Survey: Americans Still Optimistic About Housing

From: The Realtor(R) Magazine
A sluggish real estate market hasn’t shaken the confidence of the public in how it views home ownership, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Eight in 10 adults (or 81 percent) say owning a home is the best long-term investment a person can make, according to the Pew study of about 2,000 adults conducted in March.

“Home owners are not blind to what has happened to home prices, nor are they expecting a speedy recovery,” according to the Pew study. In fact, of the home owners surveyed, about half said their home is worth less now than before the recession, while 31 percent said their home’s value has stayed the same.

Nevertheless, 82 percent of home owners who say their home is worth less now than before the recession either strongly or somewhat agree that home ownership is the best long-term investment a person can make, according to the survey.

The value of home ownership even continues to emerge on top when home owners were surveyed and asked to rate the importance of four long-term financial goals. Home ownership and “being able to live comfortably in retirement” rated the highest–viewed as either extremely or very important by 80 percent of respondents.

Yet, their optimism about home ownership doesn’t mean they’re completely happy with their current home. Nearly a quarter of all home owners surveyed said that if they had it to do all over again, they would not buy their current home. Most of the “buyer’s remorse” complaints were about the home itself or its location. Only 31 percent of those surveyed cited financial factors, such as the home losing value or their own changing financial situation.

Source: “Home Sweet Home. Still.” Pew Research Center (April 12, 2011)

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State College of Florida gets $187,084 science grant award


MANATEE — State College of Florida announced Friday the award of a coveted National Science Foundation grant worth $187,084 that it plans to use for cutting-edge science education.

SCF faculty members will devote part of the money to train high school science teachers from Manatee and Sarasota counties in the use of sophisti- cated lab instruments.

Once teachers master use of the equipment, SCF plans to send portable “loaner” boxes full of new, high-tech tools and supplies back with them for the students’ use, SCF officials said at the college’s Bradenton campus.

Each “Lab in a Box” carries $14,000 worth of items, officials said.

Among the items a box might carry are an ultraviolet transilluminator, which visually illuminates DNA; a forensic DNA fingerprinting kit; and a mini centrifuge.

“It cements our position as leaders in science education,” explained SCF President Lars A. Hafner, in announcing the grant and the two-year pilot project it will finance.

He called the project “extremely exciting news that sprang from true collaboration” with school districts, university faculty and area science professionals, and regional biotechnology companies.

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