The importance of real estate goes well beyond the value of a dollar. For many people, owning a home marks a significant step on the path to achieving the American Dream. However, financial gain is not the only factor to consider when thinking about buying a home
. You are investing in yourself, your family, your future, and your lifestyle.
A home is the place where life happens. Itâ€™s the primary setting for making and sharing memories; raising families; celebrating happy occasions; or regrouping in the face of lifeâ€™s inevitable challenges. We live in our homesâ€”not just in todayâ€™s market value or tomorrowâ€™s interest rate. Letâ€™s look at the seven significant lifestyle benefits.
1. Pride of Ownership
Pride of ownership is possibly the greatest lifestyle benefit of all when it comes to owning a home
. The feelings of accomplishment, safety, and security that result from homeownership cannot be matched by any other purchase or investment. According to the National Association of Realtors, even in a downward-moving market, lifestyle choice and pride of ownership are still strong incentives for homeownership, and consumers continue to move and purchase homes for lifestyle, despite the economy.
You know the old truism: ya gotta live someplace. Shelter is a basic need of human beings, yet the benefit is often overlooked in the home-buying process. Remember, a home is a place where one lives and raises a family. Thus, itâ€™s the only investment you can actually live in!
A key difference between renting and owning is the flexibility a homeowner has in adapting a living space to individual tastes and needs. That means being able to decorate, renovate, landscape, and add personal touches to oneâ€™s surroundingsâ€•without having to check in with a landlord first. Home improvements also increase the value of a home, making â€œindependenceâ€ a personal and financial benefit of homeownership.
You are your own landlord, which gives you a feeling of control and financial stability. Once you secure a stable, fixed-rate mortgage
youâ€™ll know exactly what your payments will be each month throughout the term of your mortgage. This enables you to budget and plan for other things youâ€™ll want to do in life. While certain factors such as property taxes may slightly fluctuate in some communities, the bulk of home-related expenses will remain stable and predictable as well.
5. Feeling of Community
When you buy a home, you buy a share in a communityâ€”a social benefit rarely experienced by renters, who are often considered transient, even after living in the same place for many years. Developing friendships with neighbors and feeling one has a place in the community fosters a safe and secure environment for oneself and oneâ€™s family.
6. Improved Quality of Life
The benefits of homeownership go well beyond the obvious financial and the clear lifestyle benefits listed above. Itâ€™s been statistically proven that these lifestyle benefits extend beyond you, to your partner or spouse, your children, and your community. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), homeowners will:
- Accumulate more wealth than do renters as the investment in their homes grows
- Enjoy better living conditions
- Have children who tend, on average, to do better in school
- Have family members who are less likely to become involved with crime
- Experience better overall physical health of individual household members
7. Safer Neighborhoods
Whatâ€™s more, communities benefit from the stable neighborhoods homeowners create. The NAR recently published a paper, â€œSocial Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing,â€ showing that homeownership lowers neighborhood crime rates and homeowners are more involved in their communitiesâ€•participating more in civic affairs.
Of course, the lifestyle benefits of homeownership are personal and differ from family-to-family. If you have a thought on anything I wrote above or think there is something I may have missed, please leave it in the comments or drop me a note in the box to the right!