by Travis Rougier

Home Ownership

I came across this information the other day and thought I’d look at it a little bit more deeply. While I’d heard similar things before and sort of self-acknowledged it myself, I never expected the results to be so skewed in favor of home ownership.

Synopsis

I promise that below you will find links to the various studies and articles that these conclusions I provide come from. In my searches I found data that supported all the claims on the infographic, and a declaration from a study in 1997 that claimed, “Home ownership compared to renting leads to a 13 to 23 percent higher-quality home environment”. The study goes on to describe in extreme detail what that home environment consists of and what higher-quality is defined as. I also found that daughters of homeowners have a 27% lower probability of having children of their own as teenagers than children of renters. Furthermore, while the high school and college graduation rates are fantastic, they only begin to tell of the benefits that follow of having completed those milestones. We all have seen THOSE studies on how economically better off people are with education under their belt.

Some of the studies had theories on why these positive benefits occur. The theories include the belief that homeowners are more likely to make improvements to their homes. Improvements to create better play areas, reduce any hazards, put in more quality lighting, and provide more intellectual stimuli such as magazine subscriptions. Other studies conclude that the experience of hiring tradespeople and laborers, as well as budgeting for various home repairs can help homeowners to develop management skills which can also be used to improve their parenting. Another theory suggested that owning a home simply creates a more stable environment by proxy, since homeowners typically move less frequently than renters.

Ask Questions, Become Informed

Some interesting data and theories. I did find some studies that attempted to refute the data, but their conclusions were muddled at best. In the end the suggestions of these other studies was that we need to improve schools and communities to mimic the benefits of home ownership. In the words of LeVar Burton “but you don’t have to take my word for it.” My sources are below and as usual I urge you to learn more. Let me know what you think of this information in the comments.

Sources

http://econweb.ucsd.edu/~miwhite/gw-jue-reprint.pdf This is the 1997 study that kicked off the modern-day theorizing of this topic.
http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/social-benefits-of-stable-housing-2012-04.pdf
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/chldhome.htm
http://www.nhc.org/media/files/Insights_Home_children_final.pdf
http://mba.informz.net/MBA/data/images/rihapapereffectsofhomeownershiponchildren102212.pdf