Owning a home has many well-known benefits for a growing family.
Purchasing a home is the principal way most American families build wealth. A 2019 report by the Federal Treasury showed that homeowners have a much higher net worth on average ($255,000) than renters ($6,300). But the advantages of homeownership extend far beyond the financial ones. And if you have kids at home, those advantages start to multiply.
Did you know that a family owning a home might contribute to their children’s academic achievement and reduce their likelihood of getting involved in crime? A study from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development says just that: “Homeowners accumulate wealth as the investment in their homes grows, enjoy better living conditions, are often more involved in their communities, and have children who tend on average to do better in school and are less likely to become involved with crime. Communities benefit from real estate taxes homeowners pay, and from stable neighborhoods homeowners create.”
One of the reasons for this is simple and fundamental: stability.
When you rent a home, you have little control over that property and how long you reside there. You might have just set up the furniture and curtains, but if the landlord says you have to leave in 30 days, you have little to no recourse. And the strain may not just be in the move, but in getting to know a new community, dealing with new noisy neighbors, or remembering when to take the trash out– it ends up being a lot to adapt to.
One study showed that families that own their homes are more engaged in their communities, an important contributor to a child’s feeling of belonging as they grow up. A study from Stanford University also showed that homeowners are more likely to vote on local issues, showing how a family’s engagement in policymaking and sense of place becomes more rooted when they buy a home.
But let’s assume you do have a stable rental. If you have another child or relative that needs to move in, you likely can’t put on an addition or alter the home in any other way that might accommodate a growing family. Indeed, even the urgency of home repairs are at the whim of a landlord. If your water heater were to break tonight, how long would your family want to go without hot water?
There are myriad reasons to own a home but usually only one reason to keep renting: money. Buying a house costs a lot of it. But you don’t need to be ready to buy a home today to start working with Homewise. Building stronger communities that help families to grow is a main reason why we started in New Mexico and are still based here. We are a nonprofit that offers free classes, coaching, and information about reducing debt, improving your credit, and increasing savings. So, if all this sounds appealing but you don’t know what to do next, just give us a call at 505-243-6566 or visit our website by clicking here.