There are a lot of benefits to owning a home vs. renting. Being part of a home- owning family gives your children an extra boost when it comes to social opportunities, community involvement, overall health, and educational performance.
And the best part is, the advantages of owning a home don’t depend on how wealthy your neighborhood is or how much your home costs. Simply by owning a home, you’re building wealth, alleviating financial strain, and modeling healthy patterns for your children.
We’ve boiled it down to the top four ways owning a home benefits you and your family. Be sure to take these into account when weighing the pros and cons of buying a house of your own.
1.) Social Benefits: Welcome to the Neighborhood
A lot of the benefits of homeownership spring from one basic concept: permanency. When you buy a home, you’re usually more settled than in an apartment. You have a 15- or 30-year mortgage and are ready to plant your roots.
This stability allows you to become ingrained in your neighborhood. By contrast, if you live in an apartment complex, you may not have a chance to really get to know your neighbors. They may move out in six months, especially if rent increases force their hand. Or, you may decide to pull up stakes if you find a place you like better.
In neighborhoods with high rates of homeownership, you are more likely to form long-term relationships because you’ll be there to let those friendships develop organically. Those neighborhoods also tend to have more opportunities for school involvement or neighborhood activities, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors.
2.) Community Benefits: Help Shape Your Child’s World
The community advantages of owning a home are well documented. Researchers see more civic participation in homeowners, increased property values, and a general sense of safety and security. It’s easy to see how all this can benefit the children in homeowner families.
Being a homeowner encourages parents to get involved in the community — and research backs that claim up. In the National Association of Realtors report on homeownership, research indicated that 77% of homeowners voted in local elections compared to 52% of renters. Along those same lines, 38% of homeowners knew the name of their school board members while only 20% of renters knew them.
And while homeowners are keeping an eye on the community at large, they’re also working to improve their immediate area. Because they can profit in the future from property appreciating in value, homeowners spend more time and money maintaining their property than renters. This helps improve the overall quality of life for their families.
Simply put, homeowner parents have more opportunities to create a safe, secure living environment for their children because they have more control over the property.
3.) Health Benefits: How Owning a Home Makes Your Family Healthier
Owning a home can benefit both your physical and mental health. It’s another great advantage of homeownership for both you and your children.
In terms of physical health, homeowners tend to be healthier than renters. That’s primarily due to the better living conditions of homeowners vs. renters, but a lot of other factors come into play like access to healthcare and ability to pay for it. Homeowners have more opportunities to grow their wealth and are therefore in a better position to weather major health issues than renters.
When it comes to mental health, homeowners generally claim higher self-esteem and happiness levels than renters. Owning a home gives the family a stronger sense of ownership, responsibility, and control. They are in total control of their living space, and this helps improve their mental state as a whole.
What’s interesting is that even after the housing downturn of 2007, homeowners reported more satisfaction with their financial prospects than renters experiencing the same hardships. Even in times of trouble, owning a home is a boost to family’s outlook on life.
And it’s important to note that as the market has recovered, so has the nation’s outlook on homeownership. A Harvard University study found that while people’s positive perception of owning a home was affected by the housing crisis, “they seem to have rebounded relatively quickly.” Owning a home is still seen as a better financial move than renting.
4.) Educational Benefits: Prepped for Success
Finally, owning a home also helps improve your child’s chance of educational success. Studies show that children of homeowner families finish high school at a higher rate than children from renter families, have fewer behavioral problems, and perform higher on tests.
There’s also a link between changing schools and negative impacts on student performance. By staying settled in a home of your own vs. moving from apartment to apartment, you’re minimizing that risk.
By owning a home, you’re also modeling a system of financial responsibility for your children and giving them a solid base for their financial education.
Finding a Place to Call Home
The majority of renters want to someday buy a home. In fact, 96% of renters under the age of 35 say they want a home of their own.
If you’re part of that 96%, maybe it’s time to start looking at mortgage options. A good place to start is by crunching the numbers. This mortgage affordability calculator helps you determine what your financial obligations would be.
At Mercer Savings Bank, you have access to an online Mortgage Center and a mortgage application that can be finished in as little as 20 minutes. And of course, you’re always welcome to stop in and visit us!