Getting that Sense of Place

Posted February 3, 2019 in Special Features

Lauren Aldous, Clark County WA real estate agent

Have you ever had that feeling when you walk in somewhere and just know you belong there? You can’t explain it but when you’re there, you are there. This is called a Sense of Place.​ It is an emotional or psychological reaction a person can have to a community, neighborhood, or single dwelling space. There is even a real science behind it that links Sense of Place to economic prosperity based on a simple formula of good form leading to good activity. It does kind of make sense.

A Sense of Place can feel just real as your other senses. Just as real as smell or sound or taste. You just know it when you’re there, that you feel at home. Your feeling of home is completely subjective and not everyone will react in the same way to the same place. So when your partner or family all collectively share the same Sense of Place, that is something special.

These days when we shop for homes, we assemble our home search into price point first and then add in things like bedrooms, bathrooms, yard size, proximity to schools and so forth. But there’s no search filter for Sense of Place.

We look at photos of homes online and try to imagine ourselves living there. Sometimes these photos are stylized or sometimes the photos do not do a home justice. Without walking through a home, there’s no way to know if you’ll get that unexplainable feeling of a Sense of Place. You won’t know the feeling until you’re physically there. Also, the home that looked perfect in pictures may not feel right in person.

You’ve worked very hard for your opportunity to buy a home, so don’t sell yourself short by limiting too much of your search to online only. I cannot say how many times I’ve shown a home where the photos were poor quality or from the wrong angles, only to show up finding an absolute gem of a property that gave the buyer that mysterious Sense of Place. Yet other times, a buyer loved the photos yet didn’t quite feel at home.

Despite our technological capabilities to conduct home searches via virtual tours and enhanced digital images, nothing can replace a personal visit. More often than not, you just have to see a home in person.

Lauren Aldous is a real estate broker and exclusive buyer’s agent for SW Washington. | 360-936-4577