Most buyers would break their budget for a dream home – study

by Ryan Smith25 Aug 2020

Despite the economic turmoil wrought by COVID-19, nearly two thirds of home buyers are willing to go over budget for their dream home, according to a new study.

In a survey of more than 1,000 prospective homebuyers, LendingTree found that 64% would stretch their budgets in order to buy their perfect home. Millennials were even more likely to be willing to stretch their budgets, with 76% saying they would spend more to buy their dream home.

“I urge home buyers to be very cautious about going over budget,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree. “Many people underestimate the maintenance costs of owning a home. If you are stretched financially and underinvest in maintenance, it can diminish the value of your home.”

More than a third of buyers (37%) said that even finding a home within their budget was the most stressful part of the home-buying process. Nearly half (48%) of first-time buyers said staying in budget was their largest home-buying stressor.

“Overpaying is one of the downsides of very low interest rates,” Kapfidze said. “As many home buyers budget a monthly payment, lower rates translate into a higher mortgage amount. Coupled with tight inventory in some areas, it increases the risk of bidding wars over asking price.”

About one in six said they were most stressed because of the low housing inventory in their area, and another 16% said they were most stressed about trying to sell their current home.