Most Americans are satisfied with homeownership, according to the results of a new survey. The HomeGain 2012 Homeownership Satisfaction Survey found that 72 percent of surveyed homeowners said they were satisfied with owning a home.

The reasons for the satisfaction were largely non-monetary. When asked if price appreciation was the primary reason for being satisfied, 76 percent of respondents said it wasn’t. Many homeowners said they were satisfied not because of increasing values but because of pride of ownership, and freedom to control home improvements and upgrades, HomeGain said.

“[The survey] shows in spite of declines in values of homes nationwide, satisfaction among homeowners remains high at 72 percent, with nearly three of four homeowners satisfied with home ownership,” said Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.

Of the 28 percent who indicated they were unsatisfied, price depreciation was the primary reason. Other causes for discontent were property taxes, association fees, and maintenance and repairs.

The survey also asked how long the respondents had been homeowners. Those who purchased their homes three to eight years ago were the least satisfied while those who purchased within the last three years or more than eight years ago were the most satisfied.

Among price ranges, those who paid less than $75,000 for their home were the most satisfied while those who bought a property for more than $800,000 were the least satisfied. Also noteworthy was the fact that those who purchased a home through a short sale had the highest satisfaction rate at 83 percent.

These HomeGain results are just the latest in a line of surveys and studies that show Americans still value homeownership despite the housing downturn.

A December 2011 study from the Mortgage Bankers Association found that almost 80 percent of American households believe now is a good time to buy a home, with the positive sentiment attributed to low house prices and low mortgage interest rates. The MBA also found that positive home-buying sentiment is around its long-run average level.

A separate January 2012 survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders found that seven out of 10 voters believe now is a good time to buy a home. The survey also showed that homeownership remains important to Americans, despite the housing crisis. About three in four voters said that owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make and is worth the ups and downs in the housing market. That sentiment was also strong among those who were “underwater” on their mortgages, with 63 percent agreeing with the statement. The majority of renters, 65 percent, also agreed with the statement.

Fannie Mae’s December National Housing Survey also had similar findings. Seventy-one percent of respondents said it is a good time to buy a home.

Together, the survey results point to the fact that Americans still value homeownership, but they are taking a long-term perspective. A survey from the National Association of Realtors found that buyers are planning to stay in a home longer than they did during the years when housing was booming.

And that's a good thing because homeownership over time tends to absorb any negative fluctuations in the market. Information from the Federal Housing Finance Agency indicates that Utah had some of the highest appreciation in the country over the past 20 years.

All of these survey results emphasize that homeownership continues to be a key factor in the lives of Americans. In Utah, in particular, people can currently enjoy low interest rates and high affordability with the promise of a bright future.

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