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The War Against Owned Housing


There seems to be a growing resentment amongst some towards the owned housing industry. How many articles have you read, how many TV segments and social media posts have you seen in the past few years that do anything and everything to berate, belittle and besmirch the concept of owning or buying a home? Answer: Too many.
The narrative is pathetically consistent amongst four themes:
1.  Renting is cheaper than buying
2.  Renting gives you more freedom
3.  The costs to buy and sell are far too high
4.  The costs to maintain a home don't make sense
In all these narratives are beneficiaries.  Corporate investors buying up single-family homes by the dozen, paying a premium to out-maneuver individual buyers. Landlords, especially bigger landlords (who enjoy tax breaks and incentives), class action lawyers, politicians focused on elections decrying developer profits instead of simplifying zoning and building regulation, and of course some in the media whose negative stance towards housing garners clicks, likes, engagement and profit all benefit from this narrative.
Add into the mix much higher interest rates that have fueled a housing recession and achieved little in reducing housing costs, creating a bad combination!
Here is a quote from Larry Fink of Blackrock that manages $10 trillion in assets (and is an investor in COMPASS, Zillow, Redfin, Anywhere and Elliman) that should awaken all to the one aspect about housing that many forget (or conveniently choose to ignore) in their self-serving ambitions:
“As a society, we focus a tremendous amount of energy on helping people live longer lives. But not even a fraction of that effort is spent helping people afford those extra years.” 
Yes, while owning may be more expensive than renting at times and you may not "make a killing" flipping homes, while buying and selling and maintaining are expensive, the one most important aspect of homeownership is the ability of individuals, who may not be as astue or disciplined about investing their money, to accumulate wealth and build equity over time via an essential need, "Housing". 
Many own a nest egg, once paid off over time that becomes a primary source of retirement security. Home ownership as forced savings helps create a real asset of value while providing shelter that you would have to pay for regardless. For many it provides housing cost stability during retirement.
Then of course there are the hundreds of other benefits to ownership, but today more than ever we need to be aware that an aging society in debt is best served with individual fiscal security nets, not just those provided by the government.

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