By Kay Wilson-Bolton
September 5, 2010
Recently a nationally read magazine suggested that home ownership might be passé.
That argument is easily countered by those retirees 55 years who entered retirement with a minimal mortgage on their home with burning it in the near future.
It can also be be countered by the millions of middle-Americans who bought wisely, refinanced only to obtain a better interest rate, enjoy the tax deductions and the appreciation that comes over time with real estate ownership.
Now that rent payments and mortgage payments have intersected, a homeowner will quickly notice at year end the wisdom of paying their own lender instead of someone else’s.
It would be hard to imagine an America with a landed gentry that owns all its single family homes. Individual ownership spreads the wealth, stabilizes and balances governments while it creates jobs and spending power for the reliable but disappearing middle class.
There is no question that a decline in home prices precipitates a decline in wealth, but as long as it is across economic distinctions, all boats float high in the water.
Since home prices in California double every 20 years in California, it is a safe bet that over the long term, owing your own home is a hedge against the drop in income associated with retirement.
It can also guarantee that vacations and a few luxuries are still possible in retirement years, let alone sleep filled nights and stress-less days, role modeling good business decisions for kids, stabilizing families and neighborhoods
No should buy a home until they are “ready.” Education in money management, understanding loans, responsible home purchasing and ownership, sensible spending habits and right thinking would decrease the risks of foreclosure. We are living through the disaster where people bought homes but just weren’t ready for the realities and the responsibilities.
The Department of Real Estate requires a license and education for someone to sell a home; maybe we should inspire a program where some buyers need the same to buy one.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista. She brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025. Her web address is www.realestatemagic.com