Homeownership is still a prominent milestone in achieving the American dream. However, many people are unsure whether owning a home will ever be attainable in the current market, while others have chosen to rent to avoid a mortgage.
Although renting has perks, one can’t deny the advantages of owning a house — including the health benefits. Here is why owning a home is better for your physical and mental health than renting.
4 Health Benefits Of Owning A Home Vs. Renting
Homeownership comes with greater control over your household’s health and safety. Rather than rely on your landlord for repairs, you take on the responsibility yourself. Here are four health benefits owning a house has over renting.
1. The Ability To Put Down Roots
Renting an apartment allows you to move more easily than if you were to buy a house. You could hop from apartment to apartment across state lines every few months if that’s the life you enjoy living. However, putting down roots and becoming part of your community benefits your mental well-being.
Studies have shown 83% of pregnant women have fewer depressive postpartum symptoms when they’re socially connected. Forming bonds with others can also lead you to live a longer life. Homeownership offers greater stability, as most people settle in one place for years. Homeowners also become active participants in their neighborhoods and communities, increasing their sense of belonging.
2. Homes Are Generally Better Maintained
Many renters wouldn’t recommend their complexes to prospective tenants. For example, in the Bronx, many tenants report slow landlord responsiveness to complaints about cleanliness and bug infestations.
Apartments should pass inspections with a 100 rating for mold levels, while ratings above 800 often call for remediation. Mold can cause serious health hazards for tenants and significantly reduce air quality — yet this is a common trend in multi-family housing.
People residing in apartments with high air pollution are more susceptible to migraines and skin irritation. The primary health benefit of owning a house is that you don’t need to rely on anybody else to uphold your safety and wellness. You can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family in your own home.
3. Higher Life Satisfaction And Self-Esteem
Ask any homeowner how they feel about living in a house, and they’ll likely tell you it gives them pride. People who’ve bought a home feel like they’ve accomplished a distant dream, creating higher self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
In most situations, homeownership results from years of savings, such as cutting back on unnecessary expenses, boosting credit scores and relying on coupons and discounts to secure one’s finances. Regardless of what it took to buy a house, many homeowners feel grateful and appreciate that they’ve made it so far.
4. Greater Financial Security
Many people avoid buying a house due to financial constraints. Yet, your home will likely appreciate over time, meaning more money in your pocket and decreasing economic anxiety.
In the UK, 60% of financial health derives from homeownership. When invested correctly, the gains have apparent positive effects on symptoms of depression and anxiety. Poor financial management is a significant burden, especially during inflation and unemployment. According to a Bankrate survey, 46% of women said money impacts their mental health negatively, compared to 38% of men.
Although initially expensive, a house helps you increase your net worth and build equity for retirement rather than giving your money away to a landlord. Securing your financial future will provide greater security and mental health in the present.
How Renters Can Improve Their Health
While not everyone can afford to buy a house, there are ways renters can live more healthily in a multi-family complex.
Check the air vents for blockages and temporarily open apartment windows to increase ventilation throughout your unit. People spend about 90% of their time indoors, where air pollutants are two to five times worse than outside.
Regularly inspecting your unit for water leaks and mildew is another way to avoid potential health hazards. Contact your landlord immediately if you find suspicious mold, pests or rodent infestations. Then stay on top of them to ensure a repairman corrects the problem.
Renters must read their leasing agreement and contact their state to learn about tenants’ rights. Also, always maintain a record of communications between your landlord, including rent payments. There are advocacy resources to assist renters should problems arise.
Homeownership Is Best For Healthy Living
Owning a house can ensure better physical and mental wellbeing by reducing health hazards and providing financial and social security. Although there are ways to safeguard your health while renting, you might consider buying a house instead if you can swing it.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.