Buying a home can be as stressful as planning a wedding or getting fired for Americans, half of whom find themselves in tears at least once during the process, according to a new survey.

Conducted by Zillow, the survey found that 50 percent of homebuyers said the process left them in tears, with millennial and Generation Z buyers — who are most likely to be buying their first home — leading the pack, with 61 percent of millennials and 65 percent of Gen Zers reporting tears, according to Zillow.

The findings come at a point when the housing market has come to be defined by low inventory and high demand, with 60 percent of home sellers reporting at least two offers on their home. While increased mortgage rates have begun to shift the market, intense competition and high prices persist, with nearly half of all homes sold during April 2022 going for above-asking price, up from 37 percent in 2021.

The already-emotional nature of buying a home combined with some of the most challenging conditions ever seen for making the purchase has been enough to make buyers break down and cry, according to Zillow experts.

“Buying a home is not like buying any other asset; it’s deeply personal and it’s emotional,” Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton said in a statement. “When you make an offer on a home, you have likely envisioned your life there. If you lose out on that home to a stronger offer, it can feel like losing a future you have already started planning. These survey results find, even when they are ultimately successful, a large share of buyers in today’s competitive market experience heartache and stress.”

Buying a home has long been a stressful endeavor in most markets, but the added stressors of higher costs and competition has increased the burden on buyers, many of whom have to compete with all cash offers or engage in bidding wars.

Zillow’s survey, which featured data from more than 2,000 people who purchased a home over the past two years, found that 62 percent were stressed about being able to find a home within budget, 61 percent were stressed about not having enough homes to choose from, and 58 percent were stressed about finding a home in their preferred neighborhood.

Non-white buyers were more likely to cry at least once during the process, Zillow found, with only 48 percent of white buyers reporting tears compared to 68 percent of Latinx buyers and 51 percent of Black buyers.

Past studies have shown that Black mortgage applicants are significantly more likely to be denied mortgages due to low appraisals,  with data from Zillow showing that Black mortgage applicants are 84 percent more likely to be denied than white applicants.

Email Ben Verde

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