even things as simple as moving furniture has proven to refresh the flow of a room, transforming the feel of the space. Many clients have told us there is an added benefit of feeling more organized and fulfilled from the good that comes out of donating to worthy causes.
Whether you fit into one or none of these groups, no doubt you’ve found yourself doing one or more of these activities. Cleaning out an attic. Setting up an office. Creating an outdoor space for COVID-friendly entertainment. The commonality that weaves it all together is the need to feel our home still serves the needs of our families. We all yearn to rebalance what home is to us now that it has been redefined. Doing so gives us a sense of normalcy and safety, and yes, happiness is a result of contentment. Nana was right.
As we adjust our traditions this year—a noble and patriotic act to protect those we hold so dear—may we be thankful for our memories of Thanksgiving with our families in years past, may we find comfort in the homes we have today, and may we look forward to opening the door to our homes and embracing our loved ones with a hug next Thanksgiving. In the meantime, may we continue to look after one another in this beautiful town of Wellesley, still very worthy of the name “Contentment.”
Wishing you and yours a happy, content, and above all, safe Thanksgiving.
Balancing contentment and home
If you’d like some ideas about how to rebalance contentment with your home, give me a call. Whether you want to explore options for buying or selling, or just want to paint, or move your furniture, I’d love to hear from you!
Dede Long, Realtor
Pinnacle Residential Properties
555 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
+1 (617) 717- 9683 mobile
+1 (781) 237-5000 office