Defining the American Dream

Home Ownership Rates

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You can do all kinds of things to get people into a house, which we did; the real problem is making it so they can stay there. You can't magically MAKE an unaffordabel home someone streched to buy with an exotic loan product be affordable. Even if the President of the most powerful nation in the world tells you to!

Regionally, homeownership rates are highest in the Midwest (71.3 percent) and in the South (69.1 percent) where housing is considered relatively affordable. They are lowest in the West (62.3 percent) and the Northeast (63.9 percent) where home prices are on the higher end of the spectrum.

Relative to a year ago, the biggest decline, though, was in the South (down 0.7 points) and in the West (down 0.4 points), where you can find the foreclosure hotspots of Florida, California, Arizona, and Nevada.

The Census Bureau also reported that the percentage of vacant homes in the U.S. rose from 2.6 percent in the third quarter of last year to 2.7 percent in the fourth. All told, there were 2.09 million homes sitting empty and available for sale at the end of last year, up from 1.99 million three months earlier, the agency said. As Bloomberg explained, this number includes both listed properties and those that banks have repossessed and have not yet listed.

The moral of the storey? Somewhere along the way we lost track of the definition of the American Dream. Somewhere in the way we define that HAS to be the requirement that the debt we take on to acquire that dream lifestyle is comfortably affordable. If you can't afford to comfortably pay your mortgage, the house is NOT your dream home...it may be somebody elses dream home (who can afford it) but it is NOT yours!

The good news is your true dream home may be waiting out there for you. Now you need to do the best you can to cut your losses and get back on track building you credit so you can buy it and live happily ever after :-)


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