Home ownership matters

Castles in the Sand

It’s Christmas, and I’m not sure how many will take the time to read this column, so instead of giving you what I hope is my usual well thought out advice and real estate statistics, I just wanted to talk a little about the real meaning of owning a home.

In today’s world where so many families are not intact and people are living alone, it’s important to remember how important homeownership is in our lives. During my generation, almost every family I knew owned their own home. It was a proud and important thing to achieve for my parents and their friends and family during the post-World War II generation. It held our lives together, you celebrated holidays, birthdays, births and reconciled death all in the family home.

And of course, there are very practical and financial reasons to own a home. Owning a home goes back to our founding fathers who linked property ownership to security and happiness and endures today as the cornerstone of the American Dream. A home provides emotional and financial stability and historically, with a few exceptions, is the most dependable way for middle-class Americans to achieve wealth through their home’s equity.

In spite of a couple of blips on the homeownership radar, the housing market is the driving force of the economy, benefiting the financial health of the country with goods and services that depend on the housing market. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that housing accounts for approximately 12.3% of our gross domestic product and continues to provide and create strong stable communities.

Millennial buyers should remember this as they consider a home for their future. Getting into your first home is more important than whether or not your first home checks off all your boxes. Previous generations didn’t think too much about the color of the walls or if the kitchen countertops were quartz or granite, they focused on location and growth and less on perfection.

Also, in this time of good cheer and love for all, keep the falling in love to people, not a house. It’s dangerous to be influenced by bling and overlook the bones of a property. And don’t forget holidays can be a great time to buy, the competition is less since lots of buyers are taking a holiday pause.

I’ll leave you with this poem celebrating a new home I first remember hearing in the iconic holiday movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Good wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.

               BREAD: May those in your home never go hungry.
               WINE:  May you always have joy and never go thirsty.
               SALT:  May there always be flavor and spices in your life.
               HONEY:  May you always enjoy the sweetness of life.
               OLIVE OIL:  May you be blessed with health and well-being.