Americans want to buy but need to be savvier mortgage shoppers

by Steve Randall18 Sep 2018

For many Americans the desire to own a home is not being dampened by rising prices.

Rather, 37% of adults - rising to 52% among Millennials – say they plan to buy within the next two years, including 48% of those who do not currently own a home.

The PenFed Credit Union National Mortgage Survey released Tuesday, also shows that renovation intention remains strong with 54% of homeowners wanting to renovate, even though most (95%) say they like their current home.

"Americans are undeterred when it comes to owning their dream home and we are finding that for many that means renovating their current homes," said Craig Chapman, vice president of mortgage sales and business development, PenFed. "At PenFed our second trust loans are up and we expect to end the year with a 20% increase over last year. Like many industry experts we expect this increase to continue."

If they were to pick a dream location, on the beach would be the top choice for 30% with other popular choices including a ranch/farm (22%), in their favorite city (22%), and in the mountains (18%).

Most buyers didn’t shop around for a mortgage
The survey also shows that many homebuyers are not getting the best mortgage deal, often due to some misconceptions.

Almost two-thirds of buyers (65%) didn’t shop around for a mortgage when buying their home and 44% believe that the lowest rate is always the best deal.

Most buyers (58%) think that ARMs are for risk-takers.

There is also some confusion around the terms ‘pre-approved’ and ‘pre-qualified’ with 30% believing they are the same and another 22% not sure.

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