Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, June 26, 2020

Why homeownership matters: An investment in you

As we round out June, let’s take another look at the benefits of owning a home. Since June is National Homeownership Month, my goal with this three-part series, “Why Homeownership Matters,” has been to provide insight into the many positive benefits that come from owning a home.

First, I talked about how owning a home is a path to financial stability. It helps build equity, which can lead to generational wealth. Even a small “starter” home allows individuals to build equity.

This initial investment can significantly affect your family’s long-term plan, including attending certain schools, money for college and retirement.

Secondly, I discussed how homeownership is an investment in your community, as your property taxes and home improvements support the local economy.

Now let’s turn to the third component – your physical and psychological well-being.

A recent study, “Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing,” measured the emotional well-being of homeowners. The study shows that homeowners – even those in the lower price points – report higher life satisfaction, self-esteem and perceived control over their lives.

Also, comparing owners to renters, the study showed “homeowners are more likely to believe they can do things as well as anyone else, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors.”

Also, homeowners said they “enjoy better physical and psychological health.” Who doesn’t want that for themselves and their family?

Summarizing the study’s findings, the National Association of Realtors concluded, “Early studies of homeownership and health outcomes found that homeowners and children of homeowners are generally happier and healthier than non-owners, even after controlling for factors such as income and education levels that are also associated with positive health outcomes and positively correlated with homeownership.

“More recent studies have found that the wealth-building effect of homeownership and the sense of control it provides to homeowners in a stable housing market affect homeowners’ mental and physical health in a positive way.”

In addition to your emotional and physical health, homeownership is a step toward growing lasting roots in a local community. Belonging to a community spurs me to act in concrete ways, such as completing the U.S. census and voting. These civic duties aren’t exactly flashy, but they’re crucial to the health of our neighborhoods.

The 2020 census is a big deal to all who live in our community. While the census counts all households, whether you own or rent, filling out the census paired with owning a home are signs that you’re invested in your community for the long haul.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, but why should I care?” The census impacts many different facets of our life and determines how resources are allocated to our community. When we don’t fill out the census, we leave federal funds on the table – funds that can help our community, friends and family.

It’s a big deal, right? But sadly, recent data shows that not everyone is taking the time to be counted. We need more residents in our five-county market area to complete the census in order to increase the current response rates, which include 62.4% for Hamilton, 53.1% for Sequatchie, 65% for Catoosa, 49.2% for Dade and 55.9% Walker.

You’ve taken the step of homeownership; now take the step to make sure our community doesn’t leave federal money on the table.

Voting is also crucial to making your voice heard as a citizen and homeowner. An expression I often repeat is, “Vote where you live.” That sounds silly at first, but think about it for a minute. When you vote where you live, you’re voting for the highest offices in the land, but also for local officials who have just as much, if not more, of an impact on your daily life.

From school boards to the county commission and city council, these offices impact you and your neighborhood far more than you might realize. I urge everyone to register to vote – and to check their voter registration to make sure there are no errors that might keep you from making your voice heard.

Our civic duties aren’t the only benefactors of homeownership and activism. Owning a home can be the first step to creating the life you desire for yourself and your family.

Once you decide to take this step, use a Realtor. We’ll be there to help you with your different needs, and we have the tools and professional knowledge to help you walk this path. Realtors are here year-round to be your housing resource. That’s who we R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.