Americans hit hard by the housing crisis appear content with renting a home or apartment rather than owning their own property. A recent survey by Hart Research Associates funded by the MacArthur Foundation found nearly 8 in 10 believe we're still in the middle of a housing crisis, three in five believe renters can be just as successful in achieving the “American Dream.”
However, more than seven in 10 renters still dream of owning their own home one day.
“Owning a home is still the 'American Dream' for a lot of people,” says Michael Weaster of Xcel Properties in Houston. “However, a lot of people are realistic in the fact they can't afford the down payment, they don't have the credit, so their only option is to rent.”
Even in a market such as Houston, where homes are “flying off the shelf,” many people just don't qualify under the new guidelines.
“It used to be relatively simple,” he says. “What we're seeing in the industry today, is people with perfect credit scores, I mean perfect scores, are having to give their left arm to get lending guidelines done.”
Weaster says that could be the case long-term.
“Unless they come up with a solution for some sort of sub-prime loan, I don't think things are going to change much,” he says.