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Homeownership at the Center of How Americans Save


homebuyersHomeownership goals dictate the financial choices made by Americans, according to a new Wells Fargo survey [1].

The survey, titled "How America Views Homeownership" was conducted by The Harris Poll between April 17–29, 2019, among 1,004 U.S. adults 21 and older. It revealed that 49% of Americans who are saving to buy or renovate a home have worked outside their primary job to supplement their income in order to pay this expense.

Thirty-seven percent supplemented their income by selling items online, followed by 21% who started a small business, 18% drove for a ridesharing company, and 16% took up chores such as dog sitting/walking to supplement their primary income.

Potential homebuyers were also willing to make trade-offs on their preferred locations as well as the size of the home, the survey found. In fact, 78% of those surveyed saying that they were "willing to accept their second choice of a city or town in order to afford their own home." Nearly three-quarters of nonhomeowners (74%) said they were willing to buy a smaller home with fewer amenities too.

Looking at different generations, millennials were willing to make more trade-offs than any other generation. The survey indicated that 85% of millennials were ready to consider the second choice of city. While 70% were willing to take up a second job to save for down payment or renovation, 83% of millennials said that they were willing to cut expenses such as dining out, going for events, and vacations.

“Homeownership is part of the fabric of American life, defining communities and providing a base for families to live out their dreams,” said Michael DeVito, Head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. “As today’s consumers set out to achieve their homeownership goals, they are making smart financial decisions that position them—and the communities they call home—for long-term financial success.”

The survey also revealed why Americans were willing to make such sacrifices and financial decisions to afford a home. It revealed that 70% of respondents saw owning a home as a sign that someone is a “successful adult.” Furthermore, it found that "homeownership is much more widely equated with being a successful adult (more than twice as much) than having children (34%) or getting married (32%)."