Until today, I had not given much thought to the idea that owning a home has an impact on physical health. However, once I read the information contained in a recent NAR study, I realized the benefits are not limited to the financial aspects of owning your own home. Some of the results seem obvious, but some of the differences were surprising to me, including the significant differences in overall health outcomes.
In the National Association of Realtors’ recently released study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing,’ the study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:
“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”
Below I have included the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the health of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:
- There is a strong positive relationship between living in poor housing and a range of health problems, including respiratory conditions such as asthma, exposure to toxic substances, injuries and mental health. Homes of owners are generally in better condition than those of renters.
- Findings reveal that increases in housing wealth were associated with better health outcomes for homeowners.
- Low-income people who recently became homeowners reported higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and higher perceived control over their lives.
- Homeowners report higher self-esteem and happiness than renters. For example, homeowners are more likely to believe that they can do things as well as anyone else, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors.
- Renters who become homeowners not only experience a significant increase in housing satisfaction but also obtain a higher satisfaction even in the same home in which they resided as renters.
- Social mobility variables, such as the family financial situation and housing tenure during childhood and adulthood, impacted one’s self-rated health.
- Homeowners have a significant health advantage over renters, on average. Homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health. When adjusting for an array of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing–related characteristics, the homeowner advantage is even larger at 3.1 percent.
People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. I have shared information on that topic more than once because it is so significant. As you can see, there are also meaningful social and health benefits to owning your own home. Is homeownership part of your dream? If so, take the first step and contact a great real estate professional for assistance in getting started. And, as always, if I can answer any questions for you or help in any way, feel free to ask. I’m here to help!