Your Home's Healing Powers

Your Home's Healing Powers

For a long time, we’ve known that home ownership is a sound investment for financial future. But could owning a home actually help your health in the long term as well? Believe it or not, all signs point to yes!

Owning a Home Has Social and Personal Benefits

Numerous studies have highlighted the links between home ownership and mental health – and the results are genuinely incredible. In general, home owners are “happier and healthier” than non-owners, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2012 Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing report.

While the NAR’s findings are, of course, influenced by a number of factors – including education and income level – the fact that remains that numerous scholars have found links between homeownership and an improvement in physical and emotional well-being. For instance, one study suggests that people who become homeowners report “higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and higher perceived control over their lives.”

Similarly, the NAR’s 2011 American Attitudes About Homeownership report suggests a definite connection between homeownership and social and community health. According to that report, homeowners are more likely to know their neighbors and participate in civic activities than renters, and are thus “more satisfied with their community and family life” and are more likely to “describe their communities as safe and stable.”

You Can Customize and Create Your Own Living Space

One particularly interesting finding from that Social Benefits report? Even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors, one research study found that homeowners “report higher self ratings on their physical health” across the board, and enjoy “better physical and psychological health” overall.

This certainly makes sense! After all, homeowners have the ability to customize and optimize their living spaces for their own needs, without having to consult with a landlord. Whether that means updating your plumbing, installing a stress-relieving “smart home” system, or simply having control over your garden, these little updates can go a long way toward giving you a greater sense of control and a genuine improvement in your overall standard of living. Not to mention the fact that as a homeowner, you’re more likely to take on a lot of these tasks yourself. A little time spent gardening, painting, or fixing up a property can burn a whole lot of calories.  

Designers Are Working With Your Health In Mind

In addition to the inherent health benefits of homeownership, a lot of time and effort is currently being spent making sure that the homes and condos of the future are actively able to help their owners lead healthier lives. What do we mean? As an example, there are now two separate health and wellness certifications available for apartment and condo buildings, WELL Certification and Active Design Verified status.

To receive either certification, a building has to pass a stringent examination by a governing body; think of these certifications like LEED standards, but for your health, rather than the environment’s. And like LEED, the standards are high: A WELL Certified building, for instance, must feature top-notch air and water filtration systems; chemical-free paint, finishes, and cleaning supplies; lots of natural light sources; and even measures that cut back on noise pollution.

And outside of the flashy awards, plenty of home designers are reconsidering the ways in which we can use our living spaces for the sake of our health: Look for and more spaces for gardening, increased bike storage, and in-house gym facilities in the years ahead.

Want to experience the countless benefits of homeownership for yourself? The Real Group team would love to help get you started! Drop us a line today!

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