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By Lois A. Vitt, Fri Dec 9th

Whether you are young, newly divorced or in transition, or anewcomer to America , you rightfully want full participation inthe American Dream to own your own home. Still, renting might bethe best choice (or only alternative) for you right now.

In order to realize your dream of homeownership in the future,the time to set your goal and make your plan is now. Althoughthis will require budgeting, saving, maintaining good credit,and timing, the rewards of planning for homeownership can beconsiderable.

If you have never owned a home before, take heart: All or nearlyall of today's older homeowners were once the nation's renters.It is the American way to strive toward ownership of one's ownhome for the sake of privacy, independence, security andself-expression.

Homeownership is also the starting point for accumulating wealthand enhancing your financial security. According to the U.S.Census Bureau, renters say their number one reason for saving isto buy a home. In addition, 85 % of us identify the first steptoward “the good life” as “owning a home.”

Historically, landowners have been the decision-makers andpower-brokers in our nation. Until 1860, renters were not evenallowed to vote! Unless you have good reason to remain a renter--- love of the carefree lifestyle and a good financial plan tosteadily accumulate alternative investments to finance yourretirement --- you should make plans now to become a homeowneras soon as possible.

Build and follow a financial road map that leads you to the homeyou really want. Scrimp a little today to realize your dreamtomorrow.

If that sounds easy, it's not. All major decisions, includingour housing decisions, are fraught with emotional factors


notoften recognized.

In making your housing decisions, you employ your personalhousing value system, including all that you value about whereand how you live. This system incorporates personal, social andtangible factors as well as financial perceptions that are notnecessarily objective views.

In addition, you have a housing history, made up of the values,wants and needs associated with every place you've ever called"home", and that also influences your decisions; leftunexamined, it can mire you in the past and undermine your goals.

If you decide that you too wish to be a home owner, it isimportant that you begin to accumulate savings while you arerenting.

Begin observing the housing market to get a sense of what housescost and where different houses are located. While doing thisbegin to develop a sense of the importance of market timing -when is or isn't a good time to buy.

Make decisions about the living arrangement you want in theshort term and in retirement, and set these as goals to worktoward.

Modify your plan realistically through the years, and live up toit.

Anchor your retirement planning with the home of your dreams,and save regularly to make your dreams come true.

And, finally, learn all you can about your housing history andvalue system to that you can make the right decisions as yourplan unfolds.

If you follow all of these steps, a new home could very well bein your future.

About the author:Lois A. Vitt is a housing expert and financial sociologist, andis the author of "10 Secrets to Successful Home Buying andSelling: Using Your Housing Psychology to Make SmarterDecisions", the first book in the real estate market todemystify the psychological forces behind our housing decisions.


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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.