Has Homeownership and "The American Dream" become an oxymoron?
Consistently synonymous with the term "The American Dream" is homeownership. For past generations, the ability to achieve owning a home was a financial challenge, yet patience and perseverance kept the dream alive. Many generations worked and sacrificed for the dream of owning a home. Pride in homeownership reflected the homebuyer's appreciation for finally achieving "The American Dream".
The newer generations are more complacent in their approach to buying a home, yet the idea of homeownership has not been abandoned.
The American Dream
Don’t Change the Dream, Just Adjust Expectations
Since the decline in the housing market nationwide began four or five years ago, there have been plenty of media reports suggesting the homeownership part of the American Dream has changed. It has always been Americans’ philosophy that homeownership had many advantages, one of them being price appreciation, which, combined with a “forced savings” account of paying off a mortgage, made owning a home a great financial move.
When home prices dropped after the bubble burst, the murmurs began. Maybe owning a home isn’t as big a part of the dream as it once was.
But surveys show that, even in the toughest of times, Americans still want to own their own homes. It’s still part of the American Dream, and you know what? It still should be.
It used to be that people bought homes and planned to live in them for a long time. Homes always appreciated in value, and paying off a long-term mortgage meant owning a home free and clear right before retirement – so you could either live your golden years with no house payment, or you could sell and use the earnings in retirement.
The bubble changed people’s expectations, though. The rapid gains in home values – especially in the “sand” states – led to speculation. Instead of long-term investments that provided eventual retirement security and tax savings along the way, houses became cash machines, equity traded for instant gratification. It was unsustainable, of course. But the lesson the media say we should take away from the whole situation is that maybe owning a home isn’t such a good idea. What the lesson really should be, however, is that just like our expectations changed during the bubble, they must again change now. Read More >
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Rick Reed, G.R.I., CDPE- Certified Distressed Property Expert
Assoc. Broker/Owner "The Congressional Team" RE/MAX
Licensed in MD & Wash DC
8937 Shady Grove Court
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Office: 240-403-0399 X306
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