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newlyweds12 Despite major losses that millions of Americans have experienced over the past decade, it can be said with confidence that the American Dream is still very much alive. And well. A recent study by Fannie Mae reveals several reasons why Americans still recognize the appeal of homeownership. Why wouldn't they? Isn't being able to have a backyard to play in, or living in a quiet neighborhood reasons enough to take the plunge? It's much more in depth than that. About 90% of renters said they expect to own a home someday, believing that the most important advantage of owning a home is control.  Control over your own property, control over your life, painting the walls, tearing down the dining room wall, being as loud as you want (within reason), and so on. Of those 90% of renters, 84% cited "having control over what you do with your living space" is worth the effort of obtaining homeownership.  Another reason? Have a sense of privacy and security (cited by 80% of surveyors). This survey shows just how important owning a home can be for a person and their family. So here are more reasons by Fannie Mae:
  • “Control over what you do with your living space”: 84% of renters said this was their main desire for owning;
  • “Having a sense of privacy and security”: 80%
  • “Having the best investment plan”: 78%
  • “Having a good place for family or to raise your children”: 78%
  • “Living in a nicer home”: 71%
  • “Building wealth”: 70%
  • “Saving for retirement”: 69%
All of the above are true. But this survey begs one to ask: "If homeownership is so great, then why are many Americans still renting?"  According to this survey, many Americans continue renting because it's simply easier to live within their limited budgets.   It may not be more affordable in the long run (also in the short run for some), but renting may also be less stressful (cited 52%) as it is the best decision they are able to make in the current economic climate (50%). However, it must be said that homeownership outweighs the costs and benefits of short-term renting, as it is the best way to go for future planning, both financially and for quality of life.

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Jim DeRentis
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