Nationwide homeownership levels fall

Fewer Americans are becoming homeowners.A government report shows that fewer Americans owned their own home in the fourth quarter of the year than any period since 1998.

According to the Commerce Department (http://www NULL.census NULL.pdf) the national homeownership rate dropped to 66.5 percent in the third quarter of the year, down from 67.2 percent a year earlier. It's also down significantly from the mark of 69.2 percent reached during the height of the housing boom in 2004.

Analysts say the decline may pave the way for a fundamental change in the way people view rentals.

"Americans are going through a fundamental transition in the way they look at rental housing," Greg Kraus, senior director of acquisitions with Invesco Real Estate, told the Wall Street Journal. "Historically, there's almost been a subtle disdain in many markets if you're a renter. That stigma is going to go away."

Homeownership levels in the government's South region, which includes Houston homes, came in at 68.5 percent, higher than the national average but down from 69.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Despite the drop, recent reports show many people are still looking to buy a home. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that more than 70 percent of renters felt that owning a home made more long-term financial sense.

Should you Rent or Buy

 I was just reading an excerpt that gave reasons why a person should rent instead of buying a home.   I agree with this statement to rent only for people first starting out in a new job or a new relationship.  But realistically renting is like throwing your money away because you see no return on the money you pay out every month. 

The United States tax policy rewards house buyers who borrow, not renters.  The “dream of homeownership” gives hope and the goal of a future endeavor.  When couples first wed they dream of starting a family and that dream of owning their first home.

 I find it amazing that anyone would suggest that people should rent instead of ever buying, he must be an investor making money off people who are renting.  It takes a special set of people to go out on the limb and purchase the property for others to rent.

 I would like to hear what your thoughts are on whether it is time to Rent or Purchase a home.  Whether you choose to rent or purchase a home I will be glad to assist you in your housing needs (http://www NULL.PattiMace

Facing Foreclosure?

Are you in need of Foreclosure Assistance

NeighborWorks/HOPE NOW/Homeownership Preservation Foundation Hotline
Homeowners facing foreclosure can call a tollfree hotline at (888) 995-HOPE, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Federal Housing Administration
Government-insured refinancing for credit-worthy borrowers who went into default after their ARMs reset may be available by calling (800) 225-5342 or by visiting (http://www NULL.fha


Other Resources

Avoid Foreclosure Rescue Scams (http://www NULL.ftc NULL.shtm)
Federal Trade Commission

Equity Stripping & Loan Flipping  –  If you agree to a loan that’s based on the equity you have in your home, you may be putting your most valuable asset at risk. Certain abusive or exploitative lenders target borrowers, who unwittingly may be putting their home on the line. These abusive lending practices range from equity stripping and loan flipping to hiding loan terms and packing a loan with extra charges.

Foreclosure Rescue
(https://www NULL.masshousing

Foreclosure Resources for Consumers
(http://www NULL.federalreserve NULL.htm)
Federal Reserve Board of Governors

HomeOwnership Preservation Foundation (http://www NULL.995hope


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