Homeownership makes you healthier and happier

I have always promoted the many benefits of home ownership, independence and financial investment for the future being some of the most prominent. I was thrilled to see a post featuring Canadian research into the non-financial benefits of homeownership – which is not often studied – and not surprising, the benefits are many.

Studies overwhelming displays the social benefits of homeownership and the research shows that owning a home makes people happier, heathier and more civically engaged. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) broke down some of the findings in their paper The Homeownership Dividend for Canadians and say these non-financial benefits have spillover benefits to the broader community…these “positive externalities” extend beyond the homeowner and to the rest of society, regardless of demographics, ethnicities, income levels and ages.

So, what are the specifics that create this higher level of life satisfaction? Aside from the financial security and greater control over one’s life, the article broke it down into a few categories.

Homeownership builds pride and stability

It’s the Canadian dream for many and you can’t deny the pride that comes with homeownership. “While pride might not show up on the balance sheet, it does affect behavior and choices. Several studies cited in the paper show that homeowners have improved satisfaction with their living conditions and higher rates of overall life satisfaction, regardless of income levels and socioeconomic backgrounds.” These statistics ring true throughout the world with another European study drawing on data from 15 European countries found homeownership correlated with increased overall life satisfaction, regardless of household circumstances.

Better health and education outcomes

In addition to the home equity which can help pay for furthering education, the blog says the stability and security of homeownership has been shown to contribute to a better home and learning environment, resulting in better educational outcomes. Several studies included in the CREA paper even found that when a family owns their home, school drop-out rates decrease and the homeowner’s children are more likely to graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The mental health benefits of owning your home come largely from having choice. If you want to renovate the space, you can. If you want a pet, you can. As CREA notes “financial security and residential stability can serve as a buffer against market fluctuations that contribute to physical and mental stress, especially among low-income families.” The sense of achievement that comes from purchasing a home is a major mental boost.

Benefits include greater civic engagement

According to CREA, these mental health benefits have positive spillover effects in neighbourhoods and communities. Higher rates of homeownership in an area often results in higher rates of civic engagement. The paper cites “rootedness” as a potential contributor to this outcome saying “by virtue of their longer tenure and more stable financial situation, homeowners may be more inclined to invest into and participate in their neighbourhoods.”

Specifically, they say “homeowners tend to be more active in their communities; they’re more likely to vote and more likely to volunteer for local organizations. They also tend to spend more time and money maintaining their homes, which contributes to beautifying their neighbourhood, which in turn contributes to community pride.”

With all the benefits that homeownership offers, maybe it’s time to start your journey to a happier, healthier and more engaged community experience…all while building the equity to further your future, your way. Visit me on Facebook and Google!