Let’s Address the Big Turkey in the Room!

Well, we just finished off the last of the leftover turkey and pumpkin pie at my house and I’m squarely focused on getting my home ready for Christmas. But before I move on- I want to share some thoughts I’ve had over the last few weeks. My thoughts might be viewed as stupid, naïve, controversial or idealistic, and completely off the topic that this column is intended for. But- hear me out, and read this through, maybe you’ll agree.
Before we sat to eat our feast Thursday, we all took a moment to speak about what we were thankful for this year. Of course there was the usual thankful for God, family, good health, jobs, love, Louisville football, etc… These are all valid and honorable and all on my list of things for which I thank God.
Well, another thing to be thankful for – is being able to live freely in this great country of ours. Do you know how many people risk their very life just for the chance of living here? This is the greatest country on the planet. “ That is, the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants.” ~ “The Haves and the Have-Nots,” a book by the World Bank economist Branko Milanovic
Are we perfect? No. Are there bad guys who live here? Yeah. Do we work hard every day to get better and sort out the good guys from the bad guys? Every day. The job is never done, and there will always be more work to do.
Now- having said that- I’lkeys to homel get back to real estate. There is really not anyone that can’t have
a home of their own in this country. There are ways for everyone with the desire to make that move. In this country, we have 100% financing, down payment assistance, grant money, credit repair assistance, single parent subsidies, rural housing grants, disability programs, even Fannie Mae backed loans that allow buyers to pool incomes of other occupants to reach the debt- to- income ratios. One thing, though, you have to at least try to be responsible for your decisions that either set you up or block you from taking advantage of these programs.
Can you curl up in a ball and cry when things in life don’t work out the way you want them? Not if you want to live your best life. Can you protest the day away when there are employers out there begging for employees who will show up for work and pass the drug tests? Can you come to the table with nothing to offer, but everything to complain about? Can you fix things for those you consider less fortunate? Not really. Soon- and very soon, there will be fewer people taking responsibility for their own futures and more people expecting the future to waiting for them on a silver platter.
Our country needs to help people out so that they can achieve a little bit of the American Dream- and we do, in all the ways I listed above. But if we really want to help- let’s form Citizen-Realtor partnerships that will create plans to buy a home, or set people on a path that will allow them to do so in the future. There is nothing you can do about those who choose to live irresponsibly and never even try to make
their life better. And there is no President who can fix apathy, complacency and laziness. A person who would steal, kill or destroy the property of others will not wake up on the other side of the law because of the outcome of an election. But it is PROVEN that the pride of homeownership increases the sense of optimism, belonging and the satisfaction that you are investing in your future and your community.
Partnering with a REALTOR® is the same as having a coach who is on your side and helping you develop the skills and/or a plan. For starters, working steadily in a job with the patience and work ethic to achieve advancement and income increases- thereby allowing improvement in credit footing. Then targeting your first realistic goal in homeownership; establishing yourself as responsible and moving up as your income and lifestyle will allow it.
Yeah but…. No but- just try it. Find yourself a REALTOR®, meet with them, talk about what you want, listen when they advise you, and be willing to ask for specific steps to your brighter future. “Homeownership Matters” is a slogan developed years and years ago by NAR to focus on working to make the dream of homeownership attainable for all Americans!
Peggy R. Smith is the Association Executive for the Old KY Home Board of REALTORS®; Established May 11, 1965. The Old Kentucky Home Board of REALTORS® owns and operates the MLS for the Nelson, Washington, Marion, Larue and Hart Counties in Kentucky and is a member of Kentucky Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

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