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  5. Homeowners Have 40x the Wealth of Renters

Homeowners Have 40x the Wealth of Renters

It is clear: Homeownership is the easiest and most common path to wealth in the US. Buying your first home can be the most important financial decision you make in your lifetime. Not only home is where your heart is but equally important it is also where your wealth is.  The relationship between homeownership and wealth building has been extensively studied by economists, policy makers and other experts and the conclusion is unmistakably the same: Homeownership leads to wealth creation and financial freedom.

The power of homeownership as a means for wealth creation is particularly important for low-income households. However, the conclusion holds true for every income level. In fact, the majority of homeowner wealth comes from real estate (housing) for all income levels except for the richest Americans (think top 1%). In fact, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances, for all income levels, housing wealth is larger than all other types of wealth combined.

As you can see in the table above, for the lowest income level (those households earning under $26k / year) homeowner households have a median net worth of $102.5K, which is 68x more than the $1.5K in median net worth for renters. At this level of earnings and all the way up to $192K / year, over 90% of net worth is due to ownership of residential real estate. Even at the higher income level ($127-192K in earnings) homeowner households are about 4x richer than their renting counterparts and the very top of the pyramid (those earning over $192K) owners are about 2x as rich as renters. Additionally, the median homeowner in the US has about 40x the household wealth of a renter ($255K vs $6k approximately).  And not only is this gap staggering but the wealth gap between owners and renters continues to increase.

For the past 5 years, housing wealth has been the largest contributor to net worth growth across all income levels. As of September of this year, household net worth in the US increased by $5.8 trillion and reached an all-time high of $142 trillion (or $142,000,000,000,000 – that’s a lot of zeroes!) helped by a double digit increase in home prices. In fact, this year real estate added over $1.2 trillion to household net worth in the US which accumulated only to owners and not to renters. Not only did renters missed out on this increase in wealth but rents have also inched higher which might put them in a tough financial position for the next years.

How does Homeownership build Wealth?

So how exactly does homeownership increase wealth? Here are a few reasons of why homeownership is so powerful in building your net worth:

  1. Homeownership forces you to invest: Saving money is not enough. Investing is the key to compounding your wealth. Most of us are not very good at saving money each month to invest. However, when you have a mortgage, a portion of your monthly payment reduces the balance and as a result increases your equity in your home. As you pay down your principal you build equity. This is in fact equivalent to an investment in residential real estate.


  1. Homes usually increase in value: Yes, we know, past performance is not an indicator of future performance. However, there is a pretty good chance that your home will increase in value in the long-term. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home values have appreciated close to 4.0% per year for the past 30 years.


  1. Owning a home can save you taxes: Homes can save you taxes in multiple ways. First, mortgage payments are tax deductible and so are property taxes and mortgage insurance (note that we are not tax advisors so please consult with your tax advisors for leval/expert advice). Second, when you sell your home and make a profit, that profit won’t be taxed (unless your profit exceeds certain limitations) unlike stocks, bonds and other investments that are susceptible to capital gains taxes.


  1. Fixed payments and inflation: Your mortgage payments will be fixed for the duration of your mortgage (assuming you got a fixed rate mortgage) which can last up to 30 years. However, it is likely that during this time period your earnings will continue to increase and as a result it will be easier and easier to pay down your principal. Rental payments, on the other hand, are not fixed and tend to increase with time. Sometimes they might even increase faster than your earnings/salary and as a result might make you worse off.

Did you know that 90% of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate?

How to start your homeownership journey today

At Mirabilis Homes, our goal is to help you achieve financial freedom through homeownership. We believe that the sooner the better and that is why we created our INTRO Program to help prospective homebuyers easily start their homeownership journey. Our program is highly flexible and allows our partners to become homeowners with no additional debt and a minimum down-payment. Additionally, our INTRO Program lets you start investing in residential real estate today and best of all you can do it with small amounts. Now that you know the importance of real estate for wealth creation, get started today!


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