There is no shortage of experts that want to let us know how Americans feel about owning a home after the collapse of the residential market in the last five years. They MUST be devastated. They MUST feel trapped like prisoners in their own homes. They MUST be sorry they ever bought the house. These assumptions seem logical at times and can occasionally be supported by anecdotal evidence. However, we want to go to the only people who truly understand how homeowners feel – the homeowners themselves.
There have been three major surveys done this year that can shed light on the issue:
The National Housing Survey
This survey conducted by Fannie Mae showed:
• 96% of all homeowners said homeownership has been a positive experience.
• 64% consider buying a home as a safe investment. Buying a home was considered safer than buying stocks by over three times the number of people (64% vs 17%).
The top four reasons to buy:
1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide a good education
2. You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
3. It allows you to have more space for your family
4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space (renovations & updates)
American Attitudes About Home Ownership
According to this survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the National Association of Realtors, home owners believe that home ownership benefits individuals and families and strengthens our communities.
The vast majority of home owners say that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. Even in today’s challenging economy, 95% of owners believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home.
Home owners are much more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their family and community life than renters. While more than half of owners (56%) are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the overall quality of their family life, only about one-third (36%) of renters report the same levels of satisfaction. Also, 43% of home owners are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their community life, compared with 30% of renters.
An overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home. A full 93% of owners surveyed would buy again.
Pew Research Center Survey
This recent survey titled “Home Sweet Home. Still” delves into homeowners’ current belief in homeownership as a long term investment:
Homeowners whose home value has fallen only a little are equally enthusiastic about housing as a long-term investment: 85% say buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make. Among those who say their home has maintained it value or increased in value, 88% agree…
Even those who have seen their home values plummet are still committed to the idea that buying a home is a solid, long-term investment. Among those who say their home has lost a lot of its value, 80% agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment (36% strongly agree, 44% agree somewhat).
There have been families that have been devastated by the current economy. However, through it all, homeowners have not wavered in their belief in homeownership as the best long-term investment.