As a real estate professional, you know that America is a nation of homeowners—67% of American households are owner-occupied. And housing is a key driver of our economy, accounting for 15% of our Gross Domestic Product in general. Research shows that for every home purchased, $60,000 is pumped into the economy for furniture, home improvements and related items. Plus homeowners pay 80-90% of individual federal income taxes, contributing to federal programs that benefit all Americans.
Yet many recent media reports question the value of home ownership and whether it is worthy of the tax benefits currently available. Some reports contend that changing federal policies and eliminating tax incentives that support home ownership, such as the Mortgage Interest Deduction, might even be in the public’s best interest.
For more than 100 years, members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® have championed home ownership as a fundamental part of the American Dream. Now more than ever, you must stand up for home ownership. And with the help of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (NAR’s) “Home Ownership Matters” campaign, you can help NAR spread the word about the value of home ownership to your clients, community and policymakers.
“There are some, mostly in academic circles and in the media, who have been questioning the value of home ownership and the importance of incentives for homeowners,” says Pamela Geurds Kabati, vice president of Public Affairs and Consumer Media. “They ask whether we wouldn’t be better off as a nation of renters. As an industry, we have to stand up and say, ‘Absolutely not.’ We need our voice to be loud and clear to influence the court of public opinion and policymakers. Home ownership provides homeowners, their communities, and our country with so many benefits.”
Why Home ownership Matters
Home ownership has a significant, positive impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation and overall quality of life. Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. In the past 12 years, a typical homeowner’s net worth has been 31-46 times that of a renter. Plus, most homeowners enjoy stable housing costs. In fact, studies show that fixed rate mortgage payments typically stay the same, while rent has increased at an average rate of approximately 3% per year in the last 10 years.
NAR contends that homeowners contribute more to their communities by voting and volunteering more. They do not move as frequently as renters, bringing stability to neighborhoods, which helps reduce crime and support upkeep.
And it has been shown that homeowners enjoy a better quality of life. They tend to be happier and healthier, and feel a greater sense of control over their lives. They are free to redecorate, renovate and modify their homes as they wish. And their children tend to do better in school and stay in school longer, according to a recent white paper by NAR titled “The Social Benefits of Home Ownership.”
Help Counter the Critics
To learn more about why Home Ownership Matters, visit http://www.REALTOR.org/home ownership where you’ll find everything you need to keep you current on the debate, including articles, stats and data, blog posts, videos, and webinars.
You’ll also find a wealth of resources that you can use to spread the word, including sample letters and articles you can adapt and send to members of the local media and a Home Ownership Matters widget that you can put on your website. You can also download a flyer and order Home Ownership Matters buttons you can hand out to clients. There’s also a free Mortgage Interest Deduction iPhone app, available through iTunes, which you can use to show renters how much buying power the deduction gives them or to show homeowners how much money it saves them.
NAR will continue to fight to preserve this important institution through advocacy and outreach to lawmakers, consumers and the media. NAR will continue to lobby policymakers in Washington, DC, and its consumer website, http://www.Houselogic.com, will help reinforce the benefits of home ownership to your customers and prospects.