The National Association of Realtors released a study titled 'Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:
“Owning a home is an aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows those households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”
Some of the highlights of that report give us a great example of how the impact homeownership has on the civic and socio-economic participation of family members through referencing several studies. For example:
Homeowners have been shown to have a greater financial stake in their neighborhoods than renters. With the median national home price in 2015 at $223,900, even a 5% decline in home values will translate into a loss of more than $11,195 for a typical homeowner.
Because owners tend to remain in their homes longer, they add a degree of stability to their neighborhood.
Homeowners reap the financial rewards of any appreciation in the value of their home, so they also tend to spend more time and money maintaining their property, which can contribute to the overall quality of the surrounding community and the value of homes in that neighborhood.
Homeowners were found to be more politically active than renters with 77% of homeowners saying they had at some point voted in local elections compared with 52% of renters. There seems to be a greater awareness of the political process among homeowners. About 38% of homeowners knew the name of their local school board representative, compared with only 20% of renters.
Studies have also shown a higher incidence of membership in local voluntary organizations and church attendance among homeowners.
The take away?
Owning a home means owning part of a neighborhood and the community that neighborhood is in. A homeowner’s feelings of commitment to the home can arouse feelings of commitment to the neighborhood, which, in turn, can produce neighborhoods and Communities that reflect the values of the citizens who live there. What is it that Gandi said? “Be the good you want to see in the world?”