My parents were part of what Tom Brokaw so aptly termed “the greatest generation”. They knew good times and hard times, but they always knew that America was the land of hope and opportunity. A place where it would always be possible to prosper, and where the American Dream of a better life for their children and grandchildren would always be possible!
Mom and Dad met when Dad was in the armed forces and stationed in Hawaii. After completing his service to our country, Dad settled his family in Missouri, and went to work supporting his family. Just like your parents and grandparents, Dad did his duty as an American and worked to make the dreams he had for his children and grandchildren a reality, because that’s what you did in America!
Years later, when I took a leap of faith and jumped into the real estate industry, I thought of Mom and Dad and the hopes they had for me. I felt, I’m sure the same sense of ambition, pride and hope when I strived to fulfill their American Dream and build our own dream for my daughters and me. My parents and I are no different than your family and millions of others across this land. America is and always will be the land of dreams and opportunities.
The Dream that has, as President Reagan said, “made America a shining city on the hill” is now under attack in our own nation. There are “self-proclaimed experts” who suggest that the American Dream is too expensive! They go so far as to say that our children and our grandchildren would be better off living in someone else’s house.
So, does it really matter? Is homeownership that important, or would generations to come be better off trusting their future to Wall Street. Well, next week is Labor Day, and all across the nation people will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holiday and to mark the traditional end to summer. They will be gathering on patios and backyards in homes they are proud to call their own. After all, Labor Day is about celebrating the working man and woman. We all work to support our families, and to turn the American Dream of Homeownership into reality.
Homeownership and the family home are the foundations of our society and the building blocks for future generations. While making a profit is always good, when it comes time to sell our home, our first thoughts are not about the money we have made, but it is about the Christmas mornings with our children, the first day of school pictures on the front porch and the summer bar-be-ques in the back yard. These are my memories of growing up in St. Joseph, Missouri, and I hope my daughters have wonderful memories of growing up in my home here in St. Charles County.
Homeownership is not just important for individual families to build financial security and memories, it is vital to every community across America. The value of our homes is not just the bricks and mortar that shelter our families. We value our homes because of the neighborhoods where we live, and the lifestyle they offer. Whether it is an urban neighborhood, suburban subdivision, or a small town, homeowners have built the communities that we call home.
Countless studies have shown that communities with the highest level of homeownership have among other things, the safest streets, the best schools and even the highest test scores. Homeowners have made this possible because they are invested in their future and the future of their community. They are committed to working together to build strong schools, churches and other institutions that make their community a wonderful place to call home.
Sadly, the “self-proclaimed experts” that suggest that we cannot afford the dream of homeownership, just don’t get it! There are proposals right not in Washington that could destroy the dreams of millions of American families. Congress is considering a “blank slate” approach to tax reform. This means that everything, including your home is could be on the “chopping block”. In the name of “fiscal responsibility” the mortgage interest deduction on your home loan and the capital gains exemption on the sale of your home could disappear. In addition, they suggest that the government should get completely out of the housing market, by eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would mean that fixed rate home loans would disappear. Some even suggest that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) should be eliminated. These changes would mean the end of the American Dream as we know it!
The good news is that most Americans are not listening to the experts. Here in St. Charles County families are buying homes in record numbers. Home values are rising here and across the nation. As we always have, Americans have survived this crisis and are coming back stronger than ever. Realtors are proud to lead the fight to tell our elected leaders that “homeownership matter”. We want them to know that the American Dream lives, and must be protected!
Finally I am pleased to report that my daughters’ generation has not lost their faith in the American Dream! A recent survey of home buyers under age 35, showed that 85 percent were confident that their new home was a good financial investment. Someday, probably like you, I hope to visit my grandsons to celebrate our family in homes that they are proud to call their own. I hope and pray that they and their children will be able to contribute to the great future of this nation as they live their American Dream!
For more information about how you can join Realtors in the fight for the American Dream, visit www.houselogic.com.