Steven Sharpe: Why Homeownership Matters

  • Wednesday, June 7, 2023
  • Steven Sharpe, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
June marks National Homeownership Month, which recognizes the value of homeownership and its positive impact on families, communities and the nation’s economy. This month is a time to celebrate and help promote the American Dream of homeownership while pointing out the many benefits of owning a home.

Most experts agree that homeownership is one of the best investments a person can make to begin building wealth, but that’s not all. Homeownership can lead one towards financial and social stability, and it helps build community.

While it may seem unrelated on the surface, Greater Chattanooga Realtor’s partnerships with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area and the Snack Pack Ministry are aligned with why homeownership matters.
Habitat works to build simple, decent and affordable homes, and the Snack Pack Ministry ensures that children in our community have something to eat over the weekend. Through these partnerships, we aim to create opportunities for our neighbors to have access to housing and build wealth to provide for their families.

Homeownership also puts many people to work. In fact, for Tennessee, the real estate industry accounted for $69.2 billion, or 14.5 percent of the gross state product in 2022. That translates to an average of $114,100 per home in our state. That equals many jobs in many fields across the state.

Often, clients are surprised to learn that they can put a down payment on a home that is about the same amount as a deposit on a rental property. And the financial benefits don’t stop there – purchasing a home is the first step in building equity. Over time, as the housing needs of your family unit change, you can upsize and downsize accordingly. You can use the wealth accrued from your current home and apply it towards a new home that meets your needs.

While it’s true that interest rates have risen to nearly 7 percent, I think it’s important for people to realize that often renters are paying each month and have no access in that home’s equity, which in essence means they’re paying 100 percent interest. Compared to renting, purchasing a home is a way to limit, in some ways, the impact of inflation. It’s not uncommon for rents to fluctuate with inflation, when purchasing a home, you can lock in a rate that remains the same for the life of the mortgage, and even refinance if rates come down.

Think that home prices are too steep? If you can afford it, homeownership has returned on the investment over years. Our local housing market statistics show a gradual increase in median home prices, and this has been the case over the last ten years. The sooner you invest in a home, the sooner you invest in yourself and your path towards financial stability for the long-term.

Sound a bit complicated? Try this. Think of owning your own home as an investment in not only your future, but your family’s future as well. Interested in getting started on the journey of buying your own home? Contact a realtor. We have the tools and professional knowledge to help you walk this path. Realtors are here to be your housing resource. That’s Who We R.
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