Thursday, June 9, 2016

"June Is National Home Ownership Month, But Not Just New Homes"

The month of June is "National Home Ownership Month" so we can take this as a positive sign that people want to purchase a home to live in and they have done so over the years at an impressive rate.

While aging-in-place services are available and appropriate to both owners and renters, we have the owners to thank for the more extensive renovations. After all, they are looking to protect their investment by making their homes as current and as functional as possible. This coincides with our aims of helping them age-in-place successfully, regardless of their current age.

However, there is nothing that says home ownership month is just celebrating people who are purchasing (1) a different home than they have now as opposed to remaining in their present one, (2) a new home in favor of an existing home if there is to be a purchase, or (3) a particular style or type of construction such as frame ("stick-built"), masonry or block, ICF (insulated concrete forms), panelized or SIPs, modular, manufactured, or log homes, for example.

This month is a celebration of those of us who have chosen to purchase a home to live in rather than occupy one as a renter although there is certainly nothing inherently wrong in renting. It's just that it is not an asset this way.

Home builders certainly want to emphasis during this month's observance that people go out and acquire a brand new home - new construction ready for immediate occupancy or to-be-built. On the other hand, real estate sales professionals are indifferent about how the ownership occurs as to whether it's a new home or an existing home as long as a purchase happens.

Those of us who are aging-in-place professionals are indifferent as well, but we want people to select a home - or improve the one they already have - that honors their ability to remain in that home long-term, whether they are acquiring something different than what they have been living in or are going to be making improvements to the one they already have,

Celebrating home ownership as part of both "The American Dream" and the American economic model, it certainly is not implied by the month-long observance that people who don't already own a home must suddenly go out and get one - or those that already own one need to go out and get a different home. Either one of those scenarios would be an appropriate way to respond to the celebration, but it is not required.

If people have not been looking for a home of their own - new or existing - or been actively considering and evaluating replacing their current home, getting a home just to be included among those claiming home ownership for this month's observance is going to be a large undertaking.

Rather than focusing on the month as meaning that people are supposed to go out and purchase a home this month - their very first one or one to replace something they have been living in - let's consider that the month celebrates those of us who already live in a home that we own and that we want to continue living in it. This is a great segue to discussing aging-in-place options, treatments, strategies, and solutions.


Home ownership allows people to make the most of their investment by turning it into a property that is accessible for them to use as life conditions change over time, that is both comfortable and convenient to live in, and one that affords them a maximum amount of personal safety. For homes that don't quite measure up to those standards, we have the ability to suggest and implement appropriate changes that will allow people to gain the greatest enjoyment from their investment.

Happy Home Ownership Month!

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.