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By MARGIE HARPER
Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors
he Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors awarded two $1,000 scholarships to area students for the first time this year. Criteria included writing a short essay on home ownership. Applications, along with essays, were received from several area high schools. Winners were Morgan Elizabeth Lee and Daniel J. Duda.
Morgan, daughter of Lisa Lee of Elizabethtown and Robin Lee of Radcliff, graduated from Central Hardin High School and plans to attend Transylvania University.
Daniel, son of David and Debby Duda of Rineyville, graduated from John Hardin High School and plans to attend the University of Louisville.
Lee writes in parts of her essay:
“There’s no place like home.” These words were spoken by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz as she dreamed of finding her way back to the place where she most wanted to be. Home ownership has many benefits, many of which are economic in nature. There are benefits related to tax deductions for mortgage interest, capital gains profit and property taxes. Certainly home ownership helps build economic wealth, but I believe one of the most important benefits of home ownership is the sense of stability and security it provides.
“Home ownership’s importance is not overrated. The economic benefits, the sense of stability and security, and knowledge that a person is making an investment in the future are all factors that make home ownership one of the most important decisions a person can make. Home ownership truly is ‘the American Dream’ because it is not only an economic investment but also an investment in the future of the self, family, and community.”
Duda, who attended the Realtors' June general membership meeting, also writes in portions of his essay:
“Eventually, everyone must find a place to live. Although this seems rather straightforward, it requires a lot of thought and planning. The most important decision, however, is probably in what type of home to live. Some choose a townhouse, others an apartment, and then there are those who just decide to stay with their parents. However, the most beneficial choice lies in becoming a homeowner.
“The great thing about home ownership is that it is an amazing investment. Many times, when a person goes to sell their home, they can get more than what they paid for it. On the contrary, when one rents a place, the money they pay for that will never be seen again.
“I realize the importance and the numerous benefits that I can reap from an investment such as becoming a homeowner. After graduating college, it is my intention to pursue purchasing a house. I believe this would be an excellent start to gaining and maintaining stability as well as provide future security for my children and maybe even their offspring.”
The Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors plans to continue giving scholarships in upcoming years to promote home ownership and support the community by investing in the lives of future homeowners.
Margie Harper is executive officer of the Heart of Kentucky Association of Realtors.