Where we live whether it be a single family residence, condo, townhome or apartment set the stage for our lives. The American dream has always been to "own space you can call your own." Many subscribe to the Warren Buffet adage "never pay for someones mortgage, only your own."
I remember when I was little living in upstate NY, my parents paid off their mortgage and we celebrated! It was an adrenaline rush for sure. The pride my parents exhibited transferred to the whole family and we shared their sense of accomplishment. My brother still has the contract written in pencil and signed by the seller of our home and signed by my dad.
After getting married we moved many times as my husband went through the Navy flight program and because of such short stays in different squadrons, we rented. It wasn't until we were out of the service we bought a home. In 1975 we purchased this home in Des Moines Iowa so our daughter could attend a highly ranking elementary school only 3 blocks away. Our neighbors had young children as the neighborhood was turning over as the older generation began moving away. Fond memories of the hood.
Our children became friends and we loved our hood and convenience to everything. Then the schools changed their boundaries and our daughter was going to be bused 10 miles away to school. Our son was born and we decided it was wise to sell our home and move out to a newer community. We became disenchanted with the fascination of an older home and its charm when it became apparent it was becoming a money pit.
It was the perfect time to sell and build a new home. This time we went with a more contemporary feel on a quiet cul-de-sac in West Des Moines. Again we found wonderful neighbors with younger children whom we still keep in touch with today!
Each move reinforced economic individual success and gave us the power of asset-building through home-ownership. The adrenaline rush continued with each purchase.
When my son returned home from college and began his career at a technology company in Austin I was a full time Realtor and told him to get in the car, we were going to find a home..no renting! I told him you're not going to pay someones mortgage, only your own (again adhering to the Warren Buffets adage). He often laughs and says "mom slammed me into a home." It didn't take him long to understand my philosophy (I think he already knew) home-ownership matters for individual economic opportunity. He also experienced the adrenaline rush of owning a home. He has taken it to a new level buying many rental homes and is a successful Broker owner of a real estate firm in Austin.
We've bought and sold new construction homes and made profits. Good equity was achieved by the time the home was completed. The secret was buying in the beginning of a community because the builders always raised their prices as the subdivision built out.
The home we built in 1994 when I married my Geno is the perfect single story for us and over the years we have remodeled several times, each time excited with our new look. As I always tell Geno a "A home is a work in progress."
I've always felt the adrenaline rush when purchasing or selling homes. It's exciting to partake in the process of home ownership. We are so fortunate in our country to have the opportunity to "own our own space" and make it our own. Thank you Mom and Dad for teaching us this wonderful feeling of accomplishment! There is nothing like realizing the dream of home ownership and now I'm able to help others realize their dream and its an exhilarating feeling!
This is my submission the the Active Rain contest "What does home-ownership mean to YOU?