Is Homeownership the American Dream?

One of the most common explanations of the American Dream is owning your own home and being a homeowner. While truly defining the America Dream is left up to perspective and no one individual has the same definition as another. However, one thing that everyone can agree on is that it allows for you to feel successful and like you have accomplished what you wanted. That is why – through this sense of prosperity – many Americans believe that homeownership is truly the American Dream. Here is why homeownership is the American Dream.

While owning your home may allow you to be a stronger part of your community, this is often overlooked. Most people usually just think of a home as a place of shelter, but it offers much more than one would think. Buying your home allows you to have a sense and stake of community, allows for strong financial foundations, and is truly a crowning achievement anyone could be proud of.

American Dreams

According to a recent survey from Bankrate, respondents were asked to rank achievements as indicators of success. To the surprise of no one (or everyone), homeownership was the number one answer in terms of indicators of financial success. The responses will allow us to continue the argument that homeownership still remains the overall financial goals. The graph below shows the other options, and just how much further homeownership is ahead.

American Dream

Homeownership and the American Dream

As the graph shows, homeownership ranks above other significantly large milestones in terms of financial goals. Having a successful career, college degree, retirement, and more, are all good to plan for, but homeownership is still the number one American Dream.

The Rest of American Dreams

Owning your home is single-handedly the most important step to becoming a significant wealth generator. Not only does it provide a wealth building aspect, but it also provides a meaningful financial stability aspect. Real estate prices historically have increased, allowing for you to build wealth while having a place to live and build a family. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors:

“Homeownership builds financial security. With 65.5% of Americans owning homes, the net worth of a typical homeowner is nearly 40 times the net worth of a non-owner.”

There are other ways your home impacts you overall, not just financially. This is what I think causes the act of homeownership to be the number one American Dream. According to the Mortgage Reports highlights, there are many other benefits of homeownership that homeowners enjoy. These are:

  • Your equity (and wealth) grows through home price appreciation.
  • Your housing costs are fixed – and that can help combat rising costs from inflation.
  • You’ll have greater privacy and the opportunity to customize your living space.

Finally, according to NAR:

“Living in one place for a longer amount of time creates and [sic] obvious sense of community pride, which may lead to more investment in said community.”