Buying a home has several unique advantages when compared with renting. Aside from being to decorate as you choose, receive additional tax benefits, enjoy stability in your housing payments, and increase your ability to make future investments, it just feels good to own your own home!
A survey conducted last month by the PEW Research Center, a non-profit, non-partisan organization considered a “fact tank” on social & demographic trends in America, determined that the majority of adult Americans (81%) still believe “that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make.” It is interesting to note that while the same study showed that 47% of those surveyed felt that current economic factors have resulted in a decrease in their current home value, those same home owners felt that their home investment was a safe one.
Even renters seem to agree with the idea of investing in a home, with 81% wishing to buy a home at some point, even if individual circumstances prevent it currently. In fact, when asked to rate long-term financial goals, homeownership and “being able to live comfortably in retirement” were rated the highest by 80% of those surveyed. Survey participants seemed to understand that owning a home provides more than an avenue for generating savings – it also is a place to live and provides an element of physical and emotional stability unlike other investment options.
Further pursuing this question, the survey compared investments – trying to determine which held fast in the long run – the stock market or the housing market. The answer was variable, depending on the year of investment, however, and unable to be determined overall. One item not considered in the survey is that owning a home provides income tax benefits that are not likely to be found in other investments, which could affect the dividend bottom line and how you choose to invest. View the survey on buying a home in its entirety right here.
In San Diego, the trends that favor increasing values for homes are pointing up, something I haven’t seen in more than four to five years.