As an attorney who handles clients’ real estate matters on a regular basis, I’ve seen some of the real estate market’s roller coaster movement up and down and its impact on our clients firsthand. Multiple offers, bidding war, financing failure, low inventory, rising interest rates, and disappointments. Real estate is so different from other types of assets and possessions; among them, one’s home is especially so.
One’s home is often viewed as a seed for personal and family’s wealth accumulation because of the appreciation in value and equity growth over time. Government also provides tax incentives (deduction for mortgage interests and property tax payments, as well as exemption for capital gains on a sale of a primary home up to a certain limit) in favor of homeownership.
Home is also where one can feel safe and protected from outside world, where children can dream and experiment, where a family can build their holiday traditions, and where a hospitality to neighbors and others can be practiced.
Amid all the headlines of unstable real estate market and real estate woes I see in our clients’ lives, an article caught my attention:
“There Are Many Mansions in Heaven, but We’d Like Something Sooner,”
written by Julie Kilcur, published in Christianity Today in August 2022.
The author herself was experiencing the rush and the desire for home and was facing challenges in finding a suitable home for her and her family. She asks: is the broken housing market an opportunity to practice the virtue of contentment? Is making homes here on earth godly and good? How should we reconcile our good and right longing for home with the realities of the financial hardships and unstable market? What is home truly for?
She cited C.S. Lewis from his work in The Problem of Pain: “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home” and asks us to think through how we, as Christians, should fashion the “pleasant inns.” This article will give you a lot to think about.