Homeowners Are Happy! Renters? Not So Much.

October 2, 2019

Homeowners Are Happy! Renters? Not So Much.

When people talk about homeownership and the American Dream, much of the conversation revolves around the financial benefits of owning a home. However, two recent studies show that the non-financial benefits might be even more valuable.

In a recent survey, Bank of America asked homeowners: “Does owning a home make you happier than renting?” 93% of the respondents answered yes, while only 7% said no. The survey also revealed:

More than 80% said they wouldn’t go back to renting
88% agreed that buying a home is the “best decision they have ever made”
79% believed owning a home has changed them for the better
Those surveyed talked about the “emotional equity” that is built through homeownership. The study says more than half of current homeowners define a home as a place to make memories, compared to 42% who view a home as a financial investment. Besides building wealth, the survey also showed that homeownership enhances quality of life:

67% of current homeowners believed their relationships with family and loved ones have changed for the better since they bought a home
78% are satisfied with the quality of their social life
82% of homeowners said they were satisfied with the amount of time they spend on their hobbies and passions since purchasing a home
75% of homeowners pursued new hobbies after buying a home
Homeowners seem to be very happy.

Renters Tell a Different Story…
According to the latest Zillow Housing Aspirations Report, 45% of renters regret renting rather than buying — more than five times the share of homeowners (8%) who regret buying instead of renting. Here are the four major reasons people regret renting, according to the report:

52% regret not being able to build equity
52% regret not being able to customize or improve their rentals
50% regret that the rent is so high
49% regret that they lack private outdoor space
These two studies prove that renting is just not the same as owning.

Bottom Line
There are both financial and non-financial benefits to homeownership. As good as the “financial equity” is, it doesn’t compare to the “emotional equity” gained through owning your own home.