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“Own Thy Own Home”

The title of this blog is the advice given in a book of financial wisdom, The Richest Man in Babylon, written by George S. Clason in 1930. The book has become a classic having sold over 2 million copies in 26 languages. The advice is just as important today as it was when written almost a century ago. And, it is comforting to know we still realize how important homeownership is.

Two different surveys released last week show that homeownership is still part of the American Dream.

Trulia’s American Dream Survey

The survey looked at how Americans feel about homeownership. They found:

  • 70% of Americans still view homeownership as being part of their American Dream.
  • 78% say their homes are the best investment they ever made.
  • 88% of 18-34 year old renters aspire to be homeowners.

The report went on to say:

“Contrary to popular belief, the American Dream of homeownership has not turned into an American nightmare. In fact, we’re seeing a national resurgence of buyer and seller activity on Trulia.com,” said Pete Flint, CEO of Trulia.

“During the housing bubble, the American Dream of homeownership was beyond reach for many young adults. Stuck with student loans and entry-level jobs, many had resigned themselves to being lifelong renters. But the tide is changing – Millennials are now today’s most serious homebuyers,” says Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Consumer Educator for Trulia. 

CB Real Estate First-Time Homebuyers Survey

This reported concentrated on what first home buyers experienced in the purchase process. It was somewhat surprising to find that:

  • 67% said the market allowed them to buy a home sooner than expected
  • 50% said they found a home in a more desirable neighborhood than expected
  • 61% were able to get the home at a better price than expected
  • 40% got more space than expected
  • 43% locked in a lower interest rate than expected

It seems that the American public, even young adults still believe that owning your own home makes sense. And, it seems that those who have most recently purchased were pleasantly surprised with the results.

Bottom Line

It appears that the majority of the country thinks you would be doing the smart thing if you considered purchasing a home for you and your family. Talk to a local real estate professional today.

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5 replies
  1. Steve
    Steve says:

    This post sounds like a paid ad from the NAR, and their everything as we want it to seem theme.

    Sure people say this, it’s never been a secret that people want to own a home, but what none of the surveys asked was:
    -If you thought the market was Tanking would you still buy a home?
    -If there was substantial risk involved would you still buy a home?
    -Or if you knew, that you purchase would not appreciate or maybe even decreas in value for the next 5-10 years, would you still buy a home?

    The answer would be an obvious…hell no! Honesty is all in the questions you ask. I guarantee the CB poll didn’t near tread close to asking about the whole picture. The one that states, 78% say their homes were the best investment they ever made. Where did they find these people, and what age bracket were they from. What planet were they on?

    Usually in blogging when something like a survey is quoted, the blogger supplies the link, as you did to the trulia survey. Can you please post the link?

    Your Bottom Line conclusion is a far flung interpretation of what both of the polls stated. It’s rally time for everyone to stop with all this industry spin. Didn’t enough buyers already get killed buying into all the false hype? It’s enough already.

    • Steve Harney
      Steve Harney says:

      Hi Steve,
      We originally did link the CB survey. However, they have since killed the link. Sorry!
      As far as both surveys not accurately depicting the feelings of homeowners, I suggest you look at the The American’s Attitudes About Homeownership (AAAH) study completed by Harris Interactive for the National Association of Realtors.
      It confirms the findings of the studies you are now questioning. Do you know of any studies that support your thoughts?

      P.S. You seem to have a minimum standard for blogs (linking, etc.). Do you blog?

  2. Steve
    Steve says:

    Steve, thanks for the response. CB surveys are always are always rigged toward a certain response. One they did last year sakes people what they would do with the $8,000 tax credit they would get back…but they neglected to state that it was only a credit, not cash back.

    I don’t doubt that anyone would want to own a home…who wouldn’t. But if it was put in a way that it’s not a sure thing investment, and it may not appreciate, and that it may decrease by an unknown value for who knows how many years, then the dynamics of the survey changes dramatically.

    All I’m saying is that we’re messing with peoples money, and there’s a huge risk when buying a home, and you can lose big time, so let’s not mislead people anymore. It’s time for total transparency.

    Is it a great time to buy..no. Is it a good time to buy..maybe yes but depending on what it is you’re buying and where. And is it a risky time to buy…yes

    It’s time for some self regulation with this stuff, and if we can’t do it ourselves, then the gov’t should.

    Never blogged before, but I will be

  3. Nathan
    Nathan says:

    I would have to agree with Steve number one on this one. I know I’m a bit outdated in responding to this, but it’s a topic near and dear to my heart, as I am a Realtor.
    The market right now is no longer volatile, as most believe, it has pretty much settled out and prices are staying stable. Further, the inventory of foreclosures, short sales and bank owned properties are actually driving prices (not values) down even further. One can get into a great home right now for a fraction of the home’s actual value and walks into instant equity. Can they turn around and sell it at market price tomorrow? Probably not, but unless we’re talking about an investor, a buyer will probably stay in the home for a few years anyway, and by the time they are ready to sell, the market will probably have turned.
    The biggest point that I’d like to make here is that we’re not going to get out of this mess that we’re in by sitting tight and waiting to buy until the market improves, we have to improve it by buying up all of the bank owned properties that are big competition for the private seller tryint to get full market price. Once the inventory is reduced, the market will repair itself naturally.
    We can remain afraid to buy and let all of the great deals out there pass us by as the investors snag them all and rent them back to us until we’re ready to buy, or we can go and buy ourselves, take advantage of the instant equity that we can gain, and repair the economy at the same time…


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