Conventional wisdom would have you believe that millennials are not interested in home ownership. Eschewing the materialistic culture of the previous generation, they would rather rent apartments so that they can focus on experiences rather than add possessions.
Laying those claims to rest is the recently released “How America Views Homeownership” survey by Ipsos Public Affairs. It shows that millennials have a greater desire to own a home than other age groups. About 40 percent of those 18 to 34 definitely will or probably will buy a home in the next two years compared to 19 percent for those 35 to 54 and nine percent for those 55 and over.
The desire to own property is also stronger among Latinos at 33 percent and African-Americans at 30 percent compared to 22 percent for the general population.
About 49 percent of the respondents said that financial challenges presented the biggest obstacles to owning a home with 23 percent saying that they cannot save enough money for a down payment. In fact, college graduates, who would seem to be the ideal home buyer because of their career and wage prospects, have an average student loan debt of $28,950 as of 2014 according to International Business Times.
On the plus side, about 36 percent of those who had applied for a mortgage had a positive view of the process, citing it as fast, easy, and smooth. About 34 percent had a negative view of it, with paperwork being the biggest challenge.
About 41 percent of home buyers said that they need to know more about the fees and other upfront costs associated with the process.
Online resources are what most home buyers turn to with 48 percent relying on that method, primarily because it allows them to research information on their own pace. Another 44 percent met individually with a real estate agent, lender or housing counselor.
In general, home buyers have a good handle on what’s involved with their purchases.
• About 88 percent correctly said that the process can include many unanticipated costs.
• About 69 percent know that mortgage interest rates at the moment are favorable for buyers and 62 percent believed that a very good credit score is necessary to qualify for a loan.
• While 45 percent believe that you can get a mortgage as long as you can afford the monthly payments, and 42 percent state that you need to be employed full-time to qualify, only 18 percent believed that high-income earners are the only ones who can actually buy home.
This shows that many who do not think that home ownership is affordable right now still have hope that they will be able to own property one day. About 90 percent think that owning an affordable home means that the monthly payments will still enable them to afford the other necessities of life.