Now There's Proof Homeownership Benefits Kids
If you want happier, more successful kids, just remember three little words: Buy a home. According to a study recently published in the journal Real Estate Economics, homeownership is good for children in a number of ways.
A team of Ohio State University professors who authored the study analyzed data collected on 1,026 children aged 5 to 8 years old. They found that for those living in owned homes versus rental units:
- Math scores were up to 9% higher.
- Reading achievement was as much as 7% higher.
- Behavioral problems were 1% to 3% lower.
In fact, the researchers found an independent effect of homeownership on children's outcomes that was unrelated to household income and education, marital status, stay-at-home mothers, number of siblings and neighborhood characteristics. The owned-home environment was judged to be 13% to 23% better than in rented homes due to higher levels of:
- Home maintenance and improvement.
- Child/parent activities.
- Educational materials in the home.
- Stability in one location.
The researchers also found that benefits of homeownership for children increased the longer families lived in their own homes. Longevity in one place was thought to result in more neighborhood and community involvement on the part of parents and longer stays in the same schools and school systems for the kids--creating a more stable emotional environment for learning.