Homeowners Sound Off on Their Biggest Housing Worries

Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of equity, so what has them so worried about housing? A new study by LendingTree surveyed more than 1,500 Americans to gauge their expectations of homeownership.

They worry most about upcoming repairs needed on their home. Nearly one-third of respondents cited major home repairs as their top housing-related worry.

More than half of respondents surveyed say that homes are becoming less affordable in their neighborhoods. With higher prices, they plan to stay put longer. As such, renovations are bigger on their minds.

Nearly three out of four respondents said they are considering renovations this year. Fifty-three percent said they were motivated to do so to increase their home’s value. Other reasons were to give the home an updated look (24%), make the home easier to sell (22%), and add more space to their home (9%).

While rising home prices have some homeowners concerned, they are still upbeat about the housing market overall. And they’re upbeat about their equity: 55% of respondents said they believe their home’s value will improve this year. Also, 68% said they believe that homeownership is a good investment.

But rising home prices do spur concerns for them about affordability. Fifty-three percent of respondents predict housing will be less affordable over the next decade. Gen Xers and baby boomers–at 53% and 57%, respectively—are the most pessimistic about housing affordability.

Homes Are Selling Quickly

  • The National Association of REALTORS® surveyed their members for the release of their Confidence Index.
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices, and market conditions.
  • Homes across the country are selling quickly, in an average of just 31 days.
  • 49% of homes sold in less than a month.

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

  • There is plenty of talk in the media about a pending economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • Many experts predict a potential recession is on the horizon. However, housing will not be the trigger, and home values will still continue to appreciate. It will not be a repeat of the crash in the 2008 housing market.

Why Millennials Buy A Home

  • “The majority of millennials said they consider owning a home more sensible than renting for both financial and lifestyle reasons — including control of living space, flexibility in future decisions, privacy and security, and living in a nice home.”
  • The top reason millennials choose to buy is to have control over their living space, at 93%.
  • Many millennials who rent a home or apartment prior to buying their own homes dream of the day when they will be able to paint the walls whatever color they’d like or renovate an outdated part of their living space.

Home Prices Up 5.73% Across the Country

Some Highlights:

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest Quarterly Home Price Index report.
  • In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state.
  • Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more.

Take a look at ONE88

Bellevue’s newest address has received incredible interest during its recent preview with over 100 residences sold. The excitement continues with the unveiling of the One88 Visual Tour. Take an exclusive first look at an animated tour of the building’s sophisticated residences and world-class amenity collection and experience the attentive design detail that has defined this remarkable new high-rise.

How Tiny Tiles Can Elevate Your Bathroom’s Style

Thanks to their ability to add texture and subtle pattern, petite hexagonal and penny tiles may be here to stay

For a bathroom to stay fashionable, it’s usually a good idea to stick to tiles that are classic and fairly neutral. But that doesn’t mean they have to be boring: Small-scale hexagonal tiles add texture, pattern and even a touch of glamour. Penny tiles, their softer-edged sister, can give a similar effect and are included here.

Should I Wait Until Next Year To Buy? Or Buy Now?

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.1% by 2019.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 4.3% over the next 12 months.

Homeownership: The Dream is Still Alive

story in the Wall Street Journal gave these new homeownership numbers some context:

“The annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in bubble-era policies that encouraged banks to ease lending standards to boost homeownership. This time, what’s driving the market is a shift in favor of owning rather than renting.

‘This is market, market and market…There’s no government incentive program in sight that is having this effect,’ said Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, ‘This is back to basics.’”

In a separate report comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, RentCafé also concluded that the gap is now shrinking.

“Undoubtedly, the recession had a great impact on homeownership…However, it looks like it takes more to discourage Americans from buying a house than that.

As the years go by, it seems more and more certain that the fact that renting has seen a sudden gain in popularity is more a reaction to the economic crisis than a paradigm shift in the Americans’ attitude toward housing.”

America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a recent survey by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”

The results:

  • 43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
  • 48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
  • Only 9% said it was not important

Bottom Line

Homeownership has been, is and will always be a crucial element of the American Dream.