For me the answer to this question depends on where you are in life . I also believe it depends on your childhood experience. Home-ownership was always my dream and yet with this market I find myself wondering if I should sell my upside down mortgaged home.
I have experienced several different types of housing markets during my career. I began selling homes in 1994 when interest rates where high. Although, I have been in the business for several years I have never been a “lucky” home-owner. I have bought and sold several times and only once was able to make an ok profit. I have been involved in several transactions where the sellers made a ton of money at the time of sale or during the time they owned the property through home equity loans. There is a couple of words that are almost extinct – home equity loans.
So, in today’s market do you see your home as an investment or a place to live? I think that for several years we all saw our homes as investments and even cash machines. Sure a home is always an investment but for several years that word had a totally different meaning. I have always seen my home as a place to live and a stepping stone to the next place. I have never bought a boat or a jet ski with a home equity loan, but know many that did.
Now, living in a home that has an upside down mortgage with a high interest rate and the inability to refinance or sale I find myself really looking at what it means to be a homeowner. Could I walk away and move into a rental? I don’t think so. I have been a home-owner since the early 1980’s and I hate renting. I need to be able to change anything, from a wall color to a wall size. I have to be able to dig up or plant anything.
I grew up moving from rental to rental and being homeless in-between. Being the oldest of six I didn’t have my own bedroom until I was 15, in the home my parents purchased as their very first home. I think these are the reasons I have always wanted to own.
So to me Home-ownership is still my American Dream.
What does it mean to you?