Home Ownership and the American Dream

What defines the American Dream? A new poll by Big Builder reveals that one answer to this enduring question may be home ownership. A major portion of the American population (59%) believes that they are living the American Dream. Respondents distinguished owning a home as the second most important factor of the American Dream, just behind raising a family.

Another statistic in this poll seem to suggest that this trend may be more stifled as the younger generation of Americans (18-29 year olds) come to the crucial decision of buying a home. Still, 49% see home ownership as a “sound investment,” while 49% of this age group call it “too risky.” Perhaps the effect of the weak economy has been especially evident in this age group.

Some interesting contradictions also arise in these statistics. For instance, 58% of those who believe the housing crisis is a chronic problem also recommend buying a home. Furthermore, 75% of respondents claim to not have benefited from any federal program to assist in ownership (such as mortgage interest deduction), yet 71% confessed to taking the deduction. The pollsters have considered that perhaps the government’s assistance in home ownership may be unclear for many Americans.

A final statistic worth mentioning is that 58% of Americans believe that fulfilling the American Dream is influenced mostly by their own skills and hard work than by the current state of the economy. The ubiquitous American Dream still runs on hard work and the pressing notion of owning a home, it would seem.