CHARLOTTE – New Homebuyer Insights from Bank of America show that the desire to own a home remains strong. Nearly nine in 10 prospective buyers surveyed are still motivated to purchase their first home, and four in five say saving for a home remains a priority.
In fact, 56% say they are either accelerating their home purchase timeline (14%) or are still on course with their original plans (42%). Of those remaining, 28% say they will buy later than planned, and 16% plan to renovate or hold off on buying for now.
“Home is more important than ever before, and ownership has become a key priority for many, particularly those who have never bought a home before,” said D. Steve Boland, president of Retail at Bank of America. “Owning a home has historically helped families create a legacy and enabled them to build long-term wealth, and we’re here to help those who are ready to take their next steps, either today or in the future, to achieve homeownership.”
Prospective homebuyers are actively looking at real estate listings (49%), touring homes virtually (29%) and researching financial advice online (24%).
“No matter what stage of homebuying you’re in, we can help get you on the right path to owning a home of your own,” said AJ Barkley, Neighborhood Lending executive at Bank of America. “Our new homebuyer readiness quiz, which consists of a few simple questions, can help you determine how close you are to becoming a homeowner and give you the resources to move forward with your homebuying goals.”
Overcoming barriers through planning and assistance
While homeownership is a goal for many, first-time buyers often perceive barriers. Survey respondents say these include expensive home prices (62%), high rent costs (48%) and student debt (30%), which can impact their ability to save. Additionally, 20% of prospective buyers say they lack financial education, making it difficult to know how to move forward with a home purchase with confidence.
Most prospective homebuyers say they need assistance with their down payment (71%) and help understanding what they can afford (80%). Yet, only 44% of buyers plan to get preapproved for a mortgage, missing the opportunity to learn how much they qualify for.
To address the most common barriers to homeownership, Bank of America offers low down payment mortgages, as well as down payment and closing cost grants. To help consumers prepare for homeownership, the company’s First-Time Homebuyer Online Edu-Series™, available in English and Spanish, provides an easy-to-understand roadmap to buying and financing a home.
The survey found that eighty-six percent of prospective homebuyers wish they had more indoor space, and 64% want more outdoor space. Additionally, high-speed internet and strong cell service (56%) ranked as very important features to future homebuyers, as did proximity to essential businesses (51%) and recreational activities (44%).