This moment when George Bailey and good ol' Mary first stood in front of 320 Sycamore, that Drafty Old Granville house, the connection between the American Dream, Homeownership and the Movies became solidly linked together.
In many ways this house becomes a way that the film braids together the Individual Ideal (George Bailey's talents and sacrifice make it possible to turn this haunted house into a homey haven), the Civic Ideal (the house is rooted in George & Mary's commitment to build better houses for everybody in Bedford Falls) and the Material Ideal (that success provides the basic human needs for people's well being).
There are ways that Jerry's quest to save his house is like George's quest to save The Savings & Loan. Both of these movies invite us into the human experience of striving and losing and hoping and fearing. Especially as those emotions relate to a house.
When movies give us a storied way of thinking about problems and solutions? Our tolerance, our understanding, our empathy and our effort all expand just a little bit.