By Craig Knizek
My buyer clients often ask me if a prospective house they’re considering purchasing will be a “good investment.” When the home is to be their primary residence, the place where they raise a family, the site where they wake up each day and return to each night, then I counsel my clients not to worry only about the home’s appreciation value but to also consider the value of “priceless” moments they’ll enjoy with loved ones while spending time in that residence.
Family celebrations — whether a Friday night Shabbat, a Sunday Father’s Day BBQ, a child’s birthday celebration, or a home wedding — create emotional value immeasurably greater than a purchase price or mortgage payment can quantify.
Using your own home to host these milestone events greatly enhances and deepens the connective bonds you and your family will feel while celebrating. The home wedding, for example, serves to add to the pride that the bride’s or groom’s parents feel while watching their child, who grew up in the very place, move on to another phase of his or her life.
A home can be magically transformed from an everyday abode that we take for granted, to a special site for significant lifetime events: a walkway lit with soft candlelight, a towering tree that provides shelter for seated guests, the sports court that serves as a dance floor, the grassy yard that comfortably hosts cocktails, or the lovely garden that surrounds the bride and groom as they say their wedding vows. As the famed VISA commercial says, flowers and candles: $79, Grandma’s smile: Priceless.
30 Latimer Road in Rustic Canyon is one such special property. It is tucked away serenely at the base of Santa Monica Canyon amidst towering sycamore trees and bucolic foliage. This beautiful and serene landscape has inspired two generations of the Witherhill family to have a sense of gratitude and delight for their surroundings.
Owners Liston and Carolyn raised ten children on the expansive three-plus acres within their 10,000 square foot home. The investment value of the property is unquestionable, but from the sandbox in the backyard serving as an ad hoc pre-school for the neighborhood children to the huge flat grassy front yard hosting wedding ceremonies, the family has enjoyed the added value their coveted surroundings provide.
When I held my two daughters’ Bat Mitzvah ceremonies in my own backyard, I felt immense satisfaction that I was hosting my family and friends in my home to witness and share such a momentous event.
Properties that can accommodate family events, whether small or large, and add a value so much greater than a purchase price tag. It is the special location, and the unique site attributes that will promote and enhance any family event, that make a property a home.