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2015 Resolution: Save for a House?

Many people make New Year’s Resolutions as the calendar flips from December 31st to January 1st. Often times, at the top of the list (along with trimming the waist line) is saving money and paying down debt. Many people do so with a goal in mind – a nice vacation, a new car, or even a new home. Maybe this year you are saving for your downpayment for a new home, or know someone who is.

The majority of home buyers use savings as a downpayment source—65 percent of all buyers (81 percent of first-time buyers, 57 percent of repeat buyers). Using savings as a downpayment source has increased in prominence over the last 14 years as buyers are relying less frequently on the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence.

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Saving for a home can take time for home buyers. Among recent home buyers, 37 percent saved for six months or less, 15 percent saved for six to 12 months, and 10 percent saved for 12 to 18 months. Home buyers often make sacrifices on their path to homeownership. 72 percent cut spending on luxury or non-essential items, 56 percent cut spending on entertainment, and 45 percent cut spending on clothes.

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There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those saving. Eighty-eight percent of recent home buyers financed their home purchase. The typical downpayment was 10 percent for all buyers, but six percent for first-time home buyers and 13 percent for repeat home buyers.

The payoff for home buyers is worth it. Seventy-nine percent of recent buyers believe their home is a good financial investment, and many believe it is a better financial investment then stocks. Aside from the financial investment, buyers were able to successfully complete their goal which was just to own a home of their own.

For more information on the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, visit: http://www.realtor.org/reports/highlights-from-the-2014-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers.

Jessica Lautz, Managing Director, Survey Research and Communications

Jessica Lautz is the Managing Director of Survey Research and Communications. Jessica analyzes data and writes annual studies such as the Member Profile, the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, and the Commercial Member Profile.

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