Archive for February 5th, 2011

Owning vs. Renting

I recently came across an article in the recent National Association of Realtors magazine that I found interesting. In the article they discuss the merits of home ownership vs renting.  But what I found most interesting was the overall benefits not just to the homeowner but to the community as well.

The article mentions a survey that shows that 56% of homeowners vs. 36% of renters were extremely satisfied with the quality of  life in their community. And that 51% of homeowners vs. 37% were extremely satisfied with the family oriented environment. Now this seems to make sense since the majority of renters are generally single or newly married so community involvement and a family environment  is not very important. It goes on to state that 82% of homeowners vs. 73% of renters read or listen to local news and the 78% of homeowners vs 58% of renters voted in local elections.  

What can we read into these numbers? Well, aside from the financial benefits of ownership, there is a sense of belonging. Owners have a personal stake in their community to ensure its safety and long-term stability for themselves and their families. Renters will not have that long-term committment to their community because generally a renter will stay renting for a few years and move to another complex or home.

Their article also showed a financial disparity between renters and homeowners. In 2007 the median net worth of those renting was $5100 compared with $234,200 for homeowners. Pre- real estate boom in 1998 was $5400 for renters and $168,200 for homeowners, so you can see that the gap has been pretty big between the two regardless of the market.

So renters, if you are looking for the financial benefits of  homeownership and a sense of community, homeownership is great investment in your future.  It is still a great time to buy, and trying not to sound like a stereotypical salesperson, time is ticking!

Article referenced-Home Ownership and the American Dream by Brian Sumerfield, NAR, Feb 2011

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