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How your home can make you healthier, wealthier and wise

By Lodha 02 February 2021

Take a group of people and ask them to list out five major life goals they may have, and the
chances are fairly high that most of them will likely have home ownership on their list. This
isn’t mere speculation. The numbers reveal there’s a great deal of truth behind this. According
to a report from the property website NoBroker, around 82% of the people across India’s major
cities plan to buy a residential property in 2021.[1]

Given the uncertain economic conditions associated with the pandemic, you’d think that the
purchase sentiment may have dipped among the general populace. However, as that same
report revealed, nearly 89% of the people believe that this phase may just be the best time to
buy a home. Perhaps this opinion can be traced back to the sense of certainty that is associated
with having your own home to return to. That is undoubtedly the need of the hour amidst all
the uncertainty stirred up the black swan event that COVID-19 was.

But then, aside from the obvious financial benefits of home ownership, there are also many
social, psychological and health-related benefits that come as part of the package. Let’s
explore the multidimensional advantages that owning a home brings in, and see how your own
home can make you healthier, wealthier and wise.

The financial benefits of home ownership
Buying a house may seem like an expensive financial move at first glance. However, if you take
a closer look at the details, buying brings in more financial benefits than renting a house. Let’s
see how.

    1.  It builds wealth over time
Home ownership builds wealth over the long term. In a stable economy, the asset value for
residential property could rise by 3% to 4% year on year. As the value of the house appreciates,
your net worth also sees a steep rise correspondingly. The caveat here, of course, is that you
need to buy a house that you can afford. With the affordable housing segment in India seeing a
boost, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

    2.  Your equity increases each month
Your equity, in the context of your home, is essentially the difference between what you can
sell it for, and what you owe on it. Now, with time, your dues on the home reduce as you pay
back the loans, while the value of the property increases. This, in turn, increases your equity in
your home. In other words, your equity is the lowest during the first payment you make on the
house. From there on, it grows steadily month after month.

    3.  It’s more economical over the long term
At the outset, renting a house may appear cheaper. After all, what’s a rent of Rs. 10,000 per
month in the face of say a Rs. 5 lakh down payment and EMIs to the tune of Rs. 20,000? But
over the long term, as the interest portion on your EMIs reduces, buying a home pays off. Your
repayments eventually grow smaller than the rent you would have otherwise been paying
(since rent increases over time). Ultimately, after you’ve repaid your loan, your outlays are
practically zero.

Besides, currently the home loan rates are the lowest we have witnessed in over 15 years. This
and additionally, the reduction in stamp duty applicable till March 2021 in Maharashtra, makes
it a good time to buy your dream home. And if you are looking at affordable housing, then you
will benefit from the PMAY incentives apart from other tax benefits.

The social benefits of home ownership
When you buy a house, you invariably become more invested in the community around you.
This brings in a variety of social and community-oriented benefits, many of which you may
not get to experience when you rent a house. Your own home will provide you a sense of
rootedness, belonging, lend you an identity and help you build lifelong relationships. Let’s
check out some such social advantages.

    1.   Your children will likely do better in school
Renting means you’ll undoubtedly move homes every few years. But home ownership offers
you a level stability that renting rarely, if ever, does. This is perhaps why the children of
homeowners tend to do better in school than the children of non-homeowners. Research
shows us that children of homeowners do around 9% better in math and 7% better in reading.
Routine and constancy sure seem to have a positive impact on school-going kids.

    2.   You forge strong connections with your community
When you buy and live in a house for years at a stretch, you become an integral part of the
community around you. You grow more invested in the immediate society associated with your
home. When you intend to stay in one place for the foreseeable future, it’s also natural that you
form better bonds with your neighbors. Social interaction of this nature helps you thrive and
improves your mental health. Home ownership also encourages you to give back to the
community that supports you through ways like volunteering or problem solving.

    3.  You’re less likely to be a victim of crime
Crime rates, it appears, are inversely proportional to the rates of homeownership. The higher
the rate of home ownership, the lower the crime rates tend to be. Perhaps this is because when
you live in a neighborhood for years on end, you tend to get better at spotting unfamiliar faces
in a sea of otherwise familiar folks. This makes owners who’ve resided in an area for a long
time more vigilant. When you rent, however, you may not know the lay of the land all that well.

The psychological benefits of home ownership
Above all, owning a home brings a sense of calm and satisfaction to homeowners, as you can
truly be yourself in your own home. The psychological benefits of buying a house are explained
here.

    1.  You gravitate towards a more stress-free life
Renting is an unstable arrangement, because the possibility that you may have to move at
short notice is always present. When you own your house, however, there’s much less stress
involved, because you know you’re there to stay. No landlord can oust you at short notice. In
addition to this, the financial strength that comes from homeownership further reduces your
stress.

    2.  You get to experience a greater degree of control
It’s no secret that when you live in a rented space, you need to work within the framework
you’re given. More often than not, you cannot make lasting changes to your space and
redecorate it the way you want to. With your own home, however, this is certainly not the case.
You have a greater degree of control over the space you live in, and you can make minor or
major changes to it any way you want to. This degree of control can be very satisfying
psychologically.

All things considered, there are a great many advantages to buying your own home. It is the
best gift that you can give yourself and your family, because it gives you a sense of identity and
belonging. For most people, that can be extremely rewarding. It also gives you a sense of
certainty and stability, and that is something we can all agree we need, particularly in the wake
of the pandemic.

Given these multidimensional benefits of owning a home, it’s a good idea to chart out a
financial plan to make your very own dream of buying a residential property come true. With
the affordable housing segment picking up in India, and with many ready-to-move homes on
the market, this may be a good time to check off that goal. Though always remember, it’s
prudent to buy a home from a reputed developer with a good track record of delivery. 

[1]
https://www.dtnext.in/News/Business/2020/12/22174401/1267680/Majority-of-Indians-plan-to-purchase-propertyin-2021-.vpf

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