Charlotte-area homeowners emotionally tied to home

For experienced buyers in the Charlotte metro area, their current home may be their forever home, according to the second annual Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report. Seventy-nine percent of local homeowners say they could stay in their current home for the rest of their lives, higher than any of 10 markets surveyed. As such, these experienced buyers show clear sentimental ties to their property: nearly all are proud of owning their home (94 percent) and treasure the memories they have made (94 percent).

The report, a study exploring homebuying perceptions and behaviors among adult consumers, also found that amid rising rental rates across the country, 83 percent of Charlotte-area homebuyers believe owning is more affordable than renting. In fact, nearly half of current Charlotte owners purchased their first home because they thought money spent on rent would be better invested toward a mortgage.

Charlotte-specific highlights from the report include:

Experienced Charlotte buyers see positive long-term impacts

  • Beyond emotional benefits, Charlotte owners also see the financial value of homeownership, as 83 percent say homeownership has a positive impact on their long-term financial picture.
  • Homeowners in Charlotte are increasingly looking to invest in their property, as 84 percent look for ways to make their home more valuable, and 77 percent spend a lot of free time working on their home.
  • Experienced local buyers define homeownership as a financial investment (53 percent), responsibility (52 percent) and family (49 percent).

Aspiring Charlotte homeowners planning ahead

  • Although they are juggling a variety of financial responsibilities, including paying off debts and bills (57 percent), saving for retirement (56 percent) and improving credit scores (51 percent), half of prospective buyers in Charlotte say saving for a home is a major priority.
  • Forty-two percent of Charlotteans say they will buy their first home within the next two years, and 58 percent have started to plan for a down payment, among the highest of any other market surveyed.
  • Local first-time buyers are open to support. Forty-eight percent think they would qualify for a down payment assistance program, and 72 percent say they would take advantage of these programs.

Motivations to purchase among Charlotte homebuyers

  • When making the decision to buy their first home, prospective homeowners are motivated by having the financial means to purchase (47 percent) and wanting a place to call their own (40 percent).
  • In line with aspiring homeowners in their area, current Charlotte owners purchased their first home because they wanted a place to call their own (48 percent) and thought money spent on rent would be better invested toward a mortgage (45 percent).

Charlotte owners reflect on their homebuying experience

  • When Charlotte homeowners decided to buy, they were more likely to get prequalified (48 percent) than their national counterparts (39 percent). Local owners also engaged a real estate professional (49 percent) and researched available homes online (36 percent).
  • In looking back at their homebuying experience, current Charlotte homeowners’ advice includes: start saving for a home early (66 percent), create and stick to a budget (37 percent), and consider the maintenance costs and unexpected expenses (33 percent).

View the complete 2017 Homebuyer Insights Report here.

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