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Do You Live in a House or a Home?

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.


The Words "House" and "Home" Are Misused

Nine out of ten people misuse the words "house" and "home" without giving it a second thought. Real estate agents who should know better, use the word "home" inappropriately. Perhaps no one has had the heart to tell them the difference. Did you know there is a difference?

People are so excited when they are moving that they post a beautiful photo of a building and call it their new home. That is the wrong word to use. They are buying a "house." Once they move in, the house can be made into a home.

Don't be like those people who say, "I'm buying a home" when it would be more appropriate to say, "I'm buying a house." No one can buy a home.

After a house is bought, it becomes a home by the love, support, and mutual support of the household.

Listen to Luther Vandross sings A House Is Not a Home. He doesn't beat around the bush. He comes right out and says what a house is and what a house is not as well as what a home is and what a home is not.

What Is a House?

The words "house" and "home" are closely akin that people mistakenly think the two words can be used interchangeably, but that's not correct.

So, what is a house?

A house is a building made of brick and mortar. The size doesn't matter as long as it has walls, windows, and a door. The unit that you live in is a house and should not be called a home. The unit that you live in with others is a household no matter how large or small the group is as long as the people live under the same roof.

What Is a Home?

A home is not a building that can be bought. A home is made up of the relationship of the people living in a house.

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It is safe to say that a house is a building or a structure made by hands, but a home is the relationships made by hearts.

  • The word to use when referring to a building is house.
  • The word to use when referring to the relationship of the household is home.
  • A house is a structure you live in.
  • A home is a bonding effect within that structure.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which is correct?
    • I am buying a home.
    • I am buying a house.
  2. Which is correct?
    • My family and I are going home to play games and watch television.
    • My family and I are going to look at homes to buy.
  3. Which is correct?
    • My real estate agent is taking me house hunting tomorrow.
    • My real estate agent is taking me home hunting tomorrow.

Answer Key

  1. I am buying a house.
  2. My family and I are going home to play games and watch television.
  3. My real estate agent is taking me house hunting tomorrow.

Family Enjoying Their Home


Quotes about a House and a Home

You might have heard these popular quotes about a house and a home.

  • "Home Sweet Home"
  • "A man's home is his castle."
  • "There is no place like home."
  • "Make yourself at home."
  • "You can never go home again."
  • "Home is where the heart is."
  • "A House Is Not a Home" (1964 ballad by Luther Vandross)
  • Robert Frost said it best in his poem, "The Death of the Hired Man" when he said, "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in." The hired hand was not part of the family but when he was ready to die, he went back to the place where he knew he was loved.

A house is not a home, but it can become one by the action of the people who live there when everyone does what it takes to fit into the family unit.

Does This Photo Represent a House or a Home?



Howard L Taylor on June 16, 2020:

What a wonderful article. We rarely think of the difference in a house vs. a home. And, to conclude with Luther, you have overdone yourself Sister Minnicks. Please share this with your sister in the east end and the southside. :)

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