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Jonathan T.
Green Hope High School
Cary, North Carolina

The Value of Home Ownership and the American Dream

"All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." The Declaration of Independence states these exact words, creating a revolutionary social change throughout the world and society. In that statement, it states “the pursuit of Happiness”, where one can achieve and strive for what one wants in life. These words resulted in the American Dream, an equal opportunity, where every individual has the opportunity to create a future of success and prosperity. Among the American Dream is home ownership, a symbol of success that one can independently own a home. In today's society, that same symbol of homeownership is still valued and sought after. Homeownership provides a future goal, a stable family life, and a close community.

Home ownership, like an education, is a process towards an investment in one's future. For too many, home ownership is a long process that requires time and responsibility. My parents like many people throughout the U.S, have made this same investment. When my parents made the decision to invest in a home of their own, it required a commitment towards a long-term goal. Owning a home is not a simple task and takes a period of time. One must be devoted and serious towards this commitment that does not just secure a home, but an area where one wants to raise a family and live. My parents have owned the house they invested in ever 20 years. I have lived my entire childhood and teenage years in this house. This commitment was important for them because it represents stability the future and a home for raising the family that they wanted.

An important factor that home ownership provides is a stable family life. The independent ownership of a house does not provide a place to live; it provides a home. Anyone can have a place to live, but not everyone has a place where they call home. My parents bought the house I still live in almost 20 years ago. It is not a big fancy house like the newer neighborhoods, but it is a place that I can definitely call home. This one house represents my entire childhood and life. For example, there is a wall in the living room that I drew all over with a highlighter when I was still in preschool. I was drawing all over the wall because I liked to draw but my parents became very angry and upset with me. I was crying because my parent's were angry with me but at the same time, it was when my parents realized that I liked to draw and started to encourage me to draw and create things. The highlighter marks are still on the wall today and ever time I look on the wall it reminds me where I began to draw and create things. My home contains all the good and the bad experiences of my family and me. All of our family life is within this one home because this house is where my parents put so much time and money. They made this effort and investment because the house was ideal for us. The people around us, our neighbors, are of similar incomes and characteristics. I see new families moving into my neighborhood all the time with young children up to ages 2-3. These new families end up becoming good friends with their neighbors. It creates a community of like-minded people that provides support toward one another. In the end, many of the children, including myself, remain friends with one another even when we move or head to college.

Home ownership makes one become invested in the community and the surrounding environment. When a family owns a home, the community surrounding the house, also becomes their home. The community consists of the infrastructure and people that affect the family's way of life such as the schools, neighbors, and town government. Many people nowadays tend to favor individualism, as commonly seen in apartment complexes. People forget the value of a community. A community can challenge a person to be bigger than oneself and express concern for a larger group of people than the individual or self. Home ownership creates neighborhoods that then become interested in the greater community. This makes people become involved in communities, local government, and society. Apartment dwellers don't usually attend community meetings about roads, schools, and development, but homeowners do. Home ownership makes a person become more committed to the whole of the neighborhood and the community.

The American Dream of home ownership is still valued greatly in today's society. Homeownership provides a future goal, a stable family life, and a close community. Home ownership is not just a desire for a house; it is a way of life where families can achieve a life of financial and social independence.