Purchasing a home isn’t the same thing as signing a lease. When you rent, you’re most likely committing for a year. When you buy, you have to commit for at least five years if you don’t want to lose money. As it turns out, that five-year homeownership commitment has benefits that exceed saving money.
You’ll be More Connected to Your Community
Buying a home is not a short-term investment. The upfront costs make it expensive to stay in a home for less than five years and most people plan on staying ten to twenty. When you buy a home with that intention, you’re more likely to invest in the community around you. 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.
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 rents, your monthly payment stays the same no matter what is happening in the real estate market. This will allow you to make better financial plans, 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 do 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. When they know what to expect and have the same friends with whom to interact, 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. They also believe there is a positive correlation between parents’ and children’s happiness.
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 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 that. You can choose non-toxic materials and fertilizer; you can take care of mold before it becomes a problem. You are the master of your home and can make it as healthy an environment as you want.
The financial benefits of homeownership, though sometimes debated, are well-documented. But the emotional and psychological benefits of a stable environment that you can control could be more important than any tax write-off you receive.