10 Things Preventing People From Buying a Home Today

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As real estate values soar to the heavens, a growing number of renters worry they will never be able to afford their own home. In fact, 48% of today’s renters now say this slice of the American dream may be beyond their grasp, according to a LendingTree study.

This worry is particularly painful since 88% of Americans would rather own than rent, according to the study, which surveyed 2,050 U.S. consumers to reach its findings.

Although the rising sticker price of homes is a major reason why renters say they cannot purchase, it is not the only factor. Following are the top obstacles preventing people from buying a home today.

10. Don’t have enough time to dedicate to the homebuying process

Busy woman
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Buying a home is likely to be the biggest purchase you ever make. So, it makes sense to take your time and not rush a decision.

Unfortunately, time is the last thing most of us have in abundance. As a result, 8% of survey respondents say a lack of time is preventing them from looking for and purchasing a home.

9. Want to get married first

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Traditionally, many people waited until they got married to buy a home. While this has changed in recent years, the link between betrothal and buying a first home has not entirely eroded.

Among survey respondents, 9% want to wait to get hitched to a mate before they commit to a house.

Thinking of getting married? Check out “The Right Way to Mix Money and Marriage.”

7. Student loan debt (tie)

Young woman considering student loans for college savings
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It’s no secret that younger Americans — and even some older folks — are drowning in student loan debt. And 11% of survey respondents say they are delaying a home purchase due to those obligations.

Are you struggling with debt? Stop by the Money Talks News Solutions Center and find experts who can help with student loan debt.

7. Too expensive to buy for family size (tie)

Mother, father and daughter
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Some people look at the size of their small family and simply decide it is not worth paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a lot of space that likely will go unused. Or maybe they have a big family and are priced out of the market for a home that will comfortably fit everyone.

Either way, 11% of respondents say today’s homes are too pricey for their family size.

6. Too much competition in the market

Sold with multiple offers sign
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The phrase “bidding war” is enough to send some potential buyers scurrying for the sidelines. In a market with too many buyers and not enough homes, 14% of respondents simply want to avoid the circus of trying to outbid others.

5. Not sure where to settle down

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Many Americans don’t enjoy sitting still for long. It is in our national character to chase our destiny, wherever that leads.

Apparently, many survey respondents feel this sense of restlessness, with 22% delaying homeownership until they have a better notion of where to plant roots.

4. Don’t have a stable job right now

Unemployed worker
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The coronavirus pandemic put a lot of people out of work. Without a job, buying a home is more of a dream than reality. So, 25% of survey respondents say they will wait until they have a stable job before looking for a home of their own.

Hoping to land a job where you can work from home? One place to begin your search is at FlexJobs, which specializes in and vets openings for flexible work, including remote jobs.

3. Credit score makes it hard to qualify for a mortgage

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If you have a low credit score, you probably will pay more for a home loan. If your score is low enough, you may not qualify for a mortgage at all.

Among survey respondents, nearly one-third — 32% — say they cannot buy a home because they are unlikely to qualify for a mortgage.

Fortunately, there are ways to raise your credit score. For more, check out “7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast.”

2. Home prices are too high in the area

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As we mentioned at the outset, home prices have soared into the stratosphere. The higher prices fly, the more dreams of homeownership remain stuck on the ground.

At least for now, 36% of potential buyers say they will not be able to afford a new home in their area.

1. Can’t afford a down payment

Many with empty pockets and no money
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Housing markets soar and crash, the economy heats up and cools off, but one thing remains the same: the challenge of saving enough for a down payment.

More than half of potential homebuyers — 54% — say they cannot buy a home because they can’t scrounge up the cash they need to make a down payment.

If you are among these folks, you may need to get creative in finding ways to save. For more, check out “7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying.”

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