Against the American Dream: Why Buying a Home is the Worst

Against the American Dream: Why Buying a Home is the Worst

Traditionally, buying a home was considered to be The American Dream. It was the ultimate proof of financial stability. However, buying a home is not all that it is cracked up to be.

Here are some reasons why home ownership isn’t the best choice for a lot of Americans.


Houses are Poor Investments

The housing crisis of 2008 demonstrated that buying a home is not necessarily the good investment that it is touted to be. The housing crisis was triggered by a large decline in home prices, leading to a high number of mortgage foreclosures and delinquencies. The housing crisis also caused housing-related securities to be significantly de-valuated. Nobel Prize economist Robert Shiller agrees that houses are poor investments.

Although conventional wisdom says our homes are a great investment because the value of a house will certainly appreciate, Shiller found that the opposite is actually true. Between the late 1890s and 1990, the actual rate of return on owning a home has been virtually zero. This award winning economist argues that stocks have historically shown much higher returns than the housing market. Therefore, if accumulating wealth is your goal, it is probably a better idea to rent and put money in stocks.


The Equity in Your Home Is Not Liquid

While you might have $100,000 in equity in your home, it is not easily accessible if you really need it. If you lose your job and need cash, you can forget about getting it quickly from your home. Although you might be able to get a home equity loan, it will just saddle you with even more debt. There are much better places to invest your assets, such as a money market account. These allow you to earn interest and have relativity easy access to the cash if it is needed in an emergency.

Buying a House Typically Involves Debt

Most people take out a mortgage to buy a home, and many of those people borrow more than they really need. When buying new furniture or a pair of shoes, people usually focus on the cost of the item alone to determine how much they should spend. However, when it comes to mortgages, people often justify taking out a larger loan because they believe they are making an investment.


Banks may approve customers for mortgages that they cannot truly afford. This is what partially contributed to the housing bust of 2008. People purchased houses with mortgages that they could not really afford by using subprime mortgage lenders. Subprime lenders make mortgages to people with low down-payment and poor or no credit.

People are often emotionally attached to the idea of buying into The American Dream. They are tempted to take the bait and sign for a mortgage even though it might not be affordable. When you are truly debt free, you have much more freedom. A mortgage is a commitment that involves being saddled with debt for decades.


Houses Require Constant Time and Attention

Not only will you probably end up having to move across the country to find a more affordable area to live in, the costs and hard work only begin once you say goodbye to the long distance movers (NY to LA is no easy feat on your own). Homes need regular TLC to keep them in good condition. This upkeep requires both money and time. Eventually, you will need to replace the carpet. Even before replacing it, you will probably have to steam clean it every so often to remove dirt and grime. Rooms will need to be repainted every so often. Landscaping can require huge amounts of time and money. These small things add up, both in time and money.


As you can see from the above points, home ownership isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, it may be a far worse option for many people than renting.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK/Old House Window in Colorful Retro via

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Bethany Cleg

Photographer, Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.


3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.


Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:


Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.


8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via

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