Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and...home ownership? Why is it recently that home ownership has suddenly become 'uncool'?
I have had a copy of the September 6th issue of Time Magazine sitting on my desk for weeks titled "Rethinking Home ownership". There it sat. I read it. Then I read it over and over again trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel. There was none. The magazine, which many deem their Bible cited horror stories of foreclosures, short sales, declining home values and depressed real estates markets. I don't doubt that the stories told are true. I know many have suffered tremendously from the sharp downward turn. I also know that renting truly is right for some. But let's not buy into the idea that our home is no longer a good investment.
Responsible home ownership will reap a good long term investment.
The key word here is, responsible. Buyers need to change their thinking. Home ownership is a commitment that takes time and planning. You know what, you don't always get the brand new kitchen with the granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. You may actually need to save some money (actual U.S. dollars, earned from your job) to pay for the updates you'd like to make to your home.
Remember 'sweat equity'? Sweat Equity used to be a homeowners best friend. Poor Sweat Equity was dumped for the more convenient, easy, 'friendly' home equity credit line. Well, that friend was a two-faced liar. Somehow, we have really ended up in deep with that relationship.
What else does this mean? Buyers will need to save money for their down payment on a home. I know I did 20 some years ago when I purchased my first home. Careful choices will need to be made when it comes to mortgage options.
The American Dream needs not be lost. I am telling my buyers to purchase smart. Carefully research their ability to purchase and KEEP a home. I believe in home ownership, it's my front page story and I'm stickin' to it!
By Megan O'Connell Albright October 22, 2010