The recently released study, American Attitudes about Homeownership, conducted by Harris Interactive for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reveals that homeownership still ranks high among the list of smart financial decisions.

Ninety-five percent of owners and a whopping 72 percent of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home than not. Seventy-seven percent of homeowners believe that homeownership will help them meet long-term financial goals.

But one cannot ignore the touch economic conditions being felt across the nation. Even through it’s positive tone, the survey found that the majority of homeowners and renters believe the country is on the wrong track. Forty percent believe the economy will remain the same in 2011.

And for eight percent of homeowners and nine percent of renters — being able to afford their mortgage or rent is a real and valid concern. Thirty-five percent of homeowners and forty-six percent of renters report that their monthly mortgage is at least a moderate strain.

Yet, according to the survey, “both homeowners and renters recognize the financial and non-financial benefits of owning a home. Nearly two-thirds of homeowners (63 percent) and renters (65 percent) consider the financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership equally important.”

They are right. Homeownership is about more than just reaping financial benefits. The survey reveals that “a larger share of homeowners than renters describe their communities as safe and stable. Homeowners also report that they are more satisfied with their community and family life. While many factors contribute to a positive community environment, a large percentage of homeowners and renters believe a high rate of homeownership is one factor. Homeowners generally feel more connected to their communities, participate in community and civic activities more frequently and are more likely to know their neighbors well.”

The majority of homeowners also agree that owning a homes means a stable atmosphere for raising a family.

And it’s little wonder why renters aspire to homeownership, when renters ranks their quality of life lower than homeowners. Just 33 percent of renters report that they are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their family life. More than half of home owners do so. That’s why 6 out of 10 renters desire to become homeowners.

NAR President Ron Phipps notes, “Given strong public support of and aspirations toward owning a home, we need to keep policies in place that support and encourage responsible, sustainable home ownership for our future.”

For more of the survey’s results, please click here.

Courtesy of Realty Times