June 3, 1996 in Nation/World

More Americans Willing To Make Sacrifices To Become Home Owners But Survey Shows Many Worry About Ability To Pay For Homes

John D. Mcclain Associated Press
 
Tags:housing

A growing number of Americans are willing to make sacrifices to become home owners despite increasing job and financial worries, a survey shows.

The Federal National Mortgage Association said a nationwide survey of 1,857 Americans found most are willing to give up expensive cars and vacations and even postpone retirement to achieve home ownership.

But many are worried about their ability to raise down payments and meet monthly mortgage bills, according to the survey released on Monday.

The survey found:

Ninety-one percent would rather own a home than drive a better car, up from 81 percent in 1992.

Sixty-seven percent would put off retirement for 10 years in order to own a home, up from 59 percent.

Eighty-five percent would forego an extra two weeks of vacation each year if necessary to buy a home, compared to 71 percent in 1992.

Eighty-one percent would rather commute a long distance and own their home than rent closer to their jobs, up from 63 percent.

Forty percent believe their financial circumstances will improve in coming months while half expect no change.

But, 48 percent expressed fears over their job security, nearly double the 26 percent who cited employment concerns in a similar survey last year.

In the survey, 52 percent cited down payments and closing costs as a barrier to home ownership, compared to 51 percent a year ago. And 50 percent said having enough income to meet monthly mortgage payments was a hurdle, up from 44 percent in 1995. Another roadblock cited by 43 percent is finding the proper neighborhood.

Despite rising mortgage rates, 61 percent of the survey respondents said now is a good time to buy a home.

And 86 percent said owning a home is a good investment.

The survey, which didn’t cite a margin of error, was conducted April 8-16 by the research firms of Peter D. Hart and Robert Teeter.

The home mortgage association, also known as Fannie Mae, is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company and the nation’s largest source of home mortgage funds.


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