If you’ve ever heard real estate agents promoting the benefits of homeownership over renting, you may have thought they were doing it because they make bigger commissions when they sell a house.
To be fair, they do typically make more money when they help a client buy a house than they do helping one rent a place to live, so it’s understandable why people would think that.
However, that isn’t the underlying reason why they encourage people to buy a home. Agents believe so strongly in owning a home because it provides many benefits, such as:
- Building equity: When you own a home, you are gradually building equity as you pay down your mortgage. This is essentially a form of forced savings that can grow over time.
- Stability: Homeownership provides a sense of stability and permanence that renting often does not. You have more control over your living situation and can decide how long you want to stay in your home, rather than having to worry that a landlord will not renew your lease.
- Appreciation: Real estate has historically appreciated in value over time. As your home’s value increases, you can benefit from the appreciation when you sell. When you rent, your landlord benefits from the appreciation of the home.
- Tax benefits: Homeowners are often eligible for tax benefits, such as deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, and certain home-related expenses.
- Personalization: You have the freedom to customize and decorate your home to your liking without the restrictions often imposed by landlords.
- Potential for rental income: You can earn rental income on a property you own if you decide to move and keep your property as an investment, or you have extra space you can rent out while still living in it.
- Predictable housing costs: If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly housing costs remain stable over the long term, making it easier to budget. On the other hand, your landlord may increase the rent each year.
- Long-term financial security: Owning a home can provide a sense of financial security and a place to live during retirement, especially if you’ve paid down your mortgage and only have to pay the property taxes and maintenance.
- It’s collateral: Home equity can be used to secure loans or lines of credit, offering financial flexibility when you need to borrow money for home improvements, college costs, etc.
- Sense of community: Homeownership often leads to a stronger connection to the community and neighborhood, as you’re likely to stay in one place for a longer time.
- Pride of ownership: Many people take pride in owning their own home and feel a strong sense of accomplishment.
- Inheritance: Owning a home can be passed down to heirs, providing a legacy for your family.
That’s already a pretty long list of reasons to buy a house versus rent one, but according to this recent Fortune article, agents may also want to add another reason to the list…
Owning a Home Will Help You Live Longer
U.K. and Australian researchers have been studying the effects renting has on peoples’ health and recently reported that they discovered it makes people biologically age faster than homeowners. In other words, a 35-year-old renter and a 35-year-old homeowner may be the same age, but the physical body of a renter is actually older than the homeowner’s.
To put it in perspective, they found that the stress of renting is two times worse on the health and well-being of people than the effects of being unemployed, and the health effects are 50% worse than the effects on former smokers than non-smokers in terms of aging.
This is so interesting considering many renters claim that they’d rather rent than buy because they don’t want the stresses that come along with buying a home, such as the costs and ongoing maintenance. While owning a home can be more costly than renting, and you certainly have more responsibilities than a renter does in terms of upkeep, but if it means you live a longer life, perhaps it’s worth the extra cost and effort.
It’s Not Too Late to Reverse the Aging Process If You’ve Been Renting…
Fortunately, the researchers added some words of encouragement for renters: biological aging is reversible. How much time it takes, and to what degree the effects can be reversed, will likely depend upon the individual and their previous experiences. But the aging process can be reversed if a person can leave the stresses of renting in the past.
So if you’re currently renting, consider reaching out to a real estate agent who can help you make the transition from renting to owning. Your agent can connect you to lenders who can pre-approve you for a mortgage so you can determine how much you can afford to spend. Once you know your budget, your agent can help you try to find a home that you’ll be able to afford, and hopefully add some happy, healthy years to your life!
If you’ve been renting a home because you think it’s less stressful than owning one, you might want to reconsider. Recent research revealed that renting is making people biologically age faster than those who own a home, and the effects it has on people are more damaging than being unemployed or smoking.
The good news is that biological aging is reversible, so you may be able to improve your health and lifespan by buying a home even if you’ve been renting for some time.