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Alexis B.
McNary High School
Salem, Oregon

The Value of Home Ownership

Family dinners every night, weekly family dinners at Grandma and Grandpa's with Auntie and Uncle, Thanksgiving dinners with my entire extended family and stockings hung from the staircase with lighted garland every Christmas while my sister and I waited so impatiently for Santa to come each year for Christmas. This is what I think of when I think of "Home".

When asked what Home Ownership means and how it has impacted my life I couldn't imagine our life our homes. My Great-Grandparents bought their home and raised all 4 of their children in the same home that they still live in today. We still enjoy our Holiday Dinners and Christmas Celebrations at this same house, and when asked, my mom and I both have similar memories of staying the night at Nanny Curly and Jim Jim's house. We would always have Hot Choco and Toast or Vanilla Ice Cream with Hershey's Syrup in the wooden bowls. It doesn't matter if it was mom or me spending the night, these memories are the same and treasured all the same.

I grew up in a neighborhood filled with loving homes and a park to play in every day. My grandparents lived behind us and our curfew was dark. We loved our house, and our community and because we did, we gave back and invested in our community and we invested in our communities' quality of lives. We made sure we did an Easter Egg hunt every year, for all the kids in our community, my mom was my gymnastics coach, just like her dad was her coach before me. We did fundraiser's to send our choir to Orlando, and raised money for our schools as the economy turned and money became tighter.

As time passed and the economy turned, I noticed more and more "For Sale" signs going up in our beloved neighborhood. I knew in talking with my parents that the housing market had taken a hard hit the last few years, and it was harder for people to buy and sell their homes. But, what I also learned, was that people would do anything they can to hold onto their homes. No one wants to loose their home, or sell it do to unforeseen circumstances. People take pride in their homes, want to show them off, invest in upgrading them. They do not want to leave that behind because to them, it is valued.

Another side affect of the economy turning is that it is now harder to purchase a home. Mortgage rates are extremely low, but rules enforced by the mortgage lenders often make it near impossible for homebuyers. Therefore, people are saving more money, so they have a larger down payment, and buying less of home then in the past. This still enables them to have their piece of the American Dream.

What this taught me growing is up is that Home was the center for our family. It's where we all came to each night regardless of what the day held to gather as a family and talk about our day. As a family, we were able to put down roots, and grow, and this only made more stable. It allowed my sister and I to grown into who we are today. This is what I hope and dream for my future family. It's what I work for every day. It's why I believe Home Ownership is still valued.