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Chasing the American dream: Homebuyers face hurdles

7 May 2018


Homeownership seems out of reach for Amy Kielmeyer.

Saddled with about $80,000 in student debt, the University of North Dakota lecturer rents an apartment in East Grand Forks, Minn. Absent a boost in income, she doesn’t foresee being able to afford a home of her own.

“When I really sit down and think about it, if nothing were to change and I would just continue where I’m at right now, I don’t think I would ever be able to own a house,” Kielmeyer said. “At this point I just sort of stopped even thinking about it.”

Homeownership, long synonymous with the American dream, dipped to its lowest national rate since 1965 two years ago. And although it has since increased slightly, experts say prospective homebuyers face several hurdles, including tax law changes, rising home prices and heavy student loan debt.

The strength of the housing market has wide implications for the economy, with everything from home improvement stores to banks having a stake in people becoming homeowners. Those homeownership trends can also reverberate throughout society.

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