Our founder, Steve Harney, occasionally asks to do a personal post on what he sees as important to our industry. Today is one of those days. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew
I have great respect for Suze Orman. She has dedicated her life to educating consumers on financial matters and has built a sensational personal brand along the way. I don’t always agree with her advice but can always see the logic in her position. However, she said something last Friday evening that was absolutely wrong.
Ms. Orman appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and addressed the housing market in this country. Her comment:
“We now have an America that doesn’t even think that they want to own a home anymore; they’re under water in their homes, and they are praying that somebody will just take it off of their hands so that they can rent.”
Her statement shocked me. I realize that there are many individual cases that are nothing less than tragic. I understand that there are some families trapped in a house they cannot sell. To say that Americans no longer believe in homeownership, however, is just not true. If you go to Orman’s own site and search the words ‘home ownership’, it sends you to FannieMae’s website for information.
What makes this ironic is that, on FannieMae’s website, you can find the National Housing Survey which is done quarterly. This survey asks Americans how they feel about housing. Here are a couple of findings from the most recent survey:
- 96% of all homeowners (and even 93% of all homeowners that are currently underwater) believe that homeownership has been a positive experience.
- 84% of Americans and 70% of renters believe homeownership is a better alternative than renting.
- 63% of renters have aspirations to someday be a homeowner.
- 64% of Americans think buying a home is a safe investment. (A safer investment than stocks or government bonds)
- When asked which investment is currently showing the most potential, more Americans picked buying a home than ANY OTHER INVESTMENT (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.)
- Broken down - 67% of homeowners, 55% of renters and even 75% of those homeowners underwater believe it is a good time to buy a home.
Suze Orman may believe that families in this country now prefer renting over owning. Surveys say the exact opposite. Americans still very much believe in owning their own home.