When people talk about homeownership and the American Dream, much of the conversation revolves around the financial benefits of owning a home.
However, two recent studies show that the non-financial benefits might be even more valuable.
In a recent survey, Bank of America asked homeowners: “Does owning a home make you happier than renting?” 93 percent of the respondents answered yes, while only 7 percent said no. The survey also revealed:
- More than 80 percent said they wouldn’t go back to renting
- 88 percent agreed that buying a home is the “best decision they have ever made”
- 79 percent believed owning a home has changed them for the better
Those surveyed talked about the “emotional equity” that is built through homeownership. The study says more than half of current homeowners define a home as a place to make memories, compared to 42 percent who view a home as a financial investment. Besides building wealth, the survey also showed that homeownership enhances quality of life:
- 67 percent of current homeowners believed their relationships with family and loved ones have changed for the better since they bought a home
- 78 percent are satisfied with the quality of their social life
- 82 percent of homeowners said they were satisfied with the amount of time they spend on their hobbies and passions since purchasing a home
- 75 percent of homeowners pursued new hobbies after buying a home
Homeowners seem to be very happy.
Renters Tell a Different Story…
According to the latest Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, 45 percent of renters regret renting rather than buying — more than five times the share of homeowners (8 percent) who regret buying instead of renting.
Here are the four major reasons people regret renting, according to the report:
- 52 percent regret not being able to build equity
- 52 percent regret not being able to customize or improve their rentals
- 50 percent regret that the rent is so high
- 49 percent regret that they lack private outdoor space
These two studies prove that renting is just not the same as owning.
There are both financial and non-financial benefits to homeownership. As good as the “financial equity” is, it doesn’t compare to the “emotional equity” gained through owning your own home.
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