CHAPTER 2 Owning vs. Renting
Owning your own home might be one of the defining qualities of the “American Dream:” the set of ideals that includes opportunity for prosperity and success and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work. Home ownership is surely ingrained as one of the strongest representations of that vision — 66% of Americans own their own home, and more hope they will or wish they did. Something about home ownership plucks a strong chord with Americans. Financial security, permanency, status, and pride are values many of us seek. Lifestyle plays a big role in the decision to own versus rent. Home buying is most often driven by household formation, such as marriage and growing a family. Less than 40% of people under 35 years old own homes, 60% of people over 35 years old own homes, and more than 80% of people 65 years old or over own homes. Interestingly, for the millennial generation, the primary reason for buying a home? Owning a dog. The U.S. homeownership rate has fluctuated between 62% and 70% since the 1950s. Most young people begin their independent lives renting an apartment, maximizing lifestyle flexibility and minimizing the hefty upfront costs associated with purchasing a home. As they build careers, save money, and start families, many choose to buy a home, recognizing that home ownership, as opposed to rental living, is more appropriate to their growing family needs.
At the other end of the age spectrum are homeowners nearing
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