House vs Home: what is the difference between a house and a home?


House vs Home: what is the difference between a house and a home?
A refugee in her new home. Photo copyright Wayne Nhuang.

If someone works hard and make a lot of money, it’s not that difficult to buy a house. But a home needs more than just money.

A big and decorative, expensive furniture, a high-quality model, in a very good neighborhood, school district, access to hospitals, shopping centers, big and high-quality TV and high-speed internet, etc. are easy to buy with money. But there is something which no one can buy with money, does not matter how much money he has. And that’s a HOME.

Even though we put these two words (house and home) together while we speak or write, but I think those two words are different. As I already mentioned above how one can buy a house. Once he buys a house, he has to struggle throughout his life to make it a home and some people succeed and some don’t.

A home is something which can’t be bought with money.

A house needs commitment, sacrifice, love, affections, understanding, respect, care, honesty etc. to make it a home. And a lot of us are not able to turn a house to home because we lack those qualities. We always want to compete with someone who has bought a house. We see him living in comfort and happiness. We never try to compare our lives to those who live in streets.

And as a refugee who is migrated from such a place and condition like me, I have almost nothing to worry about for house related topics. I live in an apartment where there is no chance of rain getting in during rainy summer, there is no fear of falling trees by the wind at night, I don’t have to have an empty pot on top of me while I sleep to get rid of roof dripping. I don’t have to count stars from my bed at night, which I had faced while I was a refugee.

I have seen many people who bought a house and are now moving to the apartment.

It may be either because it is difficult to afford or they had bought a house with the least understanding. I hear people saying, even after paying the mortgage for thirty years, their house can be their own not considering the taxes. Usually, if it’s the total payment of one thousand dollars only maximum of three hundred dollars goes to a mortgage which makes people sell it and move to the apartment. And also I have seen some people happily staying in a house they bought.

Whoever buys a house with a maximum understanding of everything regarding taxes and mortgage and are able to afford to it with the money they make, it’s a good thing to have a house of our own. When I see a friend who was born in the United States and he is almost fifty years and he still lives in an apartment, I feel like I probably do not need to buy a house. At the same time when a friend like me who came here two years back in refugee status has already bought a beautiful house, then, I think I should also go for it.

I’m in a dilemma which means I still cannot decide what is better for me.

Buy a house and pay every time whenever there is a very minor problem in the house because I have zero knowledge regarding its maintenance or just give a call to the leasing office when my toilet is blocked because my daughter put her toy in it, which I don’t have to pay. And also I don’t want to use all the money I make on buying a house as I have many other areas where I need money. So this topic of buying a house in the United States is a bit challenging for me.

But, in the meantime, even while facing this dilemma about a house, I can still try to make a home for my family.

About Indra M.