“Owning a house remains central to Americans’ sense of well-being,” begins a June 29, New York Times article.
The American Dream is an important part of what we value and we put a lot of efforts into preserving our values. Actually, we put a lot of effort into living our values. According to the same article, “Support for helping people in financial distress over housing is higher than support for helping those without a job.” This surely says a lot about values.
Recently, an acquaintance, who is also a former mortgage broker, made a comment that surprised me, knowing his background. He said, “A house is not an investment; it is a home.”
Investing in a house is risky only if you are not in a position to assume the responsibility, but do it anyway. I suspect and hope this does not happen as often as in the past. It seems we have learned the hard way. We value home ownership, but first, we value security and stability. With these values leading the way, we align our minds and hearts; our reason and desires. When this happens, we experience greater clarity, ask more and better questions, do our homework, find the best buyer’s agent and take every step with greater diligence and care.
To some extent, values depend on individual circumstances. Distressed homes around us enter the process of foreclosure and thus diminish the market value of neighboring houses. This, however, does not diminish the value of our quality of life, the value of all that we have accomplished and created to acquire, improve and maintain our current home, as well as our sense of belonging there. This, does not diminish the value of the search for a new dwelling when we know what we need and that it is time to acquire it.
This is our real investment, at a deeper level. The down payment and subsequent mortgage payments are but an extension of our commitment into the future. It is the time, planning and labor we invest in creating a home that constitute the true investment. We realize this when, on the first day we truly have time to stop and share a meal in the new kitchen, we suddenly become aware of a sense of being grounded. We have brought all of our energies into this one place and we savor it.
Click HERE to read the full NY Times article.