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What Motivates First-Time Home Buyers? The Answer May Surprise You

May 6, 2016 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: First Time Buyer, Homeownership

For many people, buying a home can be a better financial option than renting.  In addition to the tax benefits, homeowners tend to have more financial assets due to the long term appreciation of their home. Click here and here to read past blog posts outlining these financial benefits in detail.

However, a recent survey conducted by Braun Research on behalf of Bank of America found that the financial benefits are not the primary factor motivating first-time buyers. Instead it’s the emotional benefits of owning a home that are attracting younger adults to homeownership.

The survey polled 1,001 adults aged 18 and older who indicated that they wanted to buy a home in the future.  A whopping 76% of respondents indicated that they were motivated by the emotional benefits of homeownership, compared to 63% who were drawn to the financial benefits.  The most popular emotional motivators were “I want a place to call my own” (indicated by 52% of respondents), and “it’s always something I’ve wanted to do” (indicated by 43% of respondents).

TSAHC recently began conducting satisfaction surveys of homeowners who used our down payment assistance and mortgage tax credit programs to purchase a home.  The responses we’ve received from our home buyers reinforce the Bank of America survey’s findings that emotional factors play a key role in the decision to purchase a home.  When asked why they decided to purchase a home, 56% of our home buyers mentioned the pride of homeownership, 48% value the privacy and freedom that homeownership affords them and 45% were drawn to the stability and security that homeownership offers.

And there’s one other thing that the Bank of America and TSAHC survey respondents agree on—that the down payment is the primary hurdle to homeownership.  In fact, more than 62% of TSAHC home buyers surveyed indicated that the lack of savings for down payment and closing costs was the main obstacle that had prevented them from buying a home. 

Fortunately, there are both state and local programs that can help home buyers overcome this financial hurdle.  We encourage you to visit to learn more about TSAHC’s down payment assistance and mortgage tax credit programs.

In addition, click here to see an infographic created by Down Payment Resource that debunks common myths about down payments and provides valuable information about the types of homeownership programs that are available to home buyers. 

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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