Social & Psychological Benefits of Homeownership
Going Beyond the Financial - Taking a Look at Social and Psychological Benefits of Homeownership
As the housing market and the economy are recovering the public opinion of homeownership and the American Dream are also changing. What during the 2008 home crisis had rather became an American nightmare with about 5 million homeowners losing their home to foreclosure and short sales, the public now is starting to favor homeownership again.
While financial wealth creation is one major aspect of homeownership there are also positive social and psychological factors that go beyond financials.
A recent paper by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University (2013) re-examined the social benefits of homeownership after the housing crises and reported multiple positive impacts. Homeownership is associated with anticipation of and actual wealth creation reflected in homeowner equity during a booming market. This in turn can lead to enhanced life satisfaction which all of us are reaching for.
Moreover, researchers Bramely and Karley found out that greater residential stability and security are yet other positive aspects associated with homeownership. Families who own homes rather than rent move less often and this stability has been associated with better school performance among children and higher levels of civic engagement of adults.
Homeownership is reportedly also associated with better quality housing and home environment. This in turn is linked to access to better neighborhoods and schools. Looking at some historic data, Galster, reported that neighborhoods with single family homes are maintained better and have lower crime rates.
While losing one’s home can be a major hardship associated with depression and increased levels of stress, largely homeownership is associated with greater psychological health and life satisfaction. This sense of accomplished and control as well as social status is a major drive behind homeownership.
Overall, in a stable or booming market the benefits of homeownership extend to social and psychological health. These benefits are reflected in higher social capital and less crime as well as better educational outcomes for those who own.
With the housing market on the rebound the public seems eager again to pursue their American Dream. A 2011 poll asked renters, “regardless of whether you think you can afford it, would you like to own someday or would you prefer to continue renting?” A full 85 percent of the respondents said they would like to own someday and for 89 percent of them homeownership was a very important aspect of achieving the American Dream.
If you would like to find out if the American Dream is in your reach I hope you will give me a call so we can evaluate your financial strength.
Melania Mirzakhanian, Broker
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