June is National Homeowner Month - what homeownership means to me

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA

I blame it all on hand-me-downs for my strong desire to own my own home.  


Back then, reusing clothes was a way for our parents to be frugal and to save money.  The downside is the other kids in school just KNEW if you were wearing hand-me-downs and teased you about it.  Nowadays, it’s probably hip to wear hand-me-downs.  After all, you are “upcycling” and “reducing landfill waste.”   


All of this is good but who as a child has ever said, “I really like wearing my sister’s old clothes to school.”  In fact, a poem has been written about this unhappy childhood calamity:


Hand Me Downs


I’m always wearing hand-me-downs.
I don’t get stuff that’s new.
My mom won’t take me shopping.
I don’t know what to do.
The dresses always fit me fine,
but high heels give me blisters.
It’s not that easy growing up,
a boy with older sisters.


Author: Bob Zanger


We want our OWN things.  We don’t want someone else’s.  This is very true with homeownership, and I blame my sister’s hand-me-down striped sweater for all of this!



Sharing is no fun.


If you are renting, you may be renting an apartment or a condo or a room in someone’s house but either way, you are sharing walls. Even renting a single-family home, you may find yourself with roommates where you are sharing a laundry room or kitchen, a parking area, an entry, a garden, and all the other things that homeowners may have as their own.


The desire to stake a claim and declare, “this is mine,” is a strong force in many of us. Remember when you purchased your first home?  It was a major milestone and a major accomplishment.  It took a lot of money and was scary, risky and exciting all at the same time, but in the end, you had your own home.


Our home defines us. It defines our tastes that we can express through decorating the home.  We can personalize it, which is very empowering. Our homes are an extension of ourselves. It tells people who we are. Who here has a front yard that you don’t use (kind of like the formal living room that no one is allowed in)? And why do you maintain that front piece of lawn with precision edging and neatly kept flower beds?  It’s an extension of you to the world.


I don’t need to be a REALTOR to be a fan of homeownership.  Owning your home has many positives but the best reason is you don’t have to share!  Congratulations to all the homeowners out there.  You have accomplished a great feat that you should be very proud of!

Posted by


Francine Viola, Realtor
In Tune with your Real Estate Needs


Serving Buyers and Sellers in Olympia, Tumwater, Lacey and DuPont, WA

Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc.  |  Olympia, WA


Cell:      (360) 359-0689

Email:  Francine.Viola@cbolympia.com

Web:     www.FrancineViola.com





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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Francine Viola - This is a great story...I am sure your clients can feel that pride of ownership you have. 

I never rented so I don't have your experience.  I also was the oldest ...so no hand me downs.  But, I totally agree with your reasoning. It makes a lot of sense to me.  The upside, besides the fact that it is yours, is the equity you are building in that home.  

Jun 28, 2019 09:46 AM #1
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Francine, what an enjoayble story to read about homeownership. I love the idea of building your home and creating the interior to fit your personality. The home should be organic to the inhabitant - to fit with his/her character, lifestyle, needs, surrounding nature; and not vice versa.

Jun 28, 2019 09:56 AM #2
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Francine,  Love your blog on this subject.  I got lots of hand be down being the youngest in the family.


Jun 28, 2019 10:14 AM #3
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Francine - I enjoyed your take on home ownership. Like clothes, having one's own home provides peace of mind, security and a sense of pride. 

Jun 28, 2019 01:59 PM #4
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Love your take on homeownership, Francine - and hand-me-downs! And, you know, it's true, we're not just saying this because we are Realtors® - we were believers before we ever thought about selling real estate for a living!

Jun 28, 2019 08:56 PM #5
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I love this post, and the poem was a funny one - I hadn't heard it before.

We lived on hand-me-downs growing up, from another family of three girls who were a few years older than we were. I can understand how this would equate to wanting things of our own as adults!

Jun 29, 2019 03:20 AM #6
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

What a great post this is to share with anyone thinking of buying their first home. And congratulations on the feature! 

Jun 29, 2019 05:02 AM #7
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

If one becomes objective about owning a home it helps the process along quite nicely. I am speaking of purchasing anything just to get on board and then trading up to where we want to be. So many ways to prosper in this country. Pick one and get started. Good post

Jun 29, 2019 06:11 AM #8
Jim Holder
HomeSmart Connect - Arlington Heights, IL

Nothing wrong with sharing. It's better than all the people who live on the street, many in the west coast areas there.

In my opinion, the most significant concern Realtors should have is the data being reported that millennial's interest in owning a home is a low priority (and is understandable with the level of their student debt). Another detriment to owning a home in many areas is the real estate taxes that have been rising out of control. So renting is still a good choice for many.


Maybe tiny housing is the answer?

Jun 29, 2019 09:10 AM #9
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Nice post, Francine. I always wore uniforms to school right through high school so that issue of hand-me downs was not anything that came up. I don't know that I was all that motivated at a young age to own a home, but I sure was motivated to live by myself and bent over backwards to achieve that once I graduated from college.

Jun 29, 2019 11:31 AM #10
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great post and a nice trip down memory lane.  As the middle of 5 girls, I rarely had new clothes until I started babysitting and earning money! Home ownership does provide a feeling of pride and security!

Jun 29, 2019 11:44 AM #11
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Francine Viola ,

Congratulations on the well deserved featured post! Love the story and how you wove home-ownership from hand me down clothes! 

Jun 29, 2019 03:28 PM #12
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition. 

Have an outstanding summer.


Jun 30, 2019 01:36 PM #13
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I wonder what the full data says about how homeownership gets a boost in the homeownership appreciation month. Interesting stuff!

Jun 30, 2019 10:50 PM #14
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Roy Kelley The way that positivity rolled off your digital pen is kind of cool! I hope you also have a wonderful summer, Roy!

Jun 30, 2019 10:52 PM #15
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I totally understand the sharing economy and see the attraction. However, I do believe in having a home, esp if you plan to stay in the same place/city for years.  It should pay off!

Jul 02, 2019 02:07 PM #16
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Francine - What a wonderful memory this quote makes come to life.

Jul 04, 2019 12:50 PM #17
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Francine Viola

REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs
Let me help you find the perfect home in Olympia WA!
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