The Surprising Effect of Homeownership You Won’t See on HGTV
Buying a home won't change only the landscape of your wallet but may change you personally
There’s no doubt that buying your first home is a life-changing event. Not only is it a major financial investment, but it also provides a sense of freedom and accomplishment… and also piles a bunch of responsibilities on your plate. In short, you’re not wholly the same person you were before when you become a homeowner.
But what exactly changes about your lifestyle, personality, and preferences when you take the big leap of purchasing a place? Quite a few things, according to Bank of America’s 2019 Fall Homebuyer Insights Report. In fact, 79 percent of homebuyers asked for the survey said they felt that becoming a homeowner has made them a better person. Now that’s saying a lot.
Interested in how your life might change after you turn in your rental keys? Here, the various effects that homeownership has on a person:
It makes sense that, once you have more space and conducive amenities, you might try out a new hobby or two. According to the survey, 76 percent of respondents said that they picked up new hobbies after buying a home.
The most popular? Landscaping and gardening, which 47 percent reported taking up after buying a home. It’s not surprising that after years of not having outdoors space while renting, a new homeowner with a yard might be interesting in trying their hand at growing a few of their own trendy plants. Even those who grew up thinking of yard work as a tedious chore might discover a newfound sense of satisfaction in the task.
Next on the list of hobbies pursued by new homeowners is food prep, (e.g. cooking, baking, and grilling) according to 45 percent of respondents. Again, this makes perfect sense if you’re coming from an apartment with a cramped kitchen that makes cooking a nightmare, or if you didn’t have the outdoor space to accommodate a grill before.
Finally, 33 percent discovered an interest in interior design and remodeling. Why? One of the major perks of buying a home is the freedom to truly make it your own, personalizing and customizing it to your heart’s content. Especially if you were a renter with limitations on decor, the chance to design your space is especially appealing.
You might think that the stress of homeownership would put a strain on relationships, but 67 percent of homeowners in the survey think relationships with their family members and loved ones have changed for the better since purchasing a home.
The reasons for that? Well, for one, 49 percent of respondents said that their new home—presumably with more space—allowed them to entertain more, giving them the opportunity to spend more quality time with loved ones. Likewise, 24 percent said that homeownership enabled them to bring the entire family together under one roof—perfect for holiday gatherings, family reunions, and other celebrations.
Finally, homeownership itself gave families a sense of pride, according to 47 percent of respondents. That shared feeling of accomplishment is sure to make familial bonds stronger.
Quality of life
Based on the survey data, it should come as no surprise that, overall, homeowners reported higher levels of satisfaction with various aspects of life than non-homeowners.
In terms of hobbies, 82 percent of homeowners were pleased with the amount of time they spend pursuing such activities, versus just 63 percent of non-homeowners. When it comes to the quality of their social life, 78 percent of homeowners were satisfied while only 58 percent of non-homeowners were. The greatest disparity can be found when assessing one’s financial well-being: 77 percent of homeowners were pleased with their finances while a scant 42 percent of non-homeowners reported likewise. Taken as a whole, 88 percent of homeowners and 70 percent of non-homeowners reported satisfaction with their lives overall.
But there are no guarantees
While there’s proof that being a homeowner does change you, here’s our advice: You can’t really plan for these changes. From our experience on the matter, homeownership doesn’t suddenly transform you into an entirely different person once you become a homeowner. For example, you may dream of a home with a fireplace, picturing cozy evenings wrapped in blankets, sipping tea, and gazing into the flames with your loved one. But, many homeowners have said that they don’t use their fireplace as much as they expected—or at all—due to living in a warm climate or because of the work involved in using and maintaining one. Likewise, you might seek a home with extra rooms for future children or house guests and then later realize you don’t want kids and that you rarely entertain out-of-towners. Or you might long for what you’ve never had, like an attached garage or central air and heat, and then conclude that such amenities aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
In short, it’s hard to predict how you and your life will change once you become a homeowner. My advice? Just buckle in and enjoy the ride.
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