Monthly Archives: June 2021

June is National Homeownership Month

National Homeownership Month is celebrated in June, the kickoff of the summer homebuying season. Homeownership is widely considered the foundation of civil stability and familial happiness – the American Dream. 

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) believes homeownership gives families more financial security, a better lifestyle, and stronger communities through supporting businesses, schools, and services making it a powerful financial, psychological and physical stake in local neighborhoods and communities. 

Whenever a homeowner mows their lawn, shops at the local grocery, or joins the PTA of their children’s school, they’re creating a more stable community. This is why homeownership is one of the most subsidized national initiatives through low-interest rates, tax incentives, and low-down-payment federally guaranteed mortgages or bank mortgage package purchases.  

According to NAR, homeowners attain 46 times the personal wealth of renters because of equity ownership. They can customize their homes in a way that renters can’t – for their comfort and family needs. They contribute to their neighborhoods through home improvement, which makes them more desirable; through participation in schools, which makes them stronger; and in supporting the community. 

According to, homeownership is at risk due to a number of factors – the pandemic, business closures and inflation. Homeownership is investing in the future. As a homeowner, you have the ability to shape your home, neighborhood and community for better or worse, simply by how you treat your home, neighbors and local businesses. The more we have responsible homeownership, the better our future looks. 

Housing Industry Supports LGBTQ+ Pride

The prevention of housing discrimination has come a long way, but it still has far to go. According to, The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disabilities. Since 2009, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has supported extending fair housing protections to sexual orientation and gender identification. 

In May 2019, the historic Equality Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but has yet to pass the Senate. The bill is strongly supported by the real estate industry, including the NAR, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and numerous real estate franchise associations. It’s meant to ban discrimination against the LGBTQ+  community “in housing, credit, employment, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service,” explains, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. 

The organization says that discrimination is a major reason why LGBTQ+ homeownership rates are at 49 percent compared to the national average of 65 percent. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 that struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, many LGBTQ+  singles and couples and those with children continue to fear discrimination (73%). Meanwhile, many states have stepped in with laws to prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices joins the LGBTQ+ community in celebrating June Pride Month and pledges its continuing support to help end housing discrimination in all its forms. 

The Problem with Garage Conversions

Moving up to a better neighborhood could mean compromising on space, so you may be tempted to convert the garage. 

Many older homes come with a two-car garage, approximately 20 by 20 feet, or 400 more square feet of living area. It’s already under the roof and walled on three sides, making it seem inexpensive and reasonable to remodel as a den, a bedroom or a guest suite. 

The problem is that a garage conversion seldom looks or performs the way you think it will. Unless you remodel the garage from the outside, it will always look like a conversion. The driveway will lead straight to a wall, so unless you build on a new garage, tear out the old driveway, and repave the driveway to the new garage, it will never look right. 

You’ll have problems in the interior, too. The garage floor elevation could be lower than the rest of the house because it’s a concrete slab. It isn’t insulated like the rest of the house, so there will be a noticeable difference in sound absorption, temperature and finishes. 

When it comes time to sell your home, the conversion will cost you. You can’t count the conversion because it doesn’t square with the tax rolls. Homebuyers will deduct the cost of reconversion or building a new garage from their offer. They want the security, storage, and utility of a garage. 

No matter how you count it, square footage added at the cost of a garage isn’t worth it.