In our last post, we talked about how Robertson County can continue to attract commerce that would make life more convenient, such as Target, Chick-Fil-A or Panera Bread. Businesses like these are important to help a community grow and thrive.
But, there’s so much more to a great place to live than just having big box stores nearby. Successful communities are driven by stability. Why does stability play such an important role in quality of life? Let’s take a look.
Stable communities are created through home ownership, and that’s great because it gives community members a piece of the world to call their own. A comparison I often use is rental cars. Are you going to take your rental car to the car wash or have the oil changed? Of course not! But you do all those things for the car you own. The same applies for home ownership. Home owners are more likely to maintain the exterior of their house and landscaping than renters. This increases curb appeal and property values for the entire block. Property values rise and additional taxes are created which leads to stronger schools. Many studies have shown that home ownership has immense social benefits including; improved health, less local crime, and increased volunteerism.
Let’s talk a bit more about how less crime leads to better opportunities for residents:
Less crime attracts both residential and commercial growth. A recent report published by the Center for American Progress detailed a substantial link between crime decreasing and property value increasing. For example, every 10% reduction in homicides would lead to nearly a 1% increase in housing values without any improvements made to the homes. Increased home values add equity for the homeowner as well as attracts individuals who are ready to make long-term commitments to the community.
As for the link of improved health and home ownership, the connection is clear. The financial impact of housing is significant. Specifically, spending too much on housing can have major negative health impacts. According to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, households that spend 30% or more of their income on housing per month will often prioritize that house payment over health care. They are also most likely to live in units that are more affordable yet unsafe.
Moving frequently is also associated with poor health care service utilization and lack of development in children. It also creates prolonged periods of mental and financial stress, which as we know now lead to a variety of poor health outcomes, including increased rates of depression and heart disease.
One solution to this challenge is expanding affordable homeownership across the United States. In most areas, home ownership is more affordable than renting. Fixed rate mortgages allow households to budget for the future without the worry of rent increases or being forced to move. Home ownership can build a stable family structure and generate wealth through home equity.
Does this mean I’m against renting? Absolutely not. Renting is great in many situations. In fact, we are actively creating high-quality rentals in Robertson County to help those moving from Nashville and beyond. The goal is to show them what an awesome community we have and that they will soon become homeowners here too!