Most Americans Still Believe in Homeownership, Poll Says

american homeownership Despite an anemic housing market which has been locked in a downward spiral since the real estate bubble burst in 2007, homeownership still remains a defining element of the American dream, according to a New York Times/CBS poll

The poll, whose results were reported by The New York Times today, found that 9 out of 10 Americans believe that homeownership is an important part of the American Dream. It also indicated that Americans give priority to homeownership over other economic issues. Forty-five percent of respondents say that the government should be doing more to bolster the housing market, a higher percentage of people than those who support job relief, according to the poll.
The poll's numbers also indicate that confidence in homeownership as a desirable investment has diminished, with only 49 percent considering it a safe investment and 45 percent saying it is a risky one.

Those responses contrast sharply with a related poll conducted by a Pew Research Center Survey in March which found that 8 out of 10 respondents agreed that buying a home was the "best long-term investment a person can make."

Americans also appear to be shifting blame for the crisis from regulators to lenders, who have been marred by revelations of illegal foreclosure practices. And while a majority of respondents still believe that the real estate market will recover, the poll reflects growing pessimism among Americans about a turnaround, with 39 percent of respondents saying that they believe the slump is permanent, up from 28 percent in a Times poll from October 2010.

Almost one-quarter of families said that their houses are worth less than what they owe on their mortgage. That demographic is much more likely to default than the average American homeowner.

The New York Times has the full story.

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You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. Thanks...

July 15 2011 at 6:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
My Six Percent

When I was a child, we moved around quite a bit because of my father's job. we were renters until I was in the 8th grade. When my parents bought their home (which they still live in...paid off) I was very proud to live there. I understand the psycological effect that home ownership has on a family, and absolutely believe that home ownership is an integral part of the american dream. It creates an environment of permanancy that you can not get living in an apartment or renting a house. This stability is an important part of fostering an environment that promotes education / creativity / and self respect / self esteem. Just my 2cents based on life experience.

Gary - Because You Don't Need a Real Estate Agent

July 12 2011 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's not so gratifying to own a home while it's ongoing, and you're doing yard work, or maintainence, or trying to collect rent on an investment; it is, however, very gratifying if you sell it and make a lump sum profit. Finding one cheap enough is the key, and of course, location. You might want to try online auctioneers such as to find fire sales.

July 03 2011 at 6:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A poll before that I read said that people are better off renting an apartment instead of buying a home. You have grass and weeds to pull, property taxes, a house payment and have to pay for everything thing that breaks down. In an apartment they replce or repair anything the does not work or breaks down. No snow to shovel or grass to cut and you have more time to go on vacations or work more overtime to make more money and can enjoy life more with the family. I have a home now but wish I didn't.

July 03 2011 at 5:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is a great time to buy a home. Anyone who does not is going to miss out. Great deals to be had in wonderful states like Florida.

July 02 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

To own a home is a significant part of the American dream. But it needs to be returned to the buy what you can afford and comfortably pay for and should not be treated as some knid odf welfare program. Then of course the government is doing all it can to destroy America as we know. By the way how is that hgope and change working out for you?

July 02 2011 at 4:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hmilorjr's comment

I can see how its easy to think that its the government that is destroying this country but that just is not the case. Big Business and our unstable capitalist system is destroying this country. The government doesnt run the government, Big business runs the government with lobbiest and payoffs so Big business can do as they please no matter what the cost to our country. The sooner we all realize that business is about profits1st and people second the sooner we can all start down a path that is prosperous for ALL of us.

July 02 2011 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to iconmarketers's comment

Nothing is permanent but God's love so the housing market will recover, eventually, but that might take longer than most people can imagine. What we need to do is stop thinking of a house as an investment and think of it as a place to live. A house is only an investment if we have built in inflation which we have had since the Democrats voted into existence the Federal Reserve Bank. From 1836 when the Central Bank of that day was closed by the President we had no central bank, and there was almost no inflation except temporarily in times of war until the new Central Bank was established in 1913. Once the Central Bank became responsible for our money instead of congress as the Constitution requires it has been downhill ever since. I remember seeing gasoline for sale as a child at 16.9 cents a gallon and I recall buying it at 23.9 a gallon outside a small southern city in the mid-1960's.

