Our focus for this article will not be the investment aspects of real estate. This is not to say that we think that homes have ceased to be a solid investment. One must remember that the median price of homes has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Then there are the tax benefits of owning a home…and also the fact that home mortgage payments do not increase as quickly as rent, making the home a sound hedge against inflation. While many analysts expect rents to continue to rise over the next several years in response to increased demand, it remains clear that, in the long run, real estate will still be an important part of any financial plan.

Rather than focusing on the economic advantages of homeownership, today, we re-examine the psychological benefits. In a national survey conducted by mortgage giant Fannie Mae regarding home ownership, among other findings, they learned that Americans would typically choose to work an additional decade in order to become a homeowner. Our interpretation of this answer really helps us see that there is more to homeownership than money.

Some time ago, an article appeared on the internet in The Montpelier Pride that serves as a strong reminder that the dream of homeownership extends far beyond dollars and cents. The article was written by a single mother, Dorl Oatley, who worked for a non-profit in a high cost of living area–Montpelier, Vermont. Its editor noted that Ms. Oatley writes about the thrill, pride and satisfaction of owning her own home. Here are a few quotes from the story:….

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