Celebrate National Homeownership Month 2018 by Finding Your Place

A couple smiling and putting their hands together, with a piggy bank on a white table in front of them.

National Homeownership Month is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) celebration of families who make their dreams come true through hard work and determination.

The 2018 National Homeownership Month theme is “Find Your Place,” which encourages all Americans, from all backgrounds and of all ages, to #FindYourPlace in the American Dream: Homeownership.

June is also a time to highlight the organizations that work hard all year round to support homeowners in achieving their goals. HUD, the Cabinet department created by the 1965 Department of Housing and Urban Development Act, is the perfect place to kick things off. On their website there are a number of tools and tips aspiring homeowners can use, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans and access to housing counselors.

Each year, HUD plays a critical role in helping thousands of hard-working people get into and stay in their homes. HUD Secretary Ben Carson says home ownership is an “enduring symbol of security and prosperity” and “provides many Americans with a legacy they can pass down to their children and grandchildren,” according to the HUD May 31, 2018 press release.

The National Association of Realtors is also recognizing the long-term value of owning a home. They are sharing news, stories, policy issues and housing-related through the sites Homeownership Matters and HouseLogic.

This month, mortgage loan corporation Freddie Mac celebrates their role in the real estate industry through the message “Connecting the Ecosystem to Expand Access to Ownership.” The main parts of their ecosystem are borrowers, housing counselors, real estate professionals, lenders, and Freddie Mac itself.
Local Perspectives

In the true spirit of community building, some local organizations are making an effort to reach more people during this year’s National Homeownership Month.

Day in and day out, the Central Jersey Housing Resource Center is doing their part to help. The nonprofit housing counseling agency has over 28 years of experience in educating aspiring homeowners. They offer closing-cost assistance programs, investment partnership programs to help low and moderate-income households buy their first home, and a variety of grant and counseling programs.

Some local Realtor associations have also joined in to highlight local programs. The Dulles Area Association of Realtors has a great page highlighting important programs available at the local, state and national level that promote the dream of homeownership.

Current Homeownership Statistics
More than just a place to live, the American home is a symbol of community, families, and supporting local businesses. For so many of us, it’s an important milestone on the road to the American Dream.

For National Homeownership Month, let’s look at the current state of homeownership in America: The U.S. homeownership rate is hovering around 64 percent, with a majority of first-time homebuyers under the age of 37 years old. According to the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, the American housing sector is responsible for approximately 14 percent of total economic activity.

More interestingly, though, is the idea that homeownership builds wealth over time and in the long run. According to the HUD, the median wealth or net worth of a homeowner is nearly $200,000, or 36 times greater that of the median renter who had just over $5,000.” Additionally, the children of homeowners are more likely to graduate from high school and earn more in adulthood.

Presumably this is due in part to the stronger community networks and support systems that homeowners build, as they move far less frequently than renters.

And if you feel like you need a little help, you’re not alone. An estimated 40 percent of borrowers will use an FHA loan to purchase their first home.

Are you dreaming of becoming a new homeowner? See what resources are available in your community and review the first-time buyer guide section of NewHomeSource for additional information to get you started.
Rebecca Rosenberg is an international digital media consultant and freelance writer.

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