The American Dream: Much More Than Just A House

Joan Shaffer September 9, 2016 Buyers Homeowners Sellers

As Americans, one of the precious freedoms upon which this country was founded is the right to own property. Here’s a brief look at how real estate has driven the growth of this country and been the vehicle through which our economy has thrived over the centuries.

In the mid and late 1800s, giving homestead rights away by allowing pioneers to stake their claim was a way to encourage migration to the West and open up new frontiers for commerce and industry.

After the Great Depression in the 1930s, the poor, homeless American became a fixture of life. As a means to stabilize the banking industry and return stability to daily life in America, the government began a program of subsidized loans for home ownership.

After World War II, our country faced two critical problems: integrating the returning veterans into civilian life, and jump-starting a sluggish economy. By providing inexpensive government loans to veterans (known as GI loans–for “government issued”), a housing boom took off that fueled the economy for decades. The pride of home ownership provided stability to millions of Americans, many of whom were the first generation within their families to own a home of their own.

By the 1980s, the government recognized a growing problem of affordability, as housing prices rose to unattainable heights for many working families. As a result, the federal government began a focused effort that continues today to provide a wide variety of affordable programs that promote home ownership to low and middle-income groups.

With the housing recession in the first decade of this century, numerous federal government programs swung into action in a massive effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. To this day, many programs instituted as a result of that recession are still assisting homeowners.

For an interesting look at how the federal government saved the housing market, visit: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/housing/report/2012/10/11/40824/the-federal-housing-administration-saved-the-housing-market/

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