By: Dr. Robi Ludwig
When I decided to partner with Coldwell Banker on a survey about how Americans feel about home ownership, I was intrigued by what we might find. What we found didn’t surprise me as much as it confirmed my working hypothesis: that homeownership is still something the vast majority of Americans seek.
Human beings are hard-wired to want to own things; we are by nature territorial beings, and we see this from an early age when children declare something as “mine.” Moreover, we have a deep desire to feel rooted and that’s what home ownership provides; your home gives you a sense of security, comfort and safety. We are also social creatures and rooting ourselves in a community makes us feel that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Below are some of the results from our survey that I found most compelling and wanted to share:
The most interesting results from the Coldwell Banker survey about how Americans feel about home ownership.
- 95 percent of Americans feel it’s important for their children to own a home someday. Of that, 74 percent feel it’s absolutely essential / very important.
- 94 percent of homeowners agree that they are glad they own a home.
- 85 percent of Americans agree that they always dreamed of owning a home.
- 78 percent of homeowners agree that owning a home is one of their greatest achievements.
- 83 percent of renters agree that they want to own a home someday.
Is owning a home someday one of your goals? Or, if you already own your home, do you consider it one of your greatest achievements? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
A psychotherapist with more than 20 years of treating patients in both clinical and private practice, Dr. Robi Ludwig is also regular expert news contributor, providing her insight on psychological issues and the complexity of the human condition.
Last night someone sent me a link to an article that troubled me. It’s one thing to use a negative headline to draw people in, but writers must provide a balanced article for the reader. What really grinds my gears are articles which take a controversial position to communicate a biased opinion under the guise of ‘news.’
The American Dream is Alive & Well
The article, The New American Dream: Rent, Don’t Buy isn’t just one of those shocking headlines; it’s two pages of doom and gloom that frankly is getting old. First of all, how can this writer say that the new American dream is to rent, when the majority of Americans, 66 percent according to Fannie Mae, consider homeownership a safe investment? Sounds to me like the American Dream is still a dream that includes homeownership. Who doesn’t daydream about a place to call home – a place that’s all their own? A home is about more than its dollar appreciation. It’s about the color of paint you pick for the nursery, the school district in which your children will grow up and the neighborhood movie theatre where you had your first date…and I could go on and on. When people do move it’s not just for a return on their financial investment. It could also be that they need a backyard for their dog or mom got a great new job in another area.
Plus, how many times do we all have to read an article that only has one source that represents an extreme point of view and yet it serves as an overarching example? I know homeownership isn’t for everyone, and I routinely talk about the types of buyers best suited for homeownership. But if you are someone with the financial wherewithal and have a lifestyle need, I truly believe this is the best time in my 35 years in real estate to purchase a home.
Bottom line: some of the points found within the article have been tossed around for several years and I couldn’t disagree more strongly. Study after study shows how valuable homeownership is to individuals and to our economy. A Harvard study reports that housing accounts to 18-23 percent of the country’s GDP. NAR and Nandi say that a home sale adds $60,000 into the local economy and that a local job is created every time two homes are sold. And this isn’t even taking into consideration the immeasurable emotional value found in owning a home.
I’m confident that once we are finally out of the woods of this great recession, the American Dream of homeownership will thrive as it always has — as it does for millions of Americans even today.