Happy Fourth of July! The front page of last Thursday's New York Times showed the results of a poll of Americans regarding their feelings about real estate. Not surprisingly, it indicated that a big majority of those polled believe that owning real estate is still the American dream, and that it would be their choice, even though those same people were more divided as to the safety of such an investment.
It used to be that almost everyone believed that buying a house was the best and safest thing to do with their money. Their faith in the second half of that statement has been shaken by the recent financial crisis, but the first half is undeniably still true. Even those who do not own homes believe in the mortgage deduction's importance, and hope that the primacy of real estate will remain steady.
That's good news for the future of the economy. While we realize that there is still work to be done in convincing people to put down their deposits and buy, it's clear that they wish to be convinced to act. It also seems true that they would be happy to find reasons to do so. When that's the case, it's important to find ways to get people off the fence. Once those who are not absolutely required to sell begin to do so, others will follow. The consumer confidence necessary for that isn't there right now. It's up to government, unfortunately, to find a way to make that so. Jobs have to be created, and the future needs to look a little brighter. But the underpinnings are there. The beliefs remain.
So this Fourth of July, while you are watching the fireworks and soaking up the sun, make plans to get out there soon and buy some real estate. It's the patriotic thing to do!