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The Benefits of Owning a Home

In Hearth's 2017 State of the American Dream Report, the research confirmed that "all generations - including millennials - agree home ownership is very important to achieving the American Dream.

When weighing the pros and cons of starting down the path to home ownership, there are several benefits to consider.

Equity. Every month that you pay your mortgage, a portion of that payment goes to the principal balance on the loan. You don't really notice it while its happening, but this builds the equity in your home. Home equity is the difference between the home's fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property. Put another way, the equity in your home is the portion that you truly "own."

Appreciation. This is the increase in the value of something over time. Home values have a well-documented history of going up over time. How much a home's value goes up depends on the local real estate market and any improvements made to the home. This increase becomes equity you can benefit from when you refinance or sell.

Roots. People who own rather than rent stay in their home four times longer. This provides an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and connect with your local community.

Education. Research shows children of homeowners earn higher test scores and graduate at a higher percentage than those of renters.

Happiness. The feeling of owning your own home is unmatched. You can fix it up, redecorate, get a dog, or plant a garden if you want. The possibilities are exciting, right?

So strong, in fact, that in Hearth's report, Americans ranked "owning a home I love" higher than any other options, (including "starting a family" and "finding a fulfilling career") as an important part of the American Dream.