Ask about the benefits of homeownership and you’re likely to hear about financial stability and tax advantages. And, for good reason. Home ownership is all of those things. Owning a home builds equity, which can even lead to generational wealth. It’s sometimes even described as a forced savings account.
While the financial rewards of homeownership—financial stability, equity and tax advantages— are certainly among the biggest incentives for first-time homebuyers ready to leave the world of rentals, there are other, lesser-known advantages—the ones having to do with your physical and mental well-being, as well as the advantages to families and society as a whole.
What? Homeownership could improve my health?
Yes, but let’s start with the big wins for society. Owning a home allows households to accumulate both wealth and social status. In fact, it’s the basis for a wide number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes. That’s why it’s often described as the American Dream.
These advantages have been recognized by policymakers. There are government mortgage relief programs, programs that make it easier for people to buy their first home and neighborhood stabilization programs with financing options to assist homebuyers, just to name a few.
Data tracked by the Federal Reserve through consumer surveys would indicate that the wealth of a typical homeowner will be ahead of a renter by a multiple of 45 on a lifetime financial achievement scale. That’s a huge difference. And, it’s based on a median figure, not average, to avoid the number being skewed upward by a small number of super wealthy homeowners. More money equals more spending equals a stronger economy.
But there’s another way that homeownership contribute to the economy. Most homeowners in the U.S. buy multiple homes in their lifetimes, first trading up and then sometimes downsizing again. Every transaction contributes to economic growth and job creation. The National Association of Realtors has calculated that every new home sales can support the equivalent of one new job. And, a portion of the money earned by all the various folks involved in a home sale ends up being spent in the local community.
But what about those health benefits?
It appears homeownership can lead to other benefits as well. The wealth-building benefits of homeownership, and that sense of pride and control it provides, affect the mental and physical health of homeowners in a positive way.
Researchers have studied the emotional well-being of homeowners and taken a closer look at the social benefits. What they found was homeowners, regardless of price points, are more satisfied with their lives overall. Those who owned their homes also reported higher self-esteem and perceived greater control over their lives than those who did not own a home.
Comparing homeowners to those renting, the studies have shown homeowners were more likely to believe they can do things as well as anyone else and reported higher self-assessments for things like physical health. This rang true even after adjustments were made for age and socioeconomic factors. Overall, homeowners were more likely to say they enjoy better physical and psychological health than those who were renting. These physical and mental health benefits are enjoyed by the children of homeowners as well.
If you’re ready to start reaping all the advantages of homeownership, I’d love to help you out.
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