Emotional benefits of homeownership outweigh financial gains: BofA

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Homeownership creates happiness for Americans through an emotional attachment to their property as well as an improved lifestyle, a survey from Bank of America found.

While Americans believe that homeownership builds both their emotional and economic well-being, a majority gives more weight to the sentiment that a home is a place where they make memories, 58%, versus 42% that prioritize the financial investment.

Over nine out of 10 American homeowners (93%) surveyed said homeownership made them happier than renting, while 83% said they did not want to go back to renting.

Overall, 70% of the respondents are more emotionally attached to their home than they anticipated, with 69% stating it would be more difficult to move because of the memories made there.

"We know how much homeownership means, and we see examples every day of how owning a home gives our clients the power to build personal wealth and make memories," D. Steve Boland, head of consumer lending at Bank of America, said in a press release. "They've told us very clearly that homeownership is invaluable, and that's why we're actively providing assistance with down payment and closing costs to help people buy homes and create a new lifestyle."

In the second quarter, BofA originated $18.3 billion of first mortgages, up from $11.7 billion one year prior.

Homeownership is seen as a way for Americans, especially minorities, to build personal wealth. But the view that the financial reasons for buying a home outweighed the emotional contributed to overheated markets prior to the bust. The result was large numbers of mortgages going into negative equity, with a significant number of owners abandoning their property.

Over three-quarters of respondents to Bank of America's survey who currently have a house find homeownership has a positive effect on their financial well-being today, and 88% of these consumers said it has had a positive effect on their life overall. Only 42% of prospective homebuyers were satisfied with their financial well-being and 70% of that group had a positive view of homeownership's potential effect on their lives overall.

Meanwhile 84% of homeowners are happy where they currently live, compared with 66% of prospective homebuyers.

Approximately two-thirds of the respondents said their relationship with family and loved ones changed after purchasing a home. In that group, 47% said it gave their family a sense of pride, and 24% said it enabled them to bring their entire family under one roof.

Concentrix Analytics conducted the survey for BofA between Jan. 30 and Feb. 31, with a national sample of 1,919 people over the age of 18 that are current homeowners or plan to buy in the future. There was an additional sample of 782 respondents from Generation Z, single females, single males, renters and homeowners that paid off their mortgage.

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