NAR VP Moe Viessi takes on housing critics

Published: August 12, 2010

I have been reading a different philosophical bent on the housing market of late, and it just plain makes me mad.  No, it’s not about volume or pricing or foreclosures; it’s what some people have been saying about housing in America.
I’ve read that some of these pundits believe the worth of the home purchase isn’t what it once was, and may never be a valuable asset. I’ve read that, in an uncertain economy, these brainiacs think buying a house is too much of an anchor on an individual or families mobility. Not a long term valuable assets? Too much of an anchor? What in the heck are these folks smoking? Are they nuts?!

These “chicken littles” are the same “sky is falling” addicts that would have you believe that:

1)The millions of folks that came here to settle America had no interest in private property ownership,

2)A home or piece of land they could own was not only worthless but also not a primary reason for their migration here away from home and family,

3) The millions of new citizens that continue to come here from every part of the world work and slave so they can…what?… raise their kids in a palatial rental?

Give me a break! Owning a home of their own, maybe not for some, but for the vast majority has been a benchmark of success and stability in their lives and that of their children as well.

Let me tell you a story about the real value of homeownership. My dad met my mom and they always had the dream of owning their own home. He bought my mom the home of her dreams as a gift of his love with the belief that it was better to pay off something that he owned with his wife and raise his kids there than to rent.

That home was purchased in the 1960s for $16,000, with a few hundred dollars down, an FHA-backed loan, and an interest rate of 5 percent. The real value today is about $275,000. You do the math on an investment of a few hundred dollars and tell me if housing isn’t worth the risk.

In spite of everything that housing has gone through the past couple of years – and I’ll admit it’s been a tough time – housing still remains the best way to build long-term wealth. Nothing else compares. Doesn’t even come close.

Yep, we take a risk when we buy home. But I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut that the risk remains one of the best ones you’ll ever take in your life. There is good risk and bad risk. Bad risk is unintelligent investment, banking on unrealistic expectations bolstered by uncertain outcomes. Good risk is knowing as much about the investment as possible, consulting with folks who commit to your intelligent purchase.  When you are working with an experienced REALTOR® who can identify the pitfalls and the multiple future benefits, housing becomes as good a risk you can take.

There are so many other values housing provides. It’s not just the peace of mind offered by owning something that is yours, but also can provide the foundation on which your life will be built. When my Dad bought my Mom that house, it created their home, and it built their life, mine and my sister’s too.  – Moe Veissi, 2010 NAR First Vice President

Last modified: August 12, 2010 at 9:35 am | Originally published: August 12, 2010 at 9:35 am
Printed: September 24, 2020