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Homeownership dream not dead yet

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, May 21, 2012
Posted: 6 pm ET

The Census bureau reported that homeownership fell to its lowest level since 1997 during the first quarter of 2012, particularly for those under the age of 35. But that doesn't mean young adults have given up the dream of homeownership.

According to the Census, 36.8 percent of current homeowners in the U.S. are under the age of 35, down nearly a full percentage point from fourth quarter 2011. The national unemployment rate has been dropping, but still remains high, particularly among the young. And even though mortgage rates and home prices remain low, a sluggish economic recovery is hampering potential buyers.

But a survey by TD Bank reveals that the majority of 1,300 renters age 18 to 34 intend to buy a home and more than half of those polled say homeownership is vital to defining the American dream.

The survey also polled current homeowners, with four out of five saying they purchased their first home before age 35. Aside from fulfilling the American dream, homeowners and potential buyers say reasons for buying include good opportunities, a growing family, and feeling financially ready.

Across the board, the dream of homeownership has been shifting since the recession. In another survey, by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 86 percent of respondents say the value of homeownership is more emotional than financial, a turnabout from how they felt before the recession. The vast majority, 86 percent, say they are no longer willing to stretch themselves financially to buy a home and 90 percent say too many buyers made that financial mistake before the recession.

Other results from that survey include:

83 percent of renters aspire to homeownership.

78 percent say owning a home is one of their greatest achievements.

95 percent want their children to become homeowners.

Do you feel that the value of owning a home is more of an expression of the American Dream or a financial investment?

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2 Comments
Alicia
May 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I have learned through renting (from individual landlords particularly) that no matter how clean you keep you home, how you paying rent on time everytime all the time, or how financially responsible you may be, as long as you are renting you are at the mercy of someone else. We moved twice because the landlord did not pay the mortgage with our rent. Another time we had to move because the landlord kept coming inside our home (when I was sleeping, showering, home or not) despite that I had called the police on him. I have had it with renting! Homeownership provides my family with security from crazy landlords, the peace of mind to know we will not be hopping around from place to place and an immense amount of pride!