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Century 21 Real Estate LLC recently announced the results of its spring home buying survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive. The survey revealed that non-homeowners are more likely to make sacrifices to own their dream home.

U.S. adults who are currently renting feel more affected by today’s housing market conditions. Of non-homeowners, 82 percent indicated they plan to purchase a home at some point, which is in line with the New York Times/CBS News poll from June 2011 in which 89 percent of Americans said homeownership is an important part of the American dream. In fact, non-homeowners are willing to make sacrifices for the chance to purchase their dream home. Half (50 percent) of the non-homeowners surveyed said they would cut back on dining out, 49 percent said they would cut back on shopping for non-essential items and 47 percent said they would give up luxuries in order to be financially able to purchase their dream home.

“For those who are currently renting, purchasing a home is especially attractive right now,” says Rick Davidson, president and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “In fact, home-affordability reached a new all-time high for the first quarter of 2012.”

With record-low mortgage rates, appealing prices and an upgraded housing forecast this year (the National Association of REALTORS® expects existing home sales to reach 4.66 million in 2012), current market conditions continue to generate interest among first-time home buyers. Although many see the current market conditions as a prime opportunity to purchase a home, 45 percent of renters believe they will be forced to wait because they cannot qualify for a mortgage and/or don’t have sufficient funds for a down payment.

“First-time homebuyers play a significant role in propelling the housing market forward.” says Davidson. “It is very important for prospective home buyers to work with a real estate professional to understand all of the advantages of homeownership and the opportunities available to them today.”

Renters are More Willing to Sacrifice to Own their Dream Home

69 percent of homeowners who don’t own what they described as their “dream home” would be willing to make sacrifices to their personal lifestyle to be financially able to purchase it. Non-homeowners are more willing to make sacrifices, and 80 percent indicated they are willing to make changes to their personal lifestyle in order to be financially able purchase their dream home, including:

• 50 percent: would cut back on dining out,
• 49 percent: would cut back on their shopping for non-essential items (e.g., clothing, accessories, gadgets, etc.),
• 47 percent: would give up luxuries (e.g., expensive cable packages, trips to the salon, etc.),
• 39 percent: would cut back on vacations, and
• 10 percent would contribute less to their 401(k) in order to be able to purchase their dream home.

Factors that Most Influence Prospective Homebuyers

29 percent of prospective home-buyers, who do not currently own their own home, list price as the number one factor that would most influence their decision to purchase a home. Non-homeowners are also highly influenced by:

• 21 percent: Confidence in their employment
• 11 percent: Securing a record low mortgage
• 5 percent: Home availability

Location Still Plays a Key Role in the Decision to Purchase

Location remains the No. 1 quality homeowners or potential buyers consider when making a purchase decision (34 percent), ahead of:

• 16 percent: Layout
• 13 percent: Size
• 4 percent: New construction
• 3 percent: Updated appliances/fixtures

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