3 Factors That Impact Homeowner Happiness
By John Gales
It is said that as you get older you become wiser, but as homeowners grow older, do they become happier? According to a nationwide homeowner happiness survey conducted by HomeAdvisor, the answer is yes. This was the case of Bob and Joanie Johnson, who dropped their youngest child off at college in August 2015.
Although they needed time to adjust to their children no longer living at home, they soon realized they had extra time and money to devote to home projects. Many parents who become empty nesters have this revelation and start focusing on projects that have been placed on the backburner while kids were in the house.
“It makes sense that empty nesters have the highest happy home scores,” said Dr. Karen Ruskin, HomeAdvisor’s Happiness Advisor. “They have likely settled in a community they enjoy and plan to stay. This group also generally has the most economic stability and time to make their house a happy home.”
The survey shows that individuals in the empty-nester stage have higher happy home scores across the board compared to all other stages of life. The main factors that contribute to their happiness are their communities, location and features of their homes. Compared to other stages of life, empty-nesters feel the safest in their communities, most connected to their neighbors and are also the happiest with the condition of their homes.
Overall homeowner happiness boils down to a combination of three important factors: accessibility to attractions and services, community and dwelling. Interestingly, research shows that accessibility and community play a far bigger role in happiness than dwelling.
“A homeowner’s identity and quality of life is much more likely to depend on aspects like weather, for example, as that influences activities accessed in one’s community and affordability over how many bedrooms and bathrooms they have,” Ruskin said. “Homeowner happiness is really about location, location, location.”
This rings true for the Johnsons, who are far happier with the accessibility of services in their community and their neighbors than other life-stage groups.
Ruskin offers these four tips to make your home a happier place:
- Upgrade and remodel your home. Update the landscaping or change out cabinet hardware. These modest to moderate changes can transform your home into a place that fits your needs.
- Make sure you have adequate gathering space. Family rooms, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and patios are great areas to focus on to create an entertainment experience for you and your guests.
- Get to know your neighbors. Research shows that the happiest homeowners enjoy and feel comfortable, as well as safe, with their neighbors and community. To reach this comfortability, try organizing a neighborhood event.
- Make your home a place you want to stay. The happiest homeowners feel their home is their favorite place and somewhere they want to stay long term. Get comfortable, hang art, put up those family pictures that are sitting in a box, paint the walls or plant a garden.
Find more tips for becoming a happier homeowner and further survey information at homeadvisor.com/survey.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images