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.
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.
Homeownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream
On Labor Day we celebrate the hard work that helps us achieve the American Dream.
Growing up, many of us thought about our future lives with great ambition. We drew pictures of what jobs we wanted to have and where we would live as a representation of a secure life for ourselves and our families. Today we celebrate the workers that make this country a place where those dreams can become a reality.
According to Wikipedia,
“Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the development, growth, endurance, strength, security, prosperity, productivity, laws, sustainability, persistence, structure, and well-being of the country.”
The hard work that happens every day across this country allows so many to achieve the American Dream. The 2019 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says,
“Approximately 75% of non-homeowners believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, while 9 in 10 current homeowners said the same.”
Looking at the number of non-owners, you may wonder, ‘If they believe in homeownership, why haven’t they bought a home yet?’. Well, increasing home prices and low inventory can be part of the reason why some haven’t jumped in, but that does not mean there is a lack of interest. The same report shows the increase in the desire to buy in the last year (as shown in the graph below):As we can see, there are more and more people each quarter who want to buy a home. The good news is, as more inventory comes to the market, more non-homeowners will be able to fulfill their dreams. Finally, they’ll be able to move into that home they drew when they were little kids!
If you’re a homeowner considering selling, this fall might be the right time, as there are buyers in the market ready to buy. Let’s get together to determine how you can benefit from the pent-up housing demand.
Rent Vs. Own [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Owning your own home vs. renting may lead to some great options, such as locking in your monthly payments and having the freedom to customize your living space.
- Whether you rent or own, you have to cover someone’s mortgage costs. You may as well be doing so to build your own wealth, rather than that of your landlord.
- Renting and owning both have up-front fees when you sign your lease or close, respectively. Think about putting that money to work for you!
How to Increase Your Equity Over the Next 5 Years
Many of the questions currently surrounding the real estate industry focus on home prices and where they are heading. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) helps target these projected answers.
Here are the results from the Q2 2019 Survey:
- Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2019
- The average annual appreciation will be 3.2% over the next 5 years
- The cumulative appreciation will be 16.8% by 2023
- Even experts representing the most “bearish” quartile of the survey project a cumulative appreciation of over 6.7% by 2023
What does this mean for you?
A substantial portion of family wealth comes from home equity. As the value of a family’s home (an asset) increases, so does their equity.
Using the projections from the HPES, here is a look at the potential equity a family could earn over the next five years if they purchased a $250,000 home in January of 2019:Based on gains in home equity, their family wealth could increase by $42,000 over that five-year period.
If you don’t yet own a home, now may be the time to purchase. Owning or moving up to your dream home could allow you to ride the increase in equity of a growing asset.
Home Price Expectation survey – Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts regarding their 5-year expectations for future home prices in the United States.
Is Renting Right for Me?
If you’re currently renting and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, homeownership may be closer than you realize.
According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.
When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason, and 42% of renters believe their rent will rise every year. The full results of the survey can be seen below:It’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”
The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of homeownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.
If you’re one of the many renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to homeownership.
Americans’ Powerful Belief in Homeownership as an Investment
The Federal Reserve Bank (The Fed) recently released their 2019 Survey of Consumer Expectations Housing Survey. The survey reported that 65% of Americans believe homeownership is a good financial investment. Since 2014, the percentage has increased by over nine percent.The Fed’s survey also showed that when the results are broken down by age, education, income, or region of the country, more than 55% of Americans in each category see homeownership as a good investment.
This coincides with a recent Gallup survey of Americans which revealed that real estate was their number one choice for the best long-term investment when compared to stocks, savings accounts or gold.
Americans’ belief in residential real estate as a good financial investment continues to grow as the housing market returns to normalcy.
5 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent
Owning a home has great financial benefits.
In a recent research paper, Homeownership and the American Dream, Laurie S. Goodman and Christopher Mayer of the Urban Land Institute explained:
“Homeownership appears to help borrowers accumulate housing and nonhousing wealth in a variety of ways, with tax advantages, greater financial flexibility due to secured borrowing, built-in ‘default’ savings with mortgage amortization and nominally fixed payments, and the potential to lower home maintenance costs through sweat equity.”
