Americans Bullish on Home Ownership Despite Economy, So Why Won’t Washington Listen?

Some outlandish proposals on Capitol Hill are weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of home owners, sellers, and potential buyers.

Palm Coast, FL – July 21, 2011If you’re worried about the future of home ownership in America, you have good reason. The nation’s economy is struggling. But it’s not just the rising unemployment rate (up to 9.2% in June 2011) that’s deferring home ownership for many. Some outlandish proposals on Capitol Hill are also weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of home owners, sellers, and potential buyers.
But despite financial woes, a decline in home prices (down 4.6% in May 2011 year over year, according to NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ stats), and a ludicrous legislative attack, a new poll suggests that the dream of owning a home is still alive and well in the United States. According to research conducted by CBS News and The New York Times, a whopping nine out of 10 Americans say home ownership is still an important goal. More than half of those surveyed described it as “very important.” Did you hear that, Congress? 
With so much enthusiasm for home ownership, it’s tough to understand how some lawmakers are blatantly disregarding their constituents and proposing legislation that would further cripple the market. According to the CBS/NYT poll, almost half of Americans believe the government should be doing more to improve the housing market. But the hard reality is that some in Washington are putting the American dream out of reach.
Federal regulators, for instance, in an attempt to tighten lending standards, have put forth a proposal that would punish home buyers who put down less than a 20% downpayment by hiking their interest rates almost two percentage points. The proposal would create a high downpayment hurdle for first-time and low-income home buyers and make refinancing much more expensive for credit-worthy home owners.
If you agree that 20% down is just too high for hard-working, creditworthy Americans, send a message to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is accepting comments until Aug. 1.
Another important revelation from the poll is that nine in 10 of those surveyed say it’s important to maintain the mortgage interest deduction; six in 10 call the MID “very important.” Yet the President and some members of Congress have suggested repealing the longtime tax credit, which would  mean an annual hit of more than $3,000 to the average itemizing home owner. So why is the government ignoring the voices of those they were elected to represent? 
America has spoken: The government needs to take note, advance home ownership, and abandon proposals that would hinder the housing market. If our representatives won’t listen, the 2012 elections are a great opportunity to find some who will. 
What do you think of the various federal efforts to tighten downpayment rules and reduce home owner tax breaks?
Source: HouseLogic

4 replies
  1. Steve Grainger
    Steve Grainger says:

    Rethinking Mortgage Interest Deduction

    Wihtout being considered anti-capitalism, the current proposal on mortgage interest deduction changes the limit on value from $1M to $500k. For the majority of Americans, it will have no impact at all – except for perception. In addition, proposals regarding eliminating 2nd home deduction is also in play, that will have an impact to investment and vacation homes.
    I’m in total agreement on mandatory legislation of down payments. That should be a free-market decision, ultimately by the bank.

  2. Rich
    Rich says:

    Forclosures for sale!!!

    Having sold my home I have been looking at forclosers and I’m amazed by the prices Fannie Mae wants for grossly damaged and filthy houses. +

  3. Peggy Irwin
    Peggy Irwin says:

    20% Is Where We should be! Or Higher

    Why is everyone against the 20%. . it was good enough for our parents and for us when we bought our first home. . .before all this mess we find ourselves in today. If you want that American Dream, kids, it is not free. You need to save for it and yep, actually sacrifice a little, to get the down payment together and then buy that dream. Pretty simple.

  4. David J Widom
    David J Widom says:

    House Buying

    If you can’t put down at least 20% or more, you have no business trying to buy a house. This is one of the reasons we are in this mess,interest only mortgages, and people taking adjustable rate mortgages, with low teaser rates, when fixed rate mortgages are at record lows.
    Also, if I can’t deduct interest from other installment loans, why should housing get special treatment.
    The problem is we have too many people who cannot afford a house. If you don’t have adequate funds, then either save more or rent.

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