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A nation of renters? Not so, delinquent borrowers say.

October 31, 2013
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Report after report suggests that Americans have become wary of homeownership and prefer the lack of commitment that often accompanies renting.

These reports leave readers with the distinct impression that the future of America is one where citizens embrace the nomad lifestyle, with uncertain urban dwellers moving from apartment-to-apartment with backpacks filled with Ramen noodles in tow. (Okay, so the economy did revive many of these fears).

But one group who should be rather wary of homeownership says this just isn't the case.

Fannie Mae’s recent survey of delinquent borrowers – a group who should be rather pessimistic about homeownership right now – finds that individuals in this group are still committed to the idea of homeownership despite recent difficulties.

The report put together by Steve Deggendorf, director of business strategy and economic and strategic research at Fannie Mae, found that in the past year delinquent borrowers have become much more positive about housing.

As they watch home prices rise, they begin to believe that what they’re fighting for is a long-term investment.

Although there have been plenty of reports doubting whether homeownership is a highly profitable investment tool in the long run (like this one from the Reason Foundation), the American Dream remains, the Fannie Mae report suggests. Back in 2011, a report from Pew Research still showed homeownership as a solid investment choice.

The study says most delinquent borrowers surveyed still believe in the financial and lifestyle benefits of homeownership.

The reality is delinquent borrowers do still feel somewhat less strongly on the ideals of owning a home when comparing their scores to the general population of borrowers, but they remain confident regardless.

When asked if renting or homeownership is better for building up wealth, 74% of delinquent borrowers sided with owning. Seventy-percent said it was better in terms of their overall tax situation, while 73% said ownership is better than renting when it comes overall financial health.

Delinquent borrowers also want to save their homes, but where they are not succeeding is when it comes to refinancing.

The report says delinquent borrowers report more barriers to refinancing mortgages when comparing their experiences to the general borrowing population.

Some of those barriers include not qualifying for a refinanced loan and not trusting lending institutions.

But aside from that, homeownership remains a dream for most of them even if they are facing a few dark hours in the process of keeping the dream alive.

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