Homeownership is becoming less stressful for many owners, according to a report from NerdWallet, despite the financial and emotional costs of owning a home. NerdWallet Mortgage Expert Tim Manni states that many Americans still put homeownership as a top priority.
“Despite homebuying being a long and often exhausting process, and homeownership being a time-consuming and frankly expensive venture, 75 percent of Americans say it’s a priority, according to NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report,” Manni said. "If recessions, high prices, and stress can’t kill the American dream, I’m not sure anything will. The American desire to own a home is incredibly resilient.”
One reason for the lower stress of homeownership is the falling costs of owning a home. On average, homeowners reported paying $1,443 each month on housing costs, which includes mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes, and HOA fees. NerdWallet states that just one in three homeowners called these costs expensive, meaning the majority of homeowners find their costs of ownership to be affordable. Since the 2008-2010 recession, homeowners have gone from spending 25 percent of their income on homeownership to 21.5 percent as of 2016.
Still, according to Manni, many homeowners could be saving even more money if they were to look closely at their insurance premiums.
“Homeowners should get into the habit of conducting a yearly audit of their mortgage costs,” Manni says. “For example, contact your insurer to see if there are ways to save on homeowners insurance. Repairs like a new roof could lower your yearly premium, for instance.”
Still, home repairs can be the most stressful aspect of owning a home. NerdWallet states that around 65 percent of homeowners have experienced some sort of anxiety related to owning their home, and 75 percent of that anxiety was due to unexpected home repair costs.
Manni suggests homeowners should put aside just 2 percent of their yearly home costs for repairs. Other stress factors include late payments and delinquency.
Despite this, over half of homeowners reported feeling accomplished and proud of their home.