Is owning a home part of your American Dream?

A recent study shows the rate of homeownership in America has declined by more than 2 percent since 2004, and is projected to drop even more over the coming years. Has homeownership lost its luster in the wake of the mortgage crisis and recession? Is owning a home part of your American Dream?

Yes, owning a home is part of my “American Dream.” But I’m realistic & could never afford all the extra bills & responsibilities. -@ELBfoto

Although my wife and I are going through a foreclosure right now, I got to be a homeowner as a 25 year old! In what other country would that even be possible? We plan on doing it again someday when we have more money. -Kyle Sumrow, Plymouth, MN

An immigrant owning a home in America is a part of mine and my parents American dream. -Igor Flider, Maple Grove, MN

As odd as it may seem, owning a home is not a part of my American Dream. Am I in the minority there? -@AHKaufman

If the American Dream is to watch Star Wars at whatever volume I see fit, then count me in! -Jeremy, Fargo, ND

My American dream is to have the freedom and flexibility to work and live in different places. I was able to take advantage of a job opportunity in the Brainerd area and then another opportunity to rent a lake home that I could never afford to own. Home ownership can be a beast of burden keeping people from pursuing other dreams and is not for everyone. -anonymous text message

Yes, home ownership falls into my idea of the American dream. Preferably in the city, not the suburbs. -@leesejared

It’s not my American Dream, but I hope to buy one this year for the free $8000 anyway. -anonymous text message

If the American Dream is owning a home the Minnesota dream is owning a cabin on a lake! We bought a a cabin in the fall 2009 because of the very low prices. -anonymous text message

No! Perhaps property. But that’s as far as I’d go. -@jenniferphd

The American dream is about freedom, not home ownership. Owning a home is not appropriate for everyone. -anonymous text message

Share your reply in the comments: Is owning a home part of your American Dream?

  • Paula

    NO – owning my own house is not a part of my American dream (i’ve owned in the past; currently content to rent)

  • Dan

    My American Dream consists of doing better than my parents did. They own a home, so my dream includes that.

  • Al

    It is part of my American dream. I love to have a big garden, and doing that almost requires that you own your own home.

  • clark

    You need a secure place to live but owning a home is not a good financial investment when you consider operating expenses, taxes, etc. I have read the average return over 25 years is about 2.5 % so from a financial point of view you are better off putting money in a CD.

  • Emily

    NO- I don’t trust the banks anymore and probably will never accumulate the $ needed to pay cash. I’m content with renting for the rest of my life.

  • Marin

    It is very dangerous for America to keep trying to make it seem like owning a home is a sound financial investment and can be the single best way to achieve prosperity. That is completely wrong! Instead we should just teach from an early age, financial education, the values of planing early and controlling expenses, and the dangers of credits and over leaverage.

  • Chris

    No, because I would rather take the difference between renting and owning and put it into stocks. Plus I don’t have to mow the lawn and do all the other home repairs when I rent.

  • I don’t see home ownership in my near future. Any potential to do so is so far away from me that I would have to be another person to even have the desire to own a home.

  • Lille

    I think that by putting home ownership as part of “the American Dream” is part of what drove the misguided mortgage frenzy and landed us in this recession. Nonetheless, it’s still part of MY dream.

  • Noel

    Yes home owning is part of my dream. I’ve owned my home for 13 years and I plan to continue as a home owner (or renter because I guess the bank actually owns the home…but someday I will own it).

  • Kelly

    I am a 47 yr old women who is recently seperated. I have owned homes in the past and currently moved to my home town and into the family farm home. The farm and home are share owned by 6 family members. It has been in our family for over 100 yrs. and lived in for all but 6 yrs. In my current stage in my life it is a wonderful fit for me and the home as obviously it is better for a house to be lived in as opposed to sitting empty. I have no intention of ever singely owning a home again.

  • bsimon

    I am living the dream, and that includes owning my home. The beauty of the american dream is that it is different things to different people.

  • Tom

    I thought it would be great to live the American dream and own a home. Now that I’ve got one and had so many problems, especially refinancing, I’d rather rent.

  • Nate

    Yes, owning a home is part of my, and THE, American dream.

    Too many Americans are comfortable with renting and debt. I think this and I’m only 22.

    Americans are irresponsible with their money and it has nothing to do with politics. We just can’t handle our money well.

  • lemvawter

    I would say it’s part of a dream, not necessarily part of an American dream. As well, the proverbial white picket fence is not my ideal — rather, a walkable, environmentally-friendly condo or small house in the city is part of my dream.

  • Maianne

    My American Dream is to finish grad school, find a job within the historic preservation field. Then, IF my job pays enough to support a mortgage, consider buying a historic house.

  • Mike

    I own now (and have since 2006) and have done nothing but regret it. Ache for the flexibility of renting. Homeownership feels like a trap. Mortgage doesn’t have “mort” in it for nothing.

  • Jaime in Minneapolis

    My parents (and later, with their spouses) must have thought home ownership was the American Dream, but it was their kids’ nightmare! Moving around town to flip houses left us kids having to switch schools and live in fear of leaving a mess in the house in case the real estate agent showed up. I’ll be a renter for life if possible!

  • Kathy

    I’ve owned a house for 25+ years. My husband and I are nearing retirement and I’m ready to get rid of the house and become a vagabond!

  • No, home-ownership is a “want,” not a “need.”

  • kates

    i think owning land is part of my “american dream,” not so much the house sitting on it.

  • amy

    Owning a home is central to my American Dream. I’ve moved all over the country to find the perfect combo of an interesting job, affordable homes, and a good place to raise a family. I just moved to Minneapolis a month ago from North Carolina, and I hope this place will fit the bill!

  • James Ely ,MN

    Owning a home is most likely a dream for everyone but like alot of dreams they don’t always come true.Owning a home is not a right it is a privilege,one that you should make on your own .By working hard and living and buying within your means.Not every one can afford a home let alone be responsible for one

  • Mia

    My American dream is to have the flexibility to live in an apartment that I love, be close to work, take public transit and let the landlord worry about maintenance

  • Vince

    If owning means sharing property with a bank or other loan company, then NO. One of the biggest banks refused to negotiate with us before foreclosure and now has lost our trust.

  • Alison

    My American Dream is about space. Not necessarily a big house, but more space on the outside. I like neighbors but not right on top of me. Personal Space and freedom to do what I choose with what I own is my American Dream. I feel very lucky to live in a place where space is not a premium and I can still see lots of nature around me.

  • Darryl

    Glad to see other owners who feel like I do about it. I have owned for five years, I’m doing great financially and have never missed or been late on a payment; but it causes me more stress than I think it is worth. I don’t think home ownership is for everyone.

  • Denny

    Homeowner since August 2005 near Seattle, WA. I’ve gone back and forth in my head about whether or not I want to continue being a homeowner.

    Some days I think about getting an RV and hitting the road and work odd jobs around the country when I need cash. But other days it’s nice to have a place to call my own and be able to do with it what I want.

    I have been unemployed since 1/20/2011, that’s just over 6 months. Right now being a homeowner is great because if I was renting I would’ve been homeless many months ago cause I don’t have cash to pay for housing.

    I’m leaning more towards keeping my house. Because it’s a modest little starter home and I already have it, I figure I might as well keep it. When I got it in 2005 I didn’t have any money to put down. In the future I can’t see myself saving 20-$30,000 for a down payment. Intead of saving that money later as a down payment on ANOTHER home. I can put my money towards remodeling and increasing the equity in the house I already have.