Various studies have indicated a correlation between homeownership and better health. A 2014 study in Social Science and Medicine found that homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health — and 3.1 percent more likely when adjusting for “an array of demographic, socioeconomic and housing-related characteristics.”
Part of that health advantage, according to Burdick, is due to that aforementioned control over your surroundings.
“When you have a rental property with mold or mildew or water damage, that’s not always something that landlords can or will deal with,” he said. “If you’re a homeowner, these are things you have the freedom to take care of when they come up. That’s why we at Habitat think classes to prepare homeowners are so helpful. They can be a real benefit.”
The benefit is just as much mental as physical, added David Burnett, a millennial homeowner who purchased a house with his now-wife three years ago.
“It’s nice to have money go to equity and building security for us versus just going to rent,” he said. “That definitely has a positive mental-health repercussion. And I like working on projects around the house. There’s a stress relief aspect there, and the freedom to do what I want to my home feels good.”
Burnett is not alone. A 1994 report in Housing Policy Debate concluded that homeowners on the whole report higher happiness and self-esteem than renters. That feeling of stability is heightened in circumstances of high stress. A 2012 City & Community study on the impact of the Great Recession, for example, found that although both renters and owners experienced similar levels of financial difficulty, homeowners were less stressed psychologically and felt more satisfied with their financial situation.