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The Barriers to Buying a Home

Finding the right home is proving to be more difficult than it seems, according to a new survey by Owners.com [1].

The survey of 1,800 consumers who recently bought a home revealed that this was one of the reasons why many recent homebuyers were also surpassing their budget. Nearly half (49%) of the respondents said that finding the right home was a challenge for them.

As far as generations were concerned, millennials found it least difficult to find the right home, while 52% of Gen-Xers and 56% of baby boomers found it more challenging, the survey found. However, millennials found it more difficult to save for a down payment on the home compared to the older generations. In fact, 21% of millennials said that this was the most difficult aspect of buying a home compared with 15% Gen-Xers and 6% baby boomers.

“It’s not surprising that recent homebuyers find it challenging to find the right home: many markets are still seller’s markets, and buyers often need to decide very quickly whether they should outbid the competition,” said Dario Cardile, VP, Growth at Owners.com. “When possible, homebuyers should work with brokerages that can capture their preferences effectively, and help them find their best match homes quickly. The key is providing buyers with the right information, a customized approach and the guidance of smart agents so they can find their dream home at the right price.”

When it came to budgets, the survey revealed that more than one-third (38%) of respondents surpassed their budget, compared to 32% surveyed in 2018. These recent homebuyers exceeded their budget by $20,000 on average, a significant increase from 2018's $16,510.

However, it found that millennials tended to be more frugal in their spending than the older generations. In fact, 39% of the Gen-Xers surveyed went over budget by $35,000, while 27% of baby boomers went over budget by $25,000. Comparatively, while more millennials went over budget, they spent significantly lesser than last year.

While 46% of millennials went over budget, by $12,000 on average, the amount was lesser than the $24,545 recorded for 40% millennials in 2018.

Looking at the 2019 homebuying season, the survey found that affordability was the biggest barrier for homebuyers. When asked what they foresee as the biggest issues facing homebuyers this year, 41% of respondents stated affordability followed by rising interest rates (25%), buyer competition (12%), finding the right home (11%), and housing supply (10%).