Americans Still Need Help Understanding Mortgages, Home Buying

Navigating the home buying process is holding 68% of Americans back from buying a home, despite their views that now is the time to buy, according to a new Wells Fargo survey. In addition to pointing out hurdles to homeownership today, the survey finds, the majority of prospective homeowners can use some education when it comes to mortgages. 

“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,” says Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Production, in a written statement

The climate is right for home buying, the Wells Fargo survey finds.

“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,”  Codel says. 

The “How America Views Homeownership” nationwide survey of 2,017 adults also revealed many Americans report that their financial houses are in order, which improves their ability to buy a home.

Eighty-two percent of respondents said they understand how to manage their personal finances — how to save, earn and invest money, and work within a budget — and the same proportion, 82%, agreed that they generally do not spend beyond their means.

Yet, while 74% of respondents said they “know and understand” the financial process involved in buying a home, respondents also gave answers that suggest they may not be aware of all their options as prospective homebuyers.

In addition, the study found that homebuyer education increases the chances of one becoming a home owner.

“It is important for prospective homebuyers to feel empowered to ask lenders and real estate agents questions about available options, such as down payment assistance or FHA loan programs or VA loans for veterans,” Codel says. “Ninety-five percent of survey respondents said they want to own a home if they don’t already. Informing prospective homebuyers about their options is the first step toward helping them realize their goals.”

Read the survey results here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell




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