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More Than Half of Americans Feel Homeownership Is Unattainable

Finances affect nearly every aspect of Americans' lives. With the market having been as volatile as it was, many are anticipating what's to come in 2024.

The question remains, exactly: how do Americans feel about homeownership?

According to a new survey from Home Bay, homeowners remain more satisfied than renters. On average, research found that homeowners rate their overall happiness at 7.5 out of 10, 20% higher than renters, who rate their happiness at just 6.2.

But for those renting, some 60% feel that homeownership is out of reach, but despite financial difficulties and market uncertainties, a whopping 69% believe owning a home would make them happier.

Renters also reported higher stress levels, with an average score of 6.2 out of 10, compared to homeowners, with an average rating of 5.1 out of 10.

So, what is the greatest benefit of homeownership?

The most common answer for 14% of homeowners was privacy, while an estimated 16% of renters cited stability.

Some 82% of homeowners assert that owning a home provides them with financial security, emphasizing one of the key advantages of homebuying. In addition, an estimated 91% appreciate the freedom to modify and renovate their homes as they please, while renters lack the same luxury.

Other popular responses included:

  • Not having to deal with landlords (60%)
  • Increased stability (56%)
  • The ability to modify or upgrade the home (53%)
  • The absence of shared walls with others (53%)
  • The appreciation of home values (49%)

The survey also found that roughly 2 in 3 renters—an estimated 67%—remain stressed about their finances, compared to 44% of homeowners. Renters nationwide are 86% more likely than homeowners to not consider themselves financially comfortable.

An astounding 90% of homeowners say they're happier overall since they purchased their home, while 80% say owning a home was the best decision they've ever made.

However, with home prices elevating in some states, approximately 19% of homeowners wish they were still renting. Nearly half of homeowners (47%) say they miss not having to take care of home repairs, and 56% wish they spent less time on maintenance.

What are the disadvantages of homeownership?

Both homeowners (64%) and renters (51%) said property taxes were the biggest disadvantage of homeownership.

Like many, some 52% of homeowners say owning a home is more expensive than they expected, and 43% find it more challenging than they predicted. Since purchasing their home, 20% of homeowners admit to having more non-mortgage debt.

With home prices up and down across the U.S., approximately 78% share that they will never return to renting.

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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