Purchasing a home isn’t the same thing as signing a lease. When renting, you’re most likely committing to a lease for a year. When you buy a home and get a mortgage, you should be prepared to commit for at least five years at a time, if you don’t want to lose money on your property. As it turns out, that five-year homeownership commitment has a lot of emotional and psychological benefits that go beyond the benefit of saving money.
You’ll be More Connected to Your Community
Buying a home is not a short-term investment. The upfront purchasing, closing, and mortgage costs make it expensive to stay in a home for an amount of time that’s less than five years; most people plan on staying in their home for ten to twenty years. When you buy a home with that intention, you’re more likely to invest in the community around you and your property. You’ll try harder to have a good relationship with your neighbors, you’ll volunteer, you’ll actively engage in solving problems that come up.
Human beings are social creatures who need tight-knit networks in order to thrive. And the best way to create these networks is to practice civic engagement, which is naturally motivated when you own a home.
You’ll Feel Less Stress
As long as your mortgage is manageable for your current financial situation, you will feel less stress as a homeowner.
- Unlike rent prices, your monthly mortgage payment stays the same no matter what is happening in the real estate market. This will allow you to make better financial plans than you may be able to when renting, which will make you feel more secure.
- Homeowners move less frequently than renters and that stability lowers stress.
- A stronger sense of community also leads to lower stress levels.
- You have control over your environment and can create the home that works best for you. You can paint a wall or hang a shelf without asking permission. If you decide you hate the bathroom or it needs more light, you can renovate the space. Most people are sensitive to their environment, so if you create a sanctuary in your home, you will likely feel less stress.
- The equity you build as you pay your mortgage each month acts as forced savings. If you have an emergency, you can always take out a home equity loan to help pay for it.
Your Children Will Do Better in School
Studies have shown that children of homeowners tend to score 9% better in math and 7% better in reading than children of non-homeowners. Researchers chalk that up to the stability homeownership gives to these children’s lives. Children thrive in routine, so when they know what to expect and interact with the same friends and environment – like your neighborhood – they feel less stress and when they feel less stress, they do better in school.
Your Children Will Behave Better
Who doesn’t wish their child or children behaved better? Studies have shown that children of homeowners exhibit 1-3% fewer behavioral problems than children of non-homeowners. Researchers attribute their findings to the stability children feel when their parents own their home instead of the possible uncertainty that comes from renting. Researchers also believe there is a positive correlation between parents’ and children’s happiness, so when your stress is lower, your children’s stress levels will be lower as well.
You and Your Family Will be Healthier
When you’re renting, you’re essentially living in someone else’s home. As such, you don’t have control over all aspects of your environment. For example, you can’t control the chemicals your landlord uses on the landscaping or the type of materials they use in the apartment. Also, most landlords aren’t on top of mold, rodent or termite problems.
But when you own your own home you have complete control over all of the decisions on your property. You can choose non-toxic materials and fertilizer and you can take care of mold, pests, or other concerns before they becomes a problem. You are able to make your home a healthy environment for you in the ways that you want.
While the financial benefits of homeownership are sometimes debated, they are well-documented. But the emotional and psychological benefits of the stable living condition that comes with owning a home – with a fixed mortgage payment, and allowance for complete control of your environment – is a benefit of homeownership that you may not have considered before. These benefits could be more important than any tax write-off or financial benefit you receive. Ready to start your home buying process? Let SOLD.com make it easy – check out our Buyer’s Guide.