Often, I tell people about our most exciting projects and the direction DREI is going in the future and I run into this sticking point: What’s a happy home? Aren’t you a real estate company? How can you “build” a happy home?
Well, the short answer is that we can’t. Not directly. So I can well understand why the term causes confusion. A happy home is after all a place where people are glad to live and are also, well, happy. We obviously can’t bottle up happiness into the places we prepare for people; what we CAN do though is use our knowledge of what it takes for most people to be happy to create a space where it’s convenient and easy for the occupants to be so. If it is convenient and easy for any resident of a home to do the things they need to do to be happy… for the purposes of my real estate company I’m calling that a happy home.
The big contention that I want to head off here is that yes, in fact, we do really, actually, KNOW what makes most people happy. Real estate professionals already do their best to supply many of them:
I didn’t take the time to try to make the list comprehensive, but these are the general sorts of things you should expect already from residential real estate in the USA. Why shouldn’t we expect more though? All of those things are just in the first two levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… but there are FIVE levels! In the same way real estate can make it easier for people to get to water by plumbing a house we can provide means by which higher needs are easier to satisfy as well. A happy home as opposed to any other home in America is then a home in which the designer has gone the extra mile to foresee and provide for more of the resident’s needs.
The means by which real estate can be designed to help residents feel a sense of belonging, or love, or self-esteem, or self-actualization in their homes will need to be the topic of another post, but if you’re burning to know more, you should know this isn’t my idea. I got it from a gentleman by the name of Charles Montgomery through the reading of his book: Happy City. He also has a website where you can learn about some of the specific design techniques without waiting for my next post: thehappycity.com.
I’m not paid for this advertisement. I haven’t asked Charles about it even, but I know that we at DREI want to be a part of the next real estate revolution that raises our expectations for our living spaces. If you want to learn more about what we’re doing and how you could potentially take part give us a call at 503-376-6060, and as always, leave a comment below.