Why Do Americans Choose Homeownership?
June is National Homeownership Month!
It’s no secret that owning a home is a big responsibility; however, that responsibility is heavily rewarded with coveted benefits. Owning a home has long been seen as a pillar of the American Dream. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 65.4% of Americans are current homeowners, and when you factor in those who hope to own in the future, it is safe to say the vast majority of American citizens favor this lifestyle. And why shouldn't they? There is pride, security and freedom in homeownership which appeals to core American values.
If you own a home, take this month to reflect on your success and be thankful – you made it! If you don’t yet own a home, National Homeownership Month is a perfect time to ask yourself if this is part of your dream, too. As mentioned, the advantages of ownership are bountiful. Let’s take a look at some of the prime benefits of homeownership:
Perhaps the most salient reward to homeownership is building equity. When you pay your mortgage each month, the money isn’t really gone… it’s transformed. Homeownership allows you to build wealth over time and, in the long run, buying is more cost-effective than renting. Rather than trading your money for a month of shelter, you are trading it for permanent residency. Plus, many people believe renting is less expensive than owning a home. But it turns out, your monthly mortgage payments may be less than rent. Even if your mortgage payments are equivalent to paying rent or are higher than rent payments, you are retaining your wealth in the end. Another perk? Owning often has positive tax implications since your mortgage interest and property tax payments may be deductible from federal taxes, as well as many state taxes.
Let’s switch to a mindset less fixated on finances. What is more American than the value of personal liberty? True, when you opt to rent your home, you enjoy your own type of freedom. When you rent, you can move easily and have no obligation to keep up with home repairs; however, a homeowner enjoys a broader range of freedom. As the owner, you have the choice to modify your home to your liking. This goes beyond choosing the paint color. You can demolish walls, build a sunroom, remodel the kitchen, change your landscaping… all of which could very easily add to the value of your home. Additionally, homeowners have more personal privacy and fewer behavioral restrictions.
According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), children of homeowners also enjoy myriad benefits. For example, studies have shown a lower teen pregnancy rate among children living in owned homes. Furthermore, children living in owned homes tend to have higher student test scores and a higher rate of high school graduation, which leads to higher earnings. Higher earnings also lead to an increased chance of those children becoming homeowners as adults, and their children continuing on that same road of success – it’s a positive cycle!
To wrap up, let’s discuss the satisfaction an individual enjoys as a homeowner. It is a major accomplishment to buy a home and a smart investment for the future of your family. There is a strong sense of accomplishment in owning a home. Beyond personal satisfaction, homeowners also develop a stronger tie to their community. With more stake in the neighborhood, they are more likely to develop relationships and get involved. Homeowners also move far less frequently compared to renters, which also helps establish their bond with local entities.
Considering these benefits, it’s no wonder so many Americans are choosing or chasing this lifestyle. It is the obvious choice for anyone looking to settle down, establish sturdy roots and invest in a comfortable future. If this dream seems intangible or unrealistic to you – think again! There are 1.56 million Realtors® across the country pledging themselves to making this dream attainable. Visit www.REcolorado.com to start learning more about how this dream can become your reality.
We also invite you to get involved in Homeownership Month by celebrating with us all month long. Help us champion homeowners on social media by following along on Twitter and Facebook, and celebrate a #HomeownerHero in your life by using the hashtag on social media.