MARKEY: A Conservative Approach To Homeownership Will Help Us Achieve The American Dream

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Michael Markey Contributor
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The American Dream looks different for everyone. For some it is having children and raising a family. For others, it is starting their own business. The beauty of the American Dream is that it is unique and tailored to our lives and aspirations.

One thing, however, remains uniform in the vast majority of every dream: homeownership.

The best way to build wealth, provide for your family and secure a successful future is through owning a home. But for many Americans, it is becoming unattainable.

The first business I opened was a claw machine at a local restaurant. I was 14-years old. Just before turning 15, I took those profits and bought my first rental property, and before turning 16, I bought my second.

Coupled with a baseball scholarship, these early investments helped put me through college.

For an overwhelming majority of Americans, this is not the reality.

Rising home costs and interest rates are forcing middle class families into a perpetual cycle of renting. Instead of building wealth through ownership, many Americans are paying exorbitant rental prices for something they will never own.

With mortgage payments often surpassing the cost of renting, it is difficult for many Americans to get ahead and make that first jump into wealth building.

In the realm of affordable housing, the conversation around sustainable homeownership is crucial. As we navigate policies and strategies to make owning a home more attainable for individuals and families, innovative solutions must be considered to bridge the gap between aspiration and reality.

Like Social Security solvency, this is an issue that Washington has failed to adequately address.

The first immediate solution is lowering interest rates on federally insured mortgages. This will provide automatic relief and incentives to encourage home ownership, making loans more reliable and affordable for a broader spectrum of the population.

We can achieve this without economic disruption by requiring a 10% down payment on federally backed mortgages. This approach ensures a level of commitment from homeowners while also safeguarding against defaults. It strikes a balance between accessibility and responsibility, fostering a culture of financial prudence.

To counterbalance the potential challenges of the above proposal, we should allow family members to withdraw up to $2,500 from their retirement funds to contribute towards a first-time homebuyer’s down payment — tax free.

This idea not only eases the financial burden on prospective homeowners but also reinforces the importance of familial support in achieving the dream of homeownership.

This dual strategy not only enhances the accessibility of homeownership but also promotes financial stability and security for individuals and families.

To incentivize long-term investment and discourage rapid turnover in the housing market, we should also extend the period for tax-exempt capital gains from two years to five years. This measure would foster a more stable housing market while encouraging sustainable wealth accumulation for homeowners.

I understand the need and value of practical solutions to create affordable housing opportunities. This firsthand experience underscores the importance of policies that are not just advisory but actionable, reflecting a commitment to tangible outcomes in the quest for sustainable homeownership.

The Washington status quo is full of soundbites about the need for affordable housing with little action.

By embracing innovative policies that combine responsibility with accessibility, we can help millions of Americans take the first step toward achieving their American dream through homeownership.

Michael Markey is a financial advisor and Republican candidate for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.