Home Ownership and the American Dream
The “American dream” is an oft-referred-to goal American citizens fight to achieve. People have come to this country with the sole intention of grabbing part of the American dream for themselves in the hopes of leading a comfortable life. What do you think of when you hear the phrase the “American dream”?
The term has different meanings for different individuals but all interpretations maintain common themes. This term evokes many emotions but probably most common is the concept of freedom. America stands for freedom and the rights of its citizens. Throughout the years, the American dream has grown to include education, health, and ownership of property. Having access to these aspects of life means having access to a quality and comfortable lifestyle.
Humans have a natural inclination to settle down and nest in their own space. Owning a home gives people this opportunity to nest and grow their roots for many years. In the past, property was passed down from generation to generation. Land was developed and used to sustain a family. Crops were grown and harvested, animals bred, and homes expanded to provide a stable living condition for an entire family unit. Today, this same culturing and developing of property exists, just in an updated form. Property is kept in a family for years giving future generations stability and an advantage over those who have not yet reached the part of the American dream that includes home ownership.
Homeowners enjoy the benefits of tax breaks, stability, and the opportunity to build equity and credit in their name thereby providing financial security. Achieving home ownership is a sign of higher status, accomplishment, and success. Having a home you can call your own proves you have climbed the ladder and earned a better quality of life. They are exempt from renting properties and from continuous relocation.
However, home ownership is no longer an easy goal to meet. Past generations married, started families, and became homeowners at a much younger age than today’s citizens. Increased prices, stringent requirements, and debt have driven the average age of home ownership higher than it has ever been. The good news is home ownership is still a goal for the majority of Americans. Reaching that goal is still perceived as a respectable and illustrious achievement. It still holds the same value today as it did years ago.
The concept of an American dream has been around forever. It has evolved and expanded but ultimately carries the same characteristics and common goals as in the beginning. We all still feel the urge to grab our portion of it and we all continue to fight for the success that comes from achieving it. It’s not a dream that will diminish. It will only adapt and develop as the years progress.