On This Presidents' Day, Let's Talk About the American Dream
The American dream. For my purposes as a Bristow-Gainesville Real Estate Agent, let's boil that dream down to housing. What IS the American housing dream these days? Being a real estate agent who's brain tend to swim on the more cynical side, I am beginning to think it may involve granite kitchen counter tops, a jetted soaking tub and hand scraped hardwood floors.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of these things, but they should not be made a priority if you simply can not afford them. Take for instance the young mother of three children I helped get into a rental, paid entirely by the county. Not putting one single dime into the property, and having any aspiration of digging herself out of county assistance, she had the nerve to tell a landlord, "I'll take this house if you upgraded the kitchen to have stainless steel appliances, granite counters and large ceramic tile flooring."
You see, there are reasons I got as cynical as I am. Like sitting in front of a young couple looking to move up to Bristow from the southern part of our state. I knew they wouldn't qualify for the single family home they felt they had now earned at the age of 25 and 28. When the lender broke down what they qualified for into dollars, I immediately knew I could find them a luxury townhouse. The wife broke down sobbing about she wanted a single family home, looked up to her husband through the tears and asked, "Would you take another contract in Afghanistan or Iraq so we can get one?" Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. She was ready to risk her loved one's life and limbs to get a detached house instead of a luxury townhouse.
This Presidents' Day I spent with a family that really understood what was important. Each other. They wrote a new construction contract, forgoing all but a few of the upgrades that many buyers would have insisted on. Why? They have a growing family and what is important is having the space to raise them. Who cares if it is a home with basic flooring or basic counter tops? A master bathroom with no luxury tub? They didn't care. They were so excited to be writing a contract for a home that they would fit into and love as their "forever home." Yes, they meant forever. They want this to the home their kids bring their kids to for the holidays. That is the American dream to me. A home where families can be proud to gather, even with its basic finishes.