Exam Topics Home Ownership, Neighborhood

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Home ownership
Home ownership is one of the definitions of success in America. Generally people are judged by the houses they live in. It is not only the size and architecture of the house but also the type of neighborhood and the distance from different amenities. The progress in buying a house of one's own was steady from the 1930s right up to 2000. By 2000 69,8 million Americans lived in their own homes. But then the steady growth stopped and started falling back. By the end of the eighties the home-ownership rate had declined to 63,4 percent. Why did this happen? The basic reason for the turnaround is simply that home ownership, which was never cheap, has gotten more and more expensive. The reasons are follows. Ownership costs are increasing more than income. Cash down payments are out of any proportion as compared to what they were twenty years ago. Monthly principal (mortgage) and interes payments for a medium house are soared. Prices for homes are so inflated, particularly in good and safe neighborhoods, that tthey are beyond most people's budget. Life-style changes are also influencing the home-ownership rate. There are more singles and childless couples who are unwilling to commit themselves to a mortgage. Steady home prices and a strong market formerly contributed to mobility, but owners can now find themselves immobilized by deflated but still expensive housing that can take a year or more to sell. Home ownership is becoming a thing of the past. Some experts predict that builders will eventually move toward smaller, more moderately priced housing demanded by many people. Owning is still far less risky than renting, since costs can be fixed with a long-term mortgage. Besides, the underlying desire to "be your own boss" is deeply ingrained in the American consciousness.

Neighborhood
Neighborhoods are an important element of the setting for a house. They may be steady or not, friendly or not, clean or not, safe or not. The list of qualifying...
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