Are you skeptical of home ownership in light of the recent downturn in the housing market? Do you wonder whether in this current real estate market if it’s a good idea to buy a home or to continue renting? These are valid concerns, but even in today’s market, home ownership continues to be beneficial for individuals as well as society as a whole.
In a recent poll, when asked if owning a home was a smarter financial decision to renting, 96% of home owners agreed that it was and even 71% of renters said that owning was a better decision. According to a Federal Reserve Board report on household finances, the median net worth of families that owned their home in 2007 was $234,200 while the median net worth for families that rented was only $5,100. Home ownership is maybe the most certain way to accumulate net worth, and many times it is the most significant and largest investment in many middle-income American’s investment portfolios.
Besides the financial benefits to the home owner, there are also several benefits for society. Students from families that own their home tend to score higher on achievement tests in math and reading than do students from families who rent, according to a 2001 report from Harvard University. Additionally, home owners are more engaged in their communities than those who rent. According to a recent poll, more than half of home owners felt committed and connected to their communities, whereas less than 40% of renters shared the same feeling. Home owners expressed that they felt safe in their neighborhood, and for good reason – they have resided in their homes longer than renters typically do, and get a chance to know their neighbors very well as a result. Both home owners and renters agree that owning your home strengthens the neighborhood and surrounding community.
It is also evident that young adults share the same desire for home ownership just like their parents and grandparents did before them. About 75% of the young adults who participated in the poll acknowledge that owning a home provides a healthy and well-balanced environment for raising a family. Over 66% say that owning a home is part of their long-term financial plans. More than 80% agreed that over several years, it makes more sense to own a home than to rent.
It is quite clear that there is a strong relationship between owning a home and experiencing a higher quality of life – at home and in the community. Finding a home may pose many challenges along the way, but in the long-run it is well worth it.