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The famous quote by Mark Twain in the title of this article can be used to describe home ownership in America today. Last week, the Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in the country increased for the first time in thirteen years.

story in the Wall Street Journal gave these new home ownership numbers some context:

“The annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in bubble-era policies that encouraged banks to ease lending standards to boost home ownership. This time, what’s driving the market is a shift in favor of owning rather than renting.

‘This is market, market and market…There’s no government incentive program in sight that is having this effect,’ said Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, ‘This is back to basics.’”

In a separate report comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, RentCafé also concluded that the gap is now shrinking.

“Undoubtedly, the recession had a great impact on home ownership…However, it looks like it takes more to discourage Americans from buying a house than that.

As the years go by, it seems more and more certain that the fact that renting has seen a sudden gain in popularity is more a reaction to the economic crisis than a paradigm shift in the Americans’ attitude toward housing.”

America’s belief in home ownership was also evidenced in a recent survey, by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is home ownership to achieving the American Dream?”

The results:

  • 43% said home ownership was essential to the American Dream
  • 48% said home ownership was important to the American Dream
  • Only 9% said it was not important

Bottom Line

Home ownership has been, is and will always be a crucial element of the American Dream.

The 'Rose' Story

by Unknown

    Red roses were her favorite since her name was also Rose. Her husband sent them every year tied up with pretty bows. The very same year he passed away, roses were sent to her door. The card read, “Be My Valentine,” like the years before. Each year he sent her roses and the note would always say, “I love you even more this year than last year on this day. My love for you will always grow with every passing year.” She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear. He must have ordered the roses long before this day. Her loving husband did not know that he would pass away. He liked to do things early, long before the time, then in case he got too busy, it would work out fine. Then, exactly one year later, as on Valentines before, the door bell rang and there were roses sitting by her door. She brought the roses into the house and looked at them in shock. Then nervously, grabbed the phone and called the florist shop. The owner answered the phone and she asked if he’d explain. Why would someone do this to her and cause her so much pain? “There also is another thing I think that you should hear. Your husband left a special card to give to you this year.” Deep within the flowers she found the card he wrote. And folded up inside it was a hand written note….

To My Dearest Rose,
       The love we shared made everything so beautiful in my life. I loved you more than words can say, you were the perfect wife. You were my friend and lover. You fulfilled my every need. I know it’s only been a year but try not to grieve. I want you to be happy even when you shed your tears. And that’s why the roses will be sent for many years. I have loved you all my life and you know I always will. So for me, my love, you must go on for you have some living still. These roses will come every year and they will only stop when your door isn’t answered to the florist’s friendly knock. He will take then to the very place where I’ve instructed him, and place the roses where we are, together once again.

 

Millennials vs The Housing Market

by Ki Bradford, Client Care Coordinator

Millennials – I’m a millennial. What comes to mind when you think of us? The lazy generation? The generation drowning in debt (thanks to college)?  The generation filled with indecisiveness and instability? The list goes on and on. All can be deemed true, to an extent. Within the housing market, experts say that millennials are ruining the market because they aren’t buying. But the question that I would like to pose is - why are millennials not buying? And how can we push, or encourage, millennials to buy?

 To be quite honest, I never thought of owning a house until I reach my 30s. I have a Pinterest board strictly dedicated to how I envision my ideal dream house – all white kitchen with marble floors, located somewhere in Tennessee with a beautiful garden and ranch – basically an Oprah-inspired estate. I believe this is the mindset of most millennials. We want our dream home and it cannot be anything simple. In order for us to consider purchasing a home, it has to meet our qualifications. I guess you can say the “dream” is the ultimate goal. You know– the dream career, the dream car, and the dream house. Which is fine. However, working at a real estate office, fresh out of college, gives you a more realistic perspective on how the housing market works.  Who’s buying? What are they buying and where? How much can a person really afford? There’s a long list of questions and at times it can seem overwhelming, especially to someone who is just starting their career. I believe the housing market is a topic that is rarely discussed. My suggestion would be to start the discussion at an early age. Here are a few statistics to get the discussion started.

According to 2015 US Census, millennials (born between the years of 1980 – 2000) are made up 78.9 million people. They are now considered the largest living generation in the United States. Which means there are plenty of first time home buyers within this age group. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide a bright outlook of the housing market for millennial buyers. It is so important for them to- 1) be prepared and 2) be informed. Please share consider sharing this information with someone who is contemplating buying a home – family members, church members, friends, neighbors and colleagues.  

“Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent… Meanwhile, more than 5 million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.”

    This makes sense in the short term for many reasons. If you are moving to a different part of town or a new region of the country, you may decide to rent until you pick the perfect home in an area you love. However, is renting a good long-term strategy?

A mortgage payment remains fixed. Rents, however…

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether you should rent or buy your next home, you should take this into consideration.

Bottom Line:

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home instead of renting. 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
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601.545.3900
800.335.6477

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