Coworkers grimacing over gross pants

Why Americans take homeownership for a spin (cycle)

By Vance Edwards

June 2017

I read somewhere once that one of the main reasons renters buy a home is to have their own washer and dryer. Struck me as odd to that the American Dream of homeownership might hinge on an aversion to Laundromats.

Not that I could be fairly described as “pro Laundromat.” I will readily admit that when I bought my first home, ditching the hunt for laundry quarters was definitely in the plus column.

Still…the American Dream? Has to be more to it than that, right? After all, in an article in Forbes last year, Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), cited two different surveys showing that 87% and 86% of the population said owning a home was still essential part of the American Dream. Could that many Americans hate the florescent glow of Laundromats that much?

Well, yes, they could, I guess. But no, it is not just that.

Now, I could lay out many financial reasons to want to own a home. Like the fact that the Federal Reserve Board’s latest study showed the median net worth of homeowners increased 4% from a previous study to reach $194,400. In comparison, renters’ net worth remained flat at $5,400.

But while the financial reasons to buy a home make a lot of sense, at the core I think the appeal of homeownership runs much deeper. (Certainly much deeper than those pesky grass stains in my son’s baseball uniform!)

NAR’s March 2017 Generational Report showed that the number one reason homebuyers 61 and younger decided to buy was “the desire to have a place of my own.” It’s as much about freedom as it is about any cold hard financial facts.

Freedom to paint or remove a wall. Have a pet. A garage or a walk-in closet. A garden. Band practice. A place to raise a family. The truth is, there could be almost any reason why you would want to buy a home. And none of those reasons are more right or wrong than the others.

So as we celebrate freedom this Fourth of July, Readynest wants to know…why do you think homeownership is part of the American Dream?

Reginald Taylor Trina Taylor

Two bathrooms, more closet space

Rick Rosell

Having the freedom to design your house the way you would like, also being able to raise my family in a place that we can all call home.


Purchasing a home that is environmenally cost effective to maintain affordability. Buying the right size house without overkill is extremely important.


I want the freedom to change things in the house and to have more privacy. I do love having my dog and my bird. Laundry room is a plus.

Enrique Patlan

Always wanted a back yard and garage

Christopher Roldan

Thank you for the great information. I've always wanted a garage.

Ariel Delgado

I love living with my self, you no need to worry about the other person

Yulonda Dubose

Having an energy efficient home is the answer to my prayers. Not a big house but just enough space for me.


To not rent and pay someone else bills

Renee Hannan

A great starter house on 3 lots to add onto the house and remodel it the way we want it. I am so blessed and happy, this house has been in my family for a very long time.


Great information


My house payment will be 2x less expensive then renting a house and you’re able to design it how you want!


To have a place of my own & not have noisy neighbors above and below me in an apartment. Also to obtain a mortgage that is less than I pay for rent & come out owning property instead of paying rent on someone else's property.

Paul Russo

Good quality information

Demarco Mcdaniel

It’s almost necessary


i want to have my own space

Jose Pagan

I want to buy a house because I want to have my own property. I want to start having equity and investment. I want that my family feel more secure in our on roperty.

Justin Taylor

Homeownership is better then renting at the end of it all.. not only are you paying to own the house, but at the same time you have more freedom to do what you want, where ever you want, and however you want. Why? Because its your house.

Abby Calley

Wanting to have a home for my family.

Amiisi nzeyimana

I can't wait to go to my house

Nashanta Prince

I like to buy a home for investment and it more privacy. If something happens to me, my daughter retains ownership.

Barbara Brusslan

It is more cost effective to buy versus rent.

Christopher Boone

More privacy

Danilo Jocson

I want to buy a home than renting. It is mine as long as I can pay it. I can do my own designs inside and also landscape. I don’t have to deal with neighbors below and above and next to me. Also it is not wasted because it’s a tax shelter.


Want a home for my children. To change things as i would like.


Comprar casa para invercion y mas

Scott J Webb

Looking forward to livlng closer to my kids.

Luis Morales

I wanted to buy a home for my kids future


This will help me out very much


I want to buy a home for my wife and child. Also something to build equity. And a space of my own

Rey George Pascua

I want to buy a home for my family and can have our own space.


I want to have a mortgage so that I won't have to worry about rent increases and call it my own.

Laura Baez Daniel

Great help for firs time

Weigh In

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Vance Edwards has been working to help get people into homes since joining MGIC back in 1999, after brief tours in the Army, college and a Milwaukee advertising company. He’s bought 3 homes (and sold 2) along the way, using them with his wife Carrie to raise 2 remarkable children, Hailey and Trevan. Vance loves baseball at any level, is part of a comedy sketch & improv team, and has won national playwriting awards.
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