Wells Fargo: Top homeowner misconceptions

Survey finds borrowers don’t know their options

Right now is a good time to buy a home, according to more than two-thirds of Americans in Wells Fargo’s (WFC) “How America Views Homeownership” survey. However, many borrowers are still reluctant to do so because of uncertainty about qualifying for a mortgage or navigating the home-buying process.

Winter brought a surprise polar vortex that fed into a spring home-buying season that didn’t produce astounding results, but the remaining month of summer and the rest of the year are projected to finally produce strong housing activity, according to Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson.

But borrowers aren't following this news and are instead nervous to jump into the homeowning process. 

On one hand, 82% of respondents said that they understand how to manage their personal finances and 63% of respondents said that they have a “rainy-day fund.” 

However, borrowers still gave a mixture of answers on whether they knew their options as prospective homebuyers.

The survey found that 30% of respondents believe that only individuals with high incomes can obtain a mortgage, while 64% said they must have a “very good” credit score to buy a home.

In addition, nearly half, 44%, believe that a 20% down payment is required, and nearly half also said they know nothing or very little about the closing costs required for buying a home.

“Although the homebuying process has changed in many ways in recent years, our survey found Americans still view homeownership as an achievement to be proud of and many believe that now is a good time to buy a home,” said Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Production.

“Our survey also suggests we have an opportunity as lenders, nonprofit agencies and real estate agents to better inform Americans about credit ratings, mortgage costs and housing affordability. This would help demystify the homebuying experience for many consumers,” Codel said. 

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