Homeownership Isn’t My American Dream Anymore

Holly Case
6 min readJun 30, 2021

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Owning a home has always been the hallmark of what defined the American Dream. But as the real estate market continues to just go up at a ridiculous rate and it looks like I’ll soon be priced out entirely, I’ve decided that it’s not my definition of the American Dream anymore. This is more than just pragmatic, though.

It’s true that in most markets, homeownership represents most people’s single biggest source of wealth. I’ve decided that I’d rather invest my money in alternative options instead. I’m not saying that my way is definitely smarter. But having owned two homes before, I have many reasons to prefer renting and I’m not ashamed of that fact.

I hate home maintenance

If you own a home, it’s obvious that you have to do things to maintain it. You expect things like the furnace going out (inevitably, on the coldest day of the winter) or having to call a plumber on occasion.

But you also have to regularly update your home if you hope to maintain its value. If you live in an HOA (my version of hell) you are required to update the interior and exterior of your home every few years to maintain its value. All these things cost major money that I wouldn’t want to spend that way.

I happen to be the opposite of the people you see on HGTV shows: I legitimately don’t care if my house has 20-year-old cabinets or my bathroom doesn’t have the most up-to-date furnishings. I don’t see the point of replacing appliances that still work, just because they’re not the most fashionable finish anymore. Honestly, it all seems very wasteful.

Fortunately, my husband feels the same way, and we both equally despise doing home improvement projects. I know some people absolutely love doing them; my mother-in-law has been doing at least one home improvement project constantly since my husband was in elementary school.

My husband and I love each other completely but the last major home improvement project we did had us wanting to kill each other. I’ll pass on doing that again, thanks.

Owning a home is NOT always a good investment

Holly Case

Therapy-informed writer/mom. Widowed young from a great man. Always learning. Healing from generational trauma. 5X Top Writer Parenting/Feminism