Phoenix-area homeowners view home as an asset, look for ways to increase value

Experienced buyers in the Phoenix metro area are more likely to view their home as a financial asset rather than an element of their personality, according to the second annual Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report. When asked how to best describe their current home, more local homeowners (49 percent) than those nationally (36 percent) and any of the 10 markets surveyed said a financial investment. Fewer than three in 10 said a reflection of their personality.

The report, a study exploring homebuying perceptions and behaviors among adult consumers, also found that amid rising rental rates across the country, 87 percent of Phoenix-area homebuyers believe owning is more affordable than renting. In fact, nearly half of current Phoenix owners purchased their first home because they thought money spent on rent would be better invested toward a mortgage.

Phoenix-specific highlights from the report include:

Experienced owners in Phoenix see benefits of homeownership, most likely to invest in home

  • Current owners in Phoenix (89 percent) overwhelmingly say homeownership has a positive impact on their long-term financial picture.
  • Only 29 percent of Phoenix homeowners say a home’s value is determined by how much it cost to purchase, but they are increasingly investing in this asset. Ninety percent look for ways to make their home more valuable, higher than any market surveyed, and 75 percent spend a lot of free time working on their home.
  • Beyond financial value, experienced local buyers also see clear emotional benefits of homeownership, as nearly all are proud of owning their home (96 percent) and treasure the memories they have made (91 percent).

Aspiring Phoenix homeowners are planning ahead

  • Although they are juggling a variety of financial responsibilities, including paying off debts and bills (68 percent) and improving credit scores (62 percent), nearly half of prospective buyers in Phoenix say saving for a home is a major priority.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Phoenix residents say they will buy their first home within the next two years, and 23 percent have started to plan for a down payment.
  • Local first-time buyers are open to support. Sixty-two percent think they would qualify for a down payment assistance program, and 75 percent say they would take advantage of these programs.

Motivations to purchase among Phoenix homebuyers

  • When making the decision to buy their first home, prospective homeowners are motivated by having the financial means to purchase (56 percent), thinking money spent on rent would be better invested toward a mortgage (49 percent) and wanting a place to call their own (41 percent).
  • In line with the aspiring homeowners in their area, current Phoenix owners bought their first home because they had the financial means to purchase (53 percent), believed money spent on rent would be better invested toward a mortgage (47 percent) and wanted a place to call their own (44 percent).

Phoenix owners reflect on their homebuying experience

  • When Phoenix homeowners decided to buy, 49 percent got prequalified, which is more than the national average (39 percent) and any other market surveyed. They also engaged a real estate professional (55 percent) and set a budget (34 percent).
  • In looking back at their homebuying experience, local homeowners’ advice includes: start saving for a home early (65 percent), consider the maintenance costs and unexpected expenses (44 percent), and create and stick to a budget (33 percent). One-quarter say buy a home sooner to start building equity.

View the complete 2017 Homebuyer Insights Report here.

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