The government has helped Americans buy a home through the first time home buyer programs, mortgage interest tax deductions and other tax incentives such as property tax deductions and capital gain exclusion. Home ownership ranks highest in priorities over marriage and children and research has shown that owning a home significantly reduces the risk of divorce for couples married more than 10 years.
Home ownership may reflect a confidence and an investment in the marriage; it also means higher potential financial losses if the marriage dissolves. Homeowners face risks for divorce that are substantially lower (by roughly one-third) than the risks faced by other couples who do not own a home.*
I’m not suggesting staying in a loveless marriage just because you want to buy a home, but perhaps owning a home together is another good reason to hang in there and work it out. We know how stressful the process of purchasing or building a home can be and have witnessed many couples not always seeing eye-to-eye on everything, but the smiles on their faces when we hand over the keys to their new home is one of the reasons that we enjoy what we do and if we saved a marriage, well that’s even better.
*Heidermann, B., Suhomlinova, O., & O’Rand, A. M. (1998) Economic independence, economic status, and empty nest in midlife marital disruption. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60, 219-231.