The for-sale housing market has been hotter than usual lately with low mortgage interest rates and minimal levels of inventory — and to stay competitive, buyers are feeling the pressure to go above and beyond, according to a new survey by LendingTree.
A whopping 64 percent of prospective homebuyers said they’d spend more than originally planned for the perfect home, according to a survey of 1,006 homebuyers between April 24-30. In contrast, 25 percent of survey respondents said they’d stick to their budget and 11 percent were undecided.
However, millennials were particularly prone to overspending, with 76 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 24 to 39 saying they’d go over budget to buy their dream home.
Although going big for a home you may only have one shot at buying in a lifetime might seem like a step worth taking, the unexpected costs that can go into homeownership could put new buyers in a precarious financial situation, or unintentionally lead them down a path of homeowner neglect.
“I urge homebuyers to be very cautious about going over budget,” LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze said in a statement. “If you are stretched financially and underinvest in maintenance, it can diminish the value of your home.”
One major takeaway from the 2008 housing crisis was making sure that homebuyers don’t overreach for a home they can’t actually afford. With interest rates so attractively low at the moment, one hope is that homebuyers aren’t mislead into believing they can reach for a home too far out of their budget.
Over one-third of homebuyers said the most stressful part of the homebuying process was finding a home within their budget. Following that, low inventory and dealing with selling their own home caused the greatest stresses.
Overall, 10 percent of buyers said they were most worried about applying for a mortgage. However, broken down by race, Black and Hispanic buyers were about twice as likely as white buyers to cite this as their chief stressor at 16 and 18 percent, respectively, compared to 9 percent of white buyers.
Those percentages also reflect mortgage denial rates by race. A recent Zillow study found that Black applicants were denied mortgages at a rate 80 percent higher than white applicants.