Moe Veissi, past president of the National Association of Realtors and a Realtor® for 40 years, pointed out the benefits of owning a home beyond tax reductions at the 2013 Capitol Conference. Some reasons to buy a home as opposed to renting are obvious. Homeownership is an investment and allows for independence. The effects of a steady home environment are even longer-lasting than many know and its effects are widespread.
1. Financial Gain
As an investment with increasing value, homeowners under normal housing market conditions (outside of the terrible bubble/bust housing years) experience tremendous wealth gains. Wealth is one of the strongest determinants of health and investment in homeownership has been the primary long-term strategy to build wealth in the United States. This positive correlation results in a happier and healthier home for the owners and their families.
Homeowners move less frequently than renters. This creates a sense of responsibility and care for the home and community. The longer someone stays in a home, the stronger the attachment tends to be. Homeowners tend to create more social ties and lasting relationships. These relationships contribute to positive mental health and happiness. Strong social ties consistently result in higher self-esteem and satisfaction.
3. Health Benefits
The mental health benefits are countless. A steady home provides security and routine, allowing for lower child unintentional injury rates, higher self-esteem and lower levels of distress, and more positive mental health, which is associated with lower blood pressure. Overall well-being for a person improves from renting to owning a home.
4. Benefits to Children
Children of homeowners are more likely to graduate from high school and score higher on standardized tests than the children of renters. This in turn results in increased chances of getting into college, better-paying jobs, and overall long-term success.
It doesn’t stop there. There are lower amounts of teenage delinquencies and pregnancies found within a home environment, showing that homeowners tend to pass on knowledge to their children. This comes from active and passive learning as children watch their parents’ behaviors and habits. Responsibilities such as home maintenance and acquiring the financial skills to handle mortgage payments transfer to children as well. If you grew up in a home, you know it can be the happiest and safest place a young person can go. Those feelings are manifested in positive actions and choices as children age.
5. Social Benefits
High rates of homeownership are associated with neighborhood well-being. Homeowners are more likely than their renting counterparts to:
- Be active in community associations.
- Give to charity.
- Feel attached to their neighborhood.
- Help maintain their home and community.
Home ownership has been a vital part of the American Dream since the beginning. The home encompasses the values people came to America searching for; independence, acceptance, and freedom. Americans continue to value their homes because of the important factors that affect families and communities despite economic hardships. Home is where the heart is, but you can’t argue with the fact that homeownership is where the social and health benefits are.