Homeownership remains central part of ‘American Dream’

Several studies have revealed that Americans’ perceptions of money have changed following the economic downturn, and many households are being more cautious about the type of big-ticket purchases they make. Buying a home is one of the largest expenses an individual may take on in his or her lifetime, and the tumultuous housing market and thriving rent market have prompted many analysts to question whether homeownership is still a central goal for Americans.

The results of the new Home Buyer Poll, conducted by TD Bank, reveals that the American Dream of owning a home is still alive and well. According to the results, 84 percent of today’s renting generation – those between 18 and 34 – said they plan to one day purchase a home. Another 59 percent of respondents said they associated feelings of excitement and pride with the process of purchasing their first home.

Seventeen percent said owning a home is a good opportunity, and 11 percent said it was crucial to their evolving family. Another 10 percent listed being financially ready in their decision to purchase a home.

“There’s no denying buying a home is a pivotal point in a person’s life,” said Michael Copley, TD Bank executive vice president of retail lending. “Our survey tells us that people are looking to buy homes, and attitudes towards homeownership have continued to remain positive over the years.”

Young adults who plan on purchasing a home in the future may benefit from planning ahead to start saving for a down payment and determining how large of a mortgage they can afford. Enrolling in housing counseling can be a good first step to start understanding the basics, such as the different types of mortgages available, the ins and outs of the buying and closing process and the resources available to help them make the right financial decisions.

In addition, curbing debt and putting more savings away is another crucial element to purchasing a home. Keeping debt levels low will help buyers preserve their credits cores, which will play a central role in the mortgage they qualify for and the terms and rates attached. In addition, consumers may improve their chances of being approved for a home if they are able to make a sizable down payment. Buyers working with a traditional lender should aim for a 20 percent down payment to avoid being required to purchase private mortgage insurance.