Despite what you may hear in the media, the word home has more meanings than a simple place where you live. Home is a feeling of belongingness, it’s where you can laugh, shout or cry without fear of judgment, it’s where your family and friends are, it’s your sanctuary from the outside world. A home can also be the person you share an honest and pure relationship with, someone who makes you forget about your day and the tiredness you feel.

In the real estate market, when buying a new home, you will often hear the phrase “Location, location, location.” The home’s location should fit your lifestyle. This could mean how close it is to work or school, the ease of commuting, whether you can walk to restaurants and stores, parks, etc. During house hunting, be sure to drive around the area and get a feel for the neighborhood.

There are many things you should consider before purchasing a new home, such as mortgage rates and affordability, but the most important factor is making sure it’s the right fit for your lifestyle. A home can be anything from a traditional single-family residence to a condo, or even an apartment. When you are ready to start your search, make a list of the “must-haves” you want in your next home. Be sure to include key factors such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, kitchen size, backyard space and more.

When you have a clear picture of your dream home, you can focus on finding the best fit for you and your family. When you are ready to begin your search, be prepared for the process of finding a purchasing agent, securing a loan and more. But most importantly, remember that it is not uncommon for a house to take some time before it feels like your home.

As more people travel and live in places that aren’t their home, the idea of what it means to be at home has changed. In this series of talks, writers from a variety of backgrounds explore their ideas about the concept of home. From a writer who lives in multiple countries to a professor who studies the impact of culture on identity, these speakers offer thought-provoking insights into what it means to be home.