Our nation recognizes National Homeownership Month every June. Due to the nature of our business, we at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners are continually focused on homeownership. Every day, every month, every year, we help people realize their dreams of homeownership.
Over time, homeownership has become an integral part of the American Dream, a term coined in 1931 by historian James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America. While it is safe to say that the idea of the American Dream was in existence long before it was named, many Americans did not connect homeownership with the American Dream until this time period, ironically at the height of The Great Depression. Until this time, most Americans were renters or lived with other family members.
In the early 1900s, it was not uncommon for newlyweds to move into the home of one set of parents, who may have still been living in their parents’ home. Remember the television show The Waltons?
One of the issues with homeownership in that era was the lack of mortgage loans. Families were required to pay for the home in full. An early type of mortgage loan existed, but it required 50 to 80 percent down with the remainder due within three to five years. For most people, this type of mortgage loan was just as far out of reach as paying a lump sum for the home. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that we are familiar with today was unheard of at that time.
During The Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt put more people on the road to homeownership than ever before with the 1934 National Housing Act. This act accomplished three things: it put people to work, it boosted the economy, and it allowed more people to own homes. The Federal Housing Administration created a home mortgage that greatly improved the terms for homebuyers, but the mortgage types we are familiar with today still did not come about until the late 1950s.
Sandwiched between two of our most patriotic remembrances—Memorial Day and Independence Day, June is the perfect month to reflect on this important aspect of the American Dream. Our homes are precious spaces. We entertain our friends, nurture our families, and create memories there. Is it any wonder that we dedicate a month to reflecting on homeownership?
Helping people accomplish their dreams is a great responsibility, and we at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners take our responsibility to our clients very seriously. We would love the opportunity to help you find your next home.