When it comes to real estate, there is a lot of information to digest. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it can be overwhelming.

Determining value is one section of the market where there is extensive information, and it isn’t always clear. When we deal with value, we look at many different factors to come up with a home’s value. The majority of this is based on current market transactions.

There is another factor that helps to make up value, but it can’t be gauged by numbers or comparables. That is the emotional value of what makes your house a home. How does this translate into usable information for you as a seller, and is it something that buyers will view as valuable to them?

According to the National Association of Realtors, “Homeownership boosts the educational performance of children, induces higher participation in civic and volunteering activity, improves health-care outcomes, lowers crime rates and lessens welfare dependency.” These are all aspects of what makes a home important, beyond the physical walls and the quantitative value.

Obviously, the good times you’ve had with family and friends, the milestones you’ve celebrated in your home mean something to you, but does anyone else care about those experiences? Is there something else beyond personal experiences that creates added value in your home?

What happens to you when you come home? How does it change or enhance who you are? This is the qualitative degree of importance that isn’t always easy to convey.

I’ve reached out to some homeowners in the area to get their thoughts on what makes their house a home.

Second-home owner Don Hollis reflects, “Our Stowe Hollow home has beautiful views in all directions. Upon arrival, we ‘become one with nature’ — given the comprehensive mix of wildlife which complements the pond, trees, shrubs and flowers, plus the beautiful work done by Vermont carpenters and masons.”

In Don’s case the ability to “become one with nature” has significant importance to the family and is one aspect of their home that presents added value not only to them, but also to others who wish to experience the same connection.

Andrew Volansky grew up in Stowe and is now a full-time resident in Morrisville with his wife, Jen, and two sons, Tucker and Jaxon. He offers two unique perspectives as not only a local, but also as an architect for the Cushman Design Group based in Stowe.

For his personal home, Andrew says, “One of the more intangible aspects of our home is its location within our neighborhood. We see little to no traffic, and the privacy that that affords us is hard to realize until you spend a fair amount of time at our home. Our young boys have grown up riding their bikes and scooters on the road with little fear or danger of a car passing by. The few that do are usually our neighbors. We also find that, due to the fact that our road is a loop, we get to interact with our neighbors as they walk or bike for exercise.”

Andrew also works with people who are designing and building new homes in the area.

According to Andrew, “One of the more rewarding aspects of designing custom homes for my clients is the frequent site meetings that occur during construction. Most of our clients enjoy seeing incremental progress that occurs throughout construction. The clients often develop lasting relationships with the crews. … For the clients, they get to know the people who create their homes and it makes the experience that much more personal to them.”

Finally, I was able to speak with longtime Hyde Park residents Ed Connors and Carolyn Roberts, who have lived and worked in the area for many years. For them, their home and community bring different sets of emotions and value to the surface.

“We built here over 20 years ago and have found that living in Hyde Park is vastly underrated. We are able to live in a very rural setting with total privacy and magnificent views and still be minutes from an excellent hospital, easily accessible schools and a wonderful community of arts and culture.”

Additionally, they mention, “The close proximity to Stowe, Smugglers’ Notch and Jay Peak offer many choices in winter and summer activities.”

As our locals have described, there is always added value within a home beyond the number. Conveying the emotional value is always a hard task, but it’s an important aspect to what makes your house a home.

Using this value along with market realities can create the right mix of quantitative and qualitative values.

McKee Macdonald is a broker with the Smith Macdonald Group, part of Coldwell Banker Carlson Real Estate of Stowe. Comment on this article at stowereporter.com, or email letters to news@stowereporter.com.

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