We’re excited to bring you our second annual Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, which explores the latest attitudes, behaviors and preferences of the modern homebuyer.
If there’s one thing to take away from our report this year, it’s that forward-thinking millennials are buying homes – and they’re happy with their choice. This growing group of millennials is seeing the value of getting into a home. In fact, nearly 80 percent who bought homes report that homeownership has had a positive long-term impact on their financial picture. Clearly, the millennial generation is coming of age and realizing it might not make sense to wait anymore to purchase their first home.
While “dreamers” told us last year that they want to skip the starter home in favor of a house that suits their needs over the long term, the overwhelming majority of millennial homeowners say their current home is a “stepping stone” to their forever home. These millennial owners strongly believe owning a home is more affordable than renting. This stands in sharp contrast to those who have not yet purchased a home, who say they are roughly split in their view of whether renting or owning is more affordable.
Some prospective first-time homebuyers believe their personal circumstances should line up perfectly before buying a home. Would-be buyers may think they’re not prepared in all the ways they need to be. For example, many first-time buyers in our report believe they need 20 percent or more of a home’s price for a down payment, which may be why just less than a quarter think they can currently make one. For this group, having the proper financial means to purchase is the top reason for buying a first home, ahead of additional factors such as wanting a place to call their own and preferring a mortgage to paying rent.
The reality is that, with proper help, homebuyers can very often achieve homeownership in a way that is both sustainable and rewarding. Bank of America offers a variety of tools and resources to help homebuyers navigate the homebuying process and purchase an affordable home. Our Affordable Loan Solution™ mortgage, which requires a down payment as low as 3 percent, speaks directly to the needs of first-time buyers who are striving to overcome the down payment hurdle. Additionally, our Down Payment Resource Center is an online tool that helps consumers search a variety of down payment and closing cost assistance programs.
We’re encouraged to see homeowners continuing to find the deep benefits – both financial and emotional – of homeownership. We hope that this report gives both prospective homebuyers and existing homeowners insights that will allow them to take advantage of everything that owning a home can offer.