Fresno’s housing market has mirrored the rest of the country over the last few years with skyrocketing prices, yet local students from the area have a different focus on what it means to have a home.
The Fresno Association of Realtors sponsored the HomeWords Essay Contest, giving students in three different age categories an opportunity to win a $400 prize by writing an essay on what a home means to them.
The answers didn’t deal in terms of interest rates, equity, foreclosures, or any of the typical real estate terms.
Instead, a major theme provided by the students centered on safety and security.
For Fresno Christian 5th grade student Katie Jansen, 11, a home means comfort, safety and warmth.
“Let’s say it’s cold outside, I can turn the heater on and be warm. Or if it’s really hot outside, I can turn the air on and I can be cooler,” Jansen said. “When I’m really tired I can get into bed and be cozy. For protection I have alarms and locks, so I feel safe with that, and I have my sister and mom with me.”
Mason Jordan, 12, is a sixth grade student at Manchester Gate agreed with Jansen: A home is a place of protection where memories are made.
“When I think of a home – where family is, where memories are made, where you can speak your thoughts without being judged,” Jordan said. “It’s just like a place that’s kind of like a sanctuary.”
The same rings true for Washington Union junior Lucas Bolden, who is 16.
“For me a home really means somewhere I can feel safe and sleep soundly without having to have a worry and where I can spend quality time with my family,” Bolden said.
“Anything can change at any moment, and how you could just be in a different home at any time really. Something could just go horribly wrong and you could just be placed somewhere else, and it may not feel the same way it has before.”
Longtime Fresno realtor Don Scordino hosts his real estate-based radio show every Saturday morning and started the essay contest, which is now in its third year.
“I think we’re at a place in time in our market where we need to be reminded what a home is all about, and who better than the kids to remind us,” Scordino said. “Right now we’re too focused on interest rates, prices, is it a buyer’s market or is it a seller’s market – that’s not what’s really important. It is when you’re buying it and eventually when you’re selling it. Those things matter, but in between it’s what the kids told us.”
The three winners will appear on Scorino’s Welcome Home Radio show on Saturday at 9 a.m. on KYNO 940.
“I felt good about our future,” Scordino said. “Those kids were impressive, and if they’re our future leaders I’m good with that.”