"Despite the current housing downturn, Americans still see homeownership as a core value and a key building block of being in the middle class and creating strong jobs in their communities," said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, which conducted the survey along with Public Opinion Strategies.
The survey also found that nearly three out of four respondents think the federal government should provide tax incentives to promote homeownership. An overwhelming majority of respondents oppose eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction.
“If Congress abandons policies to support the goal of homeownership and to keep housing affordable, lawmakers could be in for a rude awakening in the 2012 elections," said NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev.
Here’s this week’s Color of Money Question: Do you think the government should have policies that make homeownership accessible to more people, including the homeowner’s tax break? Send your responses to email@example.com. Put “A Dream Not Deferred” in the subject line.Be sure to include your full name, city and state.
Rent-to-own Three Times Over
A Consumer Reports study found that consumers getting electronics, furniture, appliances, or other items from rent-to-own stores easily end up paying two to three times the amount it would cost to buy the same itemsoutright from a traditional retailer. And in some cases, people are paying triple-digit interest rates to get what they want.
Here are two questions posed by Consumer Reports: Would you buy a $600 computer knowing that it would cost you nearly $1,900 after less than a year's worth of payments? How about a $1,000 washer-dryer combination at an equivalent interest rate of 100 percent, leaving you $2,700 out of pocket after two and a half years?
When they go the rent-to-own route, it seems lots of people are doing just that.
The rent-to-own industry says it provides an essential service for those who are unable to obtain credit from banks or traditional retailers, thereby preventing them from getting items they want or need, according to the Consumer Reports investigation.
"I think that the rent-to-own model generally is a remarkably expensive way to obtain what you need," said Jim Sugarman, a Washington State assistant attorney general in the consumer-protection division. "There is usually a better way to obtain what you want if you do a little planning and have a little patience."