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Why Americans take homeownership for a spin (cycle)

Most people still think owning a home is an essential part of the American Dream – and our reasons are as different as we are.

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I read somewhere once that one of the main reasons renters buy a home is to have their own washer and dryer. Struck me as odd to that the American Dream of homeownership might hinge on an aversion to Laundromats.

Not that I could be fairly described as “pro Laundromat.” I will readily admit that when I bought my first home, ditching the hunt for laundry quarters was definitely in the plus column.

Still…the American Dream? Has to be more to it than that, right? After all, in an article in Forbes last year, Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), cited two different surveys showing that 87% and 86% of the population said owning a home was still essential part of the American Dream. Could that many Americans hate the florescent glow of Laundromats that much?

Well, yes, they could, I guess. But no, it is not just that.

Now, I could lay out many financial reasons to want to own a home. Like the fact that the Federal Reserve Board’s latest study showed the median net worth of homeowners increased 4% from a previous study to reach $194,400. In comparison, renters’ net worth remained flat at $5,400.

But while the financial reasons to buy a home make a lot of sense, at the core I think the appeal of homeownership runs much deeper. (Certainly much deeper than those pesky grass stains in my son’s baseball uniform!)

NAR’s March 2017 Generational Report showed that the number one reason homebuyers 61 and younger decided to buy was “the desire to have a place of my own.” It’s as much about freedom as it is about any cold hard financial facts.

Freedom to paint or remove a wall. Have a pet. A garage or a walk-in closet. A garden. Band practice. A place to raise a family. The truth is, there could be almost any reason why you would want to buy a home. And none of those reasons are more right or wrong than the others.

So as we celebrate freedom this Fourth of July, HomeDiggidy wants to know…why do you think homeownership is part of the American Dream?

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    By Vance Edwards

    Vance Edwards has been working to help get people into homes since joining MGIC back in 1999, after brief tours in the Army, college and a Milwaukee advertising company. He’s bought 3 homes (and sold 2) along the way, using them with his wife Carrie to raise 2 remarkable children, Hailey and Trevan. Vance loves baseball at any level, is part of a comedy sketch & improv team, and has won national playwriting awards.

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