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Why are so many non-owners afraid to buy?

NEW YORK – Feb. 12, 2016 – Almost half of renters surveyed by say they haven’t purchased a home yet because they believe their credit isn’t good enough to qualify for a mortgage or they can’t afford a downpayment.
“A lot of people make assumptions that they can’t afford to buy based on just some perceptions, and many have not taken the step to figure out how mortgage-ready they are,” says Marietta Rodriguez, vice president of NeighborWorks America, a national homeownership program.’s survey found that Hispanics are the group most likely to say that their credit is blocking them from homeownership. On the other hand, the main reason that blacks and whites give for not buying yet is that they’re just not ready.
Overall, 35 percent of non-homeowners say they don’t want to own a house yet, according to the survey. Blame that percentage on the still-lingering after-effects of the housing crisis, says Pava Leyrer, COO for Northern Mortgage Services in Grandville, Mich.
“A lot of people went through some deep pains in the past 10 years or less,” such as foreclosures, job losses, or bankruptcy filings, Leyrer says. “All of those things are traumatic in your life.”
Fear aside, many non-homeowners assume they need a higher downpayment to purchase a house than they actually do. About 20 percent of respondents to Bankrate’s survey said they’d need between 11 percent and 20 percent for a downpayment, while 17 percent said they’d need 6 percent to 10 percent.
Nearly a quarter of non-homeowners said, however, they “don’t know” how much they need for a downpayment. Only 9 percent of respondents said they could do a 1 percent to 5 percent downpayment.
Many non-homeowners don’t seem to realize that they can get an FHA loan with just a 3.5 percent downpayment or a conventional loan with 3 percent down, says Rob Chrane, president and CEO at Down Payment Resource in Atlanta.
“The biggest single issue is that consumers just don’t know these programs even exist,” Chrane says. “If you don’t know of the possibility, then you don’t know to ask people for help with it.”
Source: “Bankrate Survey: Nearly Half of Renters Are Afraid They Can’t Buy,” (Feb. 9, 2016)
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Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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