June is National Homeownership Month, which seems particularly apt this year. With home prices rising to unprecedented levels and multiple offers becoming commonplace in residential transactions, it seems that everyone is focusing on the financial benefits that owning a home offers. However, homeownership is about more than dollars and cents. There are a host of non-financial, emotional, psychological, and sociological reasons that homeownership is at the top of so many to-do lists. Here are ten of the most important.
1. Control of your space
For many, this is one of the primary reasons that owning a home is such an important goal. When you’re renting, you’re limited in the choice of paint color, decor, fixtures, finishes, and landscaping. Renovate, plant a garden, or add additional square footage to make your home work for you. When you own your home, you call the shots aesthetically, and the improvements you make pay dividends in the way you live and in the value of your home. That’s a real win-win.
2. More choice of home style
If you’re renting, you’re usually limited to a generic apartment or to a limited number of single-family homes in your price range and chosen location. Some desirable neighborhoods or condominium complexes limit the number of rentals or ban them outright. By contrast, when you’re purchasing a home, you generally have far more choice of style, location, and amenities, so you can find a home that’s just right for you and your family.
3. More options for pet owners
One of the most frustrating aspects of moving for renters can be finding a rental that allows them to keep their current pets. Many landlords put restrictions on the type of pet, the size of pet, or may not allow pets at all. That can limit already scarce rental options still more. When you own a home, however, you often have far more choice when it comes to the number and type of pets with whom you can share your home.
4. Increased sense of stability
When you rent, you may end up moving every year or two, depending on the property owner’s preference, increasing rental rates in the local market, and other factors. However, as a homeowner, you enjoy the financial stability of a fixed mortgage payment which may provide you with more stability in your housing as well. According to a study of 2,000 homeowners commissioned by Unison, the pandemic also had a pronounced effect on the sense of stability for homeowners, causing them to feel more secure and more connected to their homes than ever before.
5. Greater sense of community
Due to their tendency to move around more frequently, renters may lack a sense of connection to their local community. Often, neighbors may look on renters with suspicion and renters have little or no say in the decisions made by condo and homeowners associations. By owning, you become a property tax-paying member of the community with a greater sense of personal investment and a more prominent voice in neighborhood, city, and county decision-making.
6. Less stress
There are no two ways about it—moving is a stressful and all-consuming process that creates both financial and logistical burdens. If you know that you are staying put for years to come, you’ll avoid the stressful process of moving every time your lease runs out. In addition, you’ll avoid the stress of waiting to hear from your current landlord about rising rental rates as well as the process of shopping around for a new place. In addition, you won’t have to save up thousands of dollars in security deposits and other fees every year or two.
7. Better outcomes for children
Perhaps because of the greater sense of community, reduced stress, and increased stability, research shows that the children of homeowners tend to have better educational and behavioral outcomes than those of renters. When they know they are staying put, kids tend to be more invested in their schools, sports teams, and other activities. In addition, when parents are happier and have a greater sense of well-being, children share this as well.
8. Greater sense of privacy
As a renter, you are subject to the landlord or property manager coming in and inspecting the property or making decisions about the way it’s maintained. They may decide to put it up for sale or advertise for new renters, requiring you to be prepared for strangers to come through while you are still living there. As a homeowner, you decide who can come into your property and when, providing you with more privacy.
9. Greater sense of security
As a homeowner, you have more control over who you hire for repairs and who has access to your home. You may know your neighbors better and have them watching out for your place when you’re out of town. You can change the locks or have a security system installed at will. You can, in short, keep yourself, your family, and your home more secure than you can in a rental property.
10. Increased future focus
It can be easy to get bogged down in short-term concerns and worries. When you own a home, however, you’re automatically thinking long-term about your space and your home life. That can give you a sense of perspective that results in increased productivity and a greater sense of well-being. Because you’re not worrying about where you’ll be a few years down the road, you and the ones you love can plan for the future with more confidence.
If homeownership is right for you, there has never been a better time to talk to your trusted real estate professional. They can help you navigate the current market or plan ahead for a future home purchase.