Survey: Homeownership Still Hallmark of American Dream

March 6, 2019

The majority of Americans—79 percent recently surveyed—still believe that owning a home is a vital component of achieving the American dream, according to a Bankrate.com survey of more than 2,000 consumers. Americans placed achieving homeownership ahead of retirement (68 percent), having a successful career (63 percent), and owning an automobile (58 percent), according to the survey.

A climber on a mountain peak holding an American flag

Dustin Kirkpatrick - Unsplash

While the majority of respondents rated ownership high, they do see several challenges to overcome to achieve it. About half of the survey’s respondents say they don’t own a home because they can’t afford it on their income. Four in 10 Americans say they don’t own because they can’t afford a down payment and closing costs, while one-third cite high home prices as the major obstacle.

 

 

But a rigid savings plan could put more consumers into homeownership. “Put yourself on financial lockdown for at least six months before purchasing a home,” says Dana Scanlon, a real estate pro with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Bethesda, Md. “Don’t buy new furniture, keep your old car running, and check your spending habits.”

Luis Rosa, a financial planner in Henderson, Nev., suggests a two-year plan to save up for closing costs and a down payment and to boost credit scores.