Congress has squandered so much borrowed (and created out of thin air) money that we can never pay back the national debt and the interest alone is in the neighborhood of a thousand million dollars a day. We have non-leaders who want us to go deeper into debt which will only result in more inflation than anyone born and raised here has ever seen. Trouble is if we don't go deeper in debt we may be in trouble too. Houses were clearly in a bubble before they crashed but they now seem to be in the fear stage. If you want a house, buy it to live in it, maybe for the rest of your life, but don't buy it thinking you are going to make a dime. You will save on rent and you may not lose if you buy wisely, but as I said in my autobiography (2006) and in my recent book on "The Last Days of the Late Great United States and the Great Famine that Followed," what is going on with the economy and where we are headed, you can count on prices at least tripling. The UN wants to move people out of the country and suburbs and into cities but smart people should be looking towards small town America to survive the coming "Greater Depression" that "will make the Great Depression look like a walk in the park" (to quote my books). More is going to change in the coming decade than I could possibly tell here unless we can get the insane spending under control. If not there is not enough taxes in the world to cover the coming debt obligations of the United States. To those who believe in God and the power of prayer I would recommend praying about all big moves including buying a house in these troubled times. Don't forget to keep a full pantry or cupboard in your new house (or even in your old one) because food will one day be in short supply. Yes, it sounds impossible in this great country of ours but look at Greece or even Wisconsin and Minnesota if you want a mere glimpse of what is coming in this decade or the next, and maybe by 2013. May God help us!

July 02 2011 at 2:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

It is harder to throw a family out of a house they are buying than kicking out a renter. That being said, I warned my family members that were thinking of buying to wait several years before they did so as there were too many homes being built at too high a price. They are still renting, the houses they were looking at have dropped in value and will continue to drop until we as a nation hit bottom. We owe everyone as a nation.

July 02 2011 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We purchased our house not quite two years ago, and it has already DROPPED in value, by 21%. Also, between the first year and the second year, our property taxes have MORE than doubled, and homeowners' insurance has JUMPED by 19.33%, for no apparent reason. Also, those big tax breaks you're supposed to get, by deducting your property tax and mortgage interest? Forget it! While we paid a lot toward those two items (tax and interest), it wasn't QUITE enough to itemize on tax returns, as the Standard Deduction for filing as Head Of Household was greater than those items totalled. This is the third home we have purchased since 1987, and we will NEVER buy another one! All in all, I'd say there's something to be said, for renting. At least, whenever something breaks (and it surely will, given time), as a renter you can call your landlord, to get it taken care of. As the homeowner, you're just waiting for something to happen, which you can't really afford to fix. So, NO, homeownership is NOT that big a deal, as we have learned.

July 02 2011 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pofolkgal's comment

I don't disagree with anything you have written. I own my home free and clear so have no interest deduction, but with utilities, maintenance and taxes my home cost me about $19,000 last year. Many renters pay their own utilities so this should be compared appropriately. BTW renters pay property tax, it is included in the rent, but they can never deduct it. Landlords deduct it.

I'm writing to tell you that I pay my property tax twice in the odd years, i.e., I paid 2010's in January and will pay 2011's in December. That way I itemize every other year becaus I exceed the standard deductioin and take the standard deduction every other year when I don't exceed the standard. In this way I get SOME deduction for property tax, which would never exceed the standard deduction if I paid it in December every year. Many people do this and it is legal.

In some states you will pay a small late penalty for the January payment for the prior year as it is due on December 31. Here it is due on January 31 of the following year so here I can do this with no penalty at all.

July 03 2011 at 8:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Remember, the only people who are experiencing a drop in prices are those that are actually selling their homes. You do not realize a loss while you continue to live in your home, raise your kids and grow old. Until then, it's a paper loss. If you look ahead and determine that you'll be in your home at least for 5 years, I think that it's a great time to buy. The window of opportunity for those buyers will close and we'll be back to complaining how much real estate costs! Do what Buffet does. He does the opposite of what the masses are doing - buy when no one else will and sell when everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon. By the time you determine the market has hit bottom, it will be too late - it will already be rising. If we could perfectly time the stock market or real estate, we'd all be rich. But those that purchase, hold & enjoy and then sell historically realize appreciation. Quick rich schemes never work - if it's too good to be is.

July 02 2011 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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