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04 06 2015
Survey Finds that Homeownership Makes You Happy

People buying an apartment or free-standing home tend to be happier than those renting their residences. This is suggested by a recent survey that the University of Hohenheim conducted on behalf of the LBS Baden-Württemberg state building and loan association. The survey puts the percentage of highly content homeowners in Berlin at 61 percent. Far lower at 47 percent is the share of highly content tenants. Overall, the survey on the subject of contentment and homeownership included 2,788 people in the State of Baden-Württemberg and 1,442 people elsewhere in Germany.

Paying the Final Instalment a Particularly Joyous Event

For the purposes of the survey, seven “dimensions of contentment” were defined. In addition to health, financial security, career, and partnership, these included the area of habitation. According to the survey, the current accommodation is highly significant for a dweller's level of contentment, regardless of educational background, income level or age of the respondents.

Peak moments of happiness for homeowners include the decision in favour of buying a property, the actual transaction, moving in, and payment of the final instalment above all. Meetings with the bank or negotiations with the seller are a mixed bag, making some buyers happier than others. Conversely, the moment when the children move out or the home is damaged by adverse circumstances have the highest potential for compromising that happiness.

Property Owners – Greater Contentment Combines with Deeper Social Commitment

Roughly two in three polled homeowners stated that homeownership had turned them into happier people. Analogously, one in three tenants assumed that homeownership would make them happier. Decisive is not only possession as such, but also the residential setting, the location, and the transportation access. Other factors definitive for the level of contentment with one's own residence include size, price and fit-out. Again, homeowners carried the day: 65 percent of the interviewed property owners said they would buy the same property again.

Among the key reasons for buying a home is the wish to create security against old age. But security is not the only way to enhance contentment, as the autonomy when decorating the own abode at will and the knowledge of not having to pay rent make people feel good, too. Moreover, the researchers noted that homeowners show a higher degree of social commitment. The is possibly explained by closer ties to the surrounding community. Owners tend to be more active than tenants, be it by volunteering for the local fire department, by helping in their congregation, and by signing up with local sports teams.