We recently discovered MSHDA provides a helping hand in making the American Dream of homeownership possible.
While doing research for a post sponsored by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), I discovered June is National Homeownership Month. Seriously, I had no idea. Did you know that? I also didn’t know in 2017, MSHDA’s homeownership division financed 2,200 existing single-family homes and provided nearly $18 million in help with down payments. That is a lot of help!
Naturally, I thought about our mortgage and the remaining seventy-two payments. Yes, only 72! It doesn’t seem possible, but it is true. And like many families, finding enough cash each month to make the payment required a dash of creative accounting.
I read on the Freddie Mac website “buying a home embodies the American Dream.” This sent me down a rabbit hole during where I lost several hours researching the history and the definition of the American Dream. There is agreement it started with the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that 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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
And in the 1920s the dream changed to include the pursuit to purchase stuff which is why we now associate homeownership with the American Dream. Don’t get me wrong, homeownership is a great thing. For instance, homeowners tend to be more invested in their communities.
When people have strong ties to where they live, the community tends to experience:
- Higher rates of volunteerism
- Stronger schools with higher test scores
- Lower crime rates
- Better-maintained homes and neighborhoods
- Deeper social ties
Because homeowners have a much greater financial and personal stake in their communities, they’re more likely to spend their time and money in their communities too — making them better places to live for everyone. In most cases, it’s a win-win for the homeowner and the community.”
Visit My Home by Freddie Mac to learn more about homeownership. You’ll learn stuff, I promise.
The old saying, “hindsight is twenty-twenty” so applies to my pursuit of the American Dream.
The dream home of my twenties had 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, family room, and a kitchen itching to be transformed. It was on a corner lot with a long sidewalk, perfect for chalk drawings. Neighbors talked over fences and organized block parties. Kids skipped happily to school (uphill both ways I’m sure) and it was one of the best schools in the district. It was a Norman Rockwell painting. [Insert here the sound of screeching brakes.]
Wake-up sister! It was a fixer-upper. It needed a new everything. Watch the movie “Money Pit” if you need a visual. If I’d taken an MSHDA Housing Education class, I may have realized it wasn’t a good fit.
A lifetime later, I found my soulmate, and together we scoured Ann Arbor for a pocket of affordability. We eventually found it and, as luck would have it, our dream home. A friend once said to me “When I envision your home, gnomes and bunnies come to mind.” She isn’t too far off. Even though it is only a few miles from the heart of Ann Arbor, Bambi and Thumper frolic in our yard.
A day will come, probably not too long after we make the final payment when our lifestyle will undergo a radical shift – retirement. A search for a home which doesn’t require snow removal and lawn mowing will commence. Our nest will be empty, hopefully. Note to self, send my son a link to the MSHDA site which details how they help first-time homeowners with loans for a down payment on a house. The pursuit of the American Dream will start again.
Post sponsored by MSHDA.
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If you haven’t already, please read our Affordable Housing post which was also sponsored by MSHDA.