It used to be an open-and-shut discussion: owning a home was the cornerstone of any American Dream. But with today’s economic uncertainly, and with high unemployment numbers and many Americans still reeling from the popping of the real estate bubble, that concept is up for debate.
Perhaps the foreclosure crisis has upended the American Dream of home ownership. To make the subject even murkier, surveys don’t point to a clear trend. Consider:
Nearly 90% of those surveyed in June by The New York Times and CBS News said home ownership was an important part of the American dream.
Nearly a quarter of those same respondents are frustrated that their home is worth less than what they owed on their mortgage.
In September, 70% of those responding to Trulia’s American Dream survey still said they believed that home ownership was a central part of the American Dream, a level that is unchanged since January.
Nearly 20% of respondents to a Home Value Insurance Company survey said they wouldn’t recommend home ownership to a young person.
So, is it still worth it to own a home?
A subjective question like that will elicit a variety of responses. But it does seem as if the American Dream is being reshaped by lifestyle and value rather than home ownership, which is now being looked at more as an investment rather than a place to call your own and raise a family.
However, mortgage rates are hovering near historic lows, and deflated housing prices have made it very affordable for people – especially young adults – to buy a home. If you have strong credit and can qualify for a mortgage, and if you’re prepared to plunk down a down payment, this is indeed a buyer’s market.
What do you think? Is home ownership still the bedrock of your American Dream? Drop us a line and let us know.