Lennox's Real Estate Blog

sharing my passion for real estate

The Social Benefits of Homeownership

with 11 comments

The benefits of being a homeowner are great in number. Of course there are the financial benefits of building equity and developing one’s own economic foundation for their family’s future. And then there are the personal riches that come with owning a home, including those that fuel a healthier family and community. It is these intangible benefits that people often forget about when one buys or owns a home, but they are certainly worth taking note of.

A few years ago the National Association of REALTORS® authored a report entitled “The Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing,” which discussed evidence regarding the personal gains that come with homeownership. This report did not focus on the financial aspects, but rather it directed its attention to the social advantages that result from being in an owner-occupied home.

The report provided further support to theories that are already well-founded in American culture. It suggested that homeownership fosters household stability, social involvement, environmental awareness, local political participation, good health, low crime, and favorable community traits.

Homeownership has long been associated with strong neighborhoods and communities. As the research indicates, homeowners are generally more committed to their neighborhoods, therefore they are more likely to make friendships with neighbors, and are more likely to participate in voluntary and political activities that go towards developing a sense of community.

The NAR research reported findings that conclude that homeownership is particularly beneficial to children. It stated that children of homeowners are more likely to perform higher on academic achievement tests and finish high school; these children also report fewer behavioral problems in school. Considerable evidence suggests that homeowners are typically more satisfied with their homes; therefore they are more likely to stay in their homes for longer periods of time. All in all this imparts a sense of security that ultimately impacts the members of that household, including children.

Buying a home is likely the most important financial and emotionally filled decision of a person’s life, but as research and history have shown, the pay-off goes far beyond tax breaks and equity—it leads to happier, healthier families, and communities.

Written by Lennox

April 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

11 Responses

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  1. Lennox- Is there any way to track down that article? The article would be a fantastic CRM piece. Pls let us know if you can find a link to the article. Thanks!

    Teri Herrera

    April 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm

  2. Excellent Post. From another angle, instability and higher risk in the stock market makes land banking and art banking a very attractive long term investment.

    Many young families today are purchasing income properties with 401k monies that they can maintain and rent out – using the rental revenues to pay for the mortgage.

    As their children grow, they in turn support mom and dad in maintaining the investment property – learning valuable home ownership lessons. In the long term… the property may be leveraged for college expenses, or become the child’s first home.

    Considering the depreciation of the home and how that can defer personal income tax – it is a pretty sound strategy – especially in today’s low interest, low priced housing market.

    Victor Lund

    April 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    • Thank you, Victor. You too make some excellent points. Thanks for reading.

      Lennox

      April 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm

  3. We were renting our house when my wife became pregnant with our first child. My wife immediately decided that she wanted to buy the house. The thought of bringing a newborn home into a rented house (and the prospect of having to move while pregnant or with a newborn) was unacceptable. It’s amazing how deeply ingrained in our culture the preference for ownership over renting is.

    Spencer Rascoff

    April 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    • Spencer: your story is so common and one we hear a lot at John L. Scott. Thanks for your comments and for reading. -Lennox

      Lennox

      April 29, 2010 at 10:59 pm

  4. Hi Spencer,

    There’s something to be said for not having to face the prospect of moving while pregnant or with an infant. With women playing a big role in the decision-making in today’s American culture, there will always be young families looking to put down roots, especially as housing becomes more affordable with the recent price drops.

    Owning “land” is a dream that’s part of our American history and why many people moved/move here from other countries.

    I’m all for homeownership…but sustainable homeownership, not just to buy for emotional reasons but for other logical reasons as well, at a price that the family can afford, which would include a backup plan should financial distress come knocking.

    This includes being able to rent out that home to cover or near/cover the mortgage payment.

    The Puget Sound area is not quite near that last part so many people who want to buy for reasons grounded in logic are still on the fence.

    Jillayne Schlicke

    April 29, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    • Hi Jillayne,
      You too make some very valid points. These are issues that all of us in real estate need to continue talking about so that homeownership is attainable to people of all income levels. As you said, this dream of homeownership is an integral part of American history. Thanks for reading. -Lennox

      Lennox

      April 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm

  5. […] many generations, homeownership has been considered one of the fundamental components of a healthy American economy. This is the very reason that my Scottish, immigrant grandfather went into the real estate business […]

  6. I would like to add links to your storys for my friends / family / potential clients on FB… but I don’t see that you have enabled that feature.

    Kayre Imus

    June 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm


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