Let’s breakdown 5 major financial benefits of homeownership:
1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available
Homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. A 20% down payment results in a leverage factor of five, meaning every percentage point rise in the value of your home is a 5% return on your equity. If you put down 10%, your leverage factor is 10.
Example: Let’s assume you purchased a $300,000 home and put down $60,000 (20%). If the house appreciates by $30,000, that is only a 10% increase in value but a 50% increase in equity.
2. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent
Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of property taxes and home repairs. Every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs (property taxes, repairs, insurance, etc.) are baked into the rent payment already – along with a profit margin!!
3. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”
Studies have shown that homeowners have a net worth that is 44X greater than that of a renter. As a matter of fact, it was recently estimated that a family buying an average priced home this past January could build more than $42,000 in family wealth over the next five years.
4. Owning is a hedge against inflation
House values and rents tend to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation. When you own, your home’s value will protect you from that inflation.
5. There are still substantial tax benefits to owning
We know that the new tax reform bill puts limits on some deductions on certain homes. However, in the research paper referenced above, the authors explain:
“…the mortgage interest deduction is not the main source of these gains; even if it were removed, homeowners would continue to benefit from a lack of taxation of imputed rent and capital gains.”
From a financial standpoint, owning a home has always been and will always be better than renting.
Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment for 6 Years Running! [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 6 years.
- Stock owners are more positive about real estate than stocks as an investment.
- Of the 4 listed, real estate is the only investment you can also live in!
The Feeling You Get from Owning Your Home
We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful and compelling ones.
No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, that feeling of safety and security you gain from owning your own home is simultaneously one of the greatest and most difficult to describe.
Frederick Peters, a contributor for Forbes, recently wrote about that feeling, and the pride that comes from owning your own home.
“As homeowners discover, living in an owned home feels different from living in a rented home. It’s not just that an owner can personalize the space; it touches a chord even more fundamental than that.
Homeownership enhances the longing for self-determination at the heart of the American Dream. First-time homeowners, young or old, radiate not only pride but also a sense of arrival, a sense of being where they belong. It cannot be duplicated by owning a 99-year lease.”
Owning a home brings a sense of accomplishment and confidence that cannot be achieved through renting. If you are debating renewing your lease, let’s get together before you do to answer any questions you may have about what your next steps should be, and what is required in today’s market!
How Homeownership Delivers Unsurpassed Family Wealth
There are many financial benefits to homeownership, but probably none more important than its ability to create family wealth.
How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is an online resource for research and information on how homeownership contributes to individual and community success.
Their article, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, explains the importance of homeownership to a family’s financial health. In that article, they simply stated:
“The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.”
To this point, National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed in a recent post:
“Housing wealth contributes positively to the homeowner’s and children’s economic condition, because home equity can be tapped for expenditures such as investing in another property (which can generate rental income), home renovation (which further increases the home value), a child’s college education, emergency or major life events, or expenses in retirement…
Housing wealth (or net worth or equity) is built up over time via the home price appreciation and the principal payments that the homeowner makes on the loan.”
Here is a graph showing the build-up of wealth over time:Just last month, NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, explained that even though home appreciation has slowed, homeowners are still building wealth:
“Homeowners in the majority of markets are continuing to enjoy price gains, albeit at a slower rate of growth. A typical homeowner accumulated $9,500 in wealth over the past year.”
Later in life, this wealth is crucial…
This wealth is important to a family’s retirement plans. In a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University titled, Housing America’s Older Adults 2018, they revealed that a renter 65 years old or older has a net worth of $6,710. Meanwhile, a homeowner 65+ years old has a net worth of $319,200. That huge difference will allow for a dramatic upgrade in one’s lifestyle during your retirement years.
Homeownership builds wealth. This, in turn, allows families to have more and better options when it comes to their children and their life in retirement.