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HousingWire Magazine: December 2021/ January 2022

AS WE ENTER A NEW YEAR, let’s look at some of the events that we can look forward to in 2022. But what about what’s next for the housing industry?

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Real Estate

Quarter of U.S. homeowners wish they were renting instead

Many say the financial responsibility of homeownership is stressful

Although owning a home has its benefits, a recent survey from Freedom Debt Relief shows that homeowners have many regrets when it comes to the purchase of a new home, mostly because they are largely unprepared for the initial cost and the ongoing financial responsibility that comes with homeownership. 

Of the 1,028 people surveyed, 29% said homeownership makes them feel anxious and stressed, while 26% said the cost of owning a home is a burden and they wished they were renting instead.

When it comes to affording house payments, it was Millennials and Gen Z homeowners who said they are struggling the most. Half of these homeowners said property taxes turned out to be higher than they expected, while 52% said their monthly mortgage payments are too high. 

With renting comes an always-available maintenance team and the ability to call the landlord when there is a problem.

Conversely, homeowners have to mow their own lawn, paint their own walls and fix their own leaky faucets. And some of these tasks have homeowners shelling out more cash than they planned, with 59% saying maintenance and repairs are more costly and require more effort than expected, and 60% saying they cannot afford needed upgrades. 

That said, it seems the idea of owning a home is still attached to the concept of what it means to succeed in this country, with 59% of homeowners saying they believe that owning a home is still part of the American dream. 

"Affordable homeownership is one of the biggest economic issues facing everyday Americans," says Michael Micheletti, director of corporate communications for Freedom Debt Relief. "The survey results suggest that many people may have taken advantage of the opportunity to buy a house without being fully prepared for the financial responsibility of homeownership."

Here is a chart from Freedom Debt Relief that illustrates the regrets homeowners have:

 

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