Cost differentials of owning versus renting shelter during the retirement stage of the life cycle Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this study was to compare differentials in housing costs between renting and owning. The data were obtained from a sample of 60 household heads who were listed as retired in the city directories. They met the following criteria: lived independently in the community, were 65 years of age or older, and were willing to cooperate in the study. The sample was equally divided between homeowners and renters. The 60 household heads were interviewed in their homes during the spring of 1974 by the author who recorded their answers on the interview schedule. The questions on the interview schedule concerned: (1) demographic information, (2) description of the housing, (3) housing expenditures, and (4) property tax relief and deferral information. The 30 renters had a mean age of 77 and the 30 owners had a a mean age of 75. Four of the renters were married and 19 of the owners were married. Seventy percent of the 60 household heads listed their health as good or excellent. Sixty percent of the 60 household heads completed one or more years of college. The mean income of the 30 renters was $4, 587 and the mean income for the 30 owners was $8, 912. The mean number of years the household heads had been retired was ten. The mean number of years the renters lived in their present housing was ten years while the owners lived in their present housing a mean of 24 years. Renters' housing was smaller in size then the homeowners. The mean total housing expenditure per annum for the 30 renters was $1, 985. Housing expenses included $1,659 for rent and $18 for insurance. Operating expenses included $126 for electricity, $44 for gas or oil, $4 for garbage collection, $2 for water and sewer, $14 for television cable, and $86 for telephone. Other expenses included $30 for house cleaning and $2 for yard work. The mean total housing expenditure per annum for the 30 owners was $2, 241.. Housing expenses included $87 for mortgage, $292 for taxes, $81 for insurance, $140 for maintenance and repair,and $1, 007 for interest forgone. Operating expenses included $178 for electricity, $173 for gas or oil, $29 for garbage collection, $73 for water and sewer, $34 for television cable, and $113 for telephone. Other expenses included $14 for house cleaning and $20 for yard work. The renters paid 13 percent more on housing expenses than owners. Owners paid 13 percent more on operating expenses than renters. However, other expenses were about the same for both renters and owners for house cleaning and yard work. Hypothesis 1. Hypothesis 1, there is no difference in the average dollar expense of shelter for homeowners and renters, was rejected as there was a significant difference at the .01 level between the housing cost of owners and renters. The mean housing costs were $1,985 for renters and $2, 241 for owners. Hypothesis 2. Hypothesis 2, there was no difference in the percentage of income spent for shelter between the elderly who rent and who own their housing, was accepted as there was no significant difference between the mean percent of income spent on housing of the renters, 44 percent, and the owners, 37 percent. Hypothesis 3. Hypothesis 3, there is no relationship between the size of the house and the expenses of housing for the elderly, was rejected at the .05 level. The yearly mean renter use cost per square foot was $2. 24. The yearly mean owner use cost per square foot was $1.65. Hypothesis 4. Hypothesis 4, there is no difference in the percentage of the elderly homeowners and renters who use property tax relief, was accepted as there was no significant difference found between the renters' and owners' use of property tax relief. Twentyseven of the 30 renters and 23 of the 30 owners used some type of property tax relief. The total housing expenditures were reduced by nine percent for both renters and owners by the use of property tax relief.
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