Did you know that June is National Homeownership Month? This designation is meant to celebrate all the benefits of owning a home. And the timing couldn’t be more appropriate now that we realize just how important our homes are during the global pandemic. Let’s take a closer look at how this celebration began, and how homeownership enriches our families and our communities.
The origins of National Homeownership Month
Back in 1995, President Clinton’s administration created National Homeownership Week to bring attention to the benefits of homeownership in America. Then in 2002, President George W. Bush expanded the observance to encompass the entire month of June. By increasing the duration of the celebration, President Bush essentially highlighted just how important homeownership has become to our health, happiness, and prosperity in the United States.
Homeownership builds wealth
One of the biggest benefits of homeownership today is the opportunity to build wealth. In 2019, home prices rose approximately four percent year-over-year from 2018. And although the coronavirus has brought with it some uncertainty in the real estate market, there is still good news. There have been record-breaking numbers of refinances on home loans because of historically low-interest rates. In addition, housing values have increased during the pandemic. Although purchase volume did drop during the lockdown, more buyers are entering the market and volume is picking up, too.
Homeownership provides safety
If it wasn’t obvious before, then it became clear during our months of self-isolation. Homeownership provides safety. As we sheltered in place, most of us could see how having a home helped to protect us from the worst of the pandemic. And the CARES Act enacted by the federal government helped to ensure that homeowners could stay in their homes during the worst of the crisis. Homeowners with loans backed by the federal government could take advantage of forbearance plans, allowing them payment relief for up to a year. Unfortunately, renters did not have the same protection, and many have faced eviction as a result of job losses and decreased income.
Our homes are the center of our lives
While our homes have often been thought of as our sanctuaries, they have truly become the center of our lives. Millions have begun working from home, and some may be telecommuting permanently as a result. Our homes have also become our schools, with millions of school-age children now attending classes from their kitchen tables or bedroom desks. The homes we live in reflect who we are, and they are a source of pride, accomplishment, and peace of mind.
Homeownership is attainable
Don’t let the pandemic scare you away from your dreams of homeownership, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. There are many programs available to help you achieve your dream of buying a home. This includes loan programs with low or no down payments, such as FHA loans, VA loans, and USDA loans. And it’s safer than ever to navigate the buying process, with many of the steps moving online, including closing. Talk to a professional real estate agent today to find out what options are available to you!