Survey Shows That Americans Have Regrets About the Dream of Home Ownership

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— Hidden costs of home ownership impact respondents’ stress and debt, according to Freedom Debt Relief survey —

San Mateo, Calif., July 30, 2019 – Freedom Debt Relief has released results of a new survey detailing how Americans feel about the dream of home ownership.

Key findings include:

  1. The American Dream still exists. Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) of homeowners feel that owning a home is part of the American Dream.
  • The American Dream comes with stress. Almost a third (29%) of homeowners said homeownership makes them feel anxious and/or stressed.
  • Home ownership is not everything. More than a quarter of respondents (26%) said the cost of owning a home is a burden and they would rather rent.
  • Owning a home adds a measure of security. A total of 28% of homeowners felt financially secure after purchasing a house.

Participants expressed regrets about their experiences in owning a home and in their home buying process.

  • 68% said they should have saved more for the down payment.
  • 52% said their monthly mortgage payment is too high.
  • 41% said they were not aware of all their mortgage options.
  • 60% said they are unable to afford needed upgrades to their house.
  • 59% said that maintenance and repairs are more effort and cost than they expected.
  • 50% said that their property taxes are higher than planned.

Additional topics the survey addresses include the following. The survey examines generational differences for each.

  • Top hidden costs of home ownership
  • Down payments, private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Home renovation plans, spending estimates, financing alternatives
  • Key factors in the home buying decision
  • Financing options to deal with overall debt

“Affordable home ownership is one of the biggest economic issues facing everyday Americans,” says Michael Micheletti, director of corporate communications for Freedom Debt Relief. “The survey results suggest that many people may have taken advantage of the opportunity to buy a house without being fully prepared for the financial responsibility of home ownership.”

The online poll, conducted by Atomik Research earlier this month, surveyed 1,028 U.S. homeowners with at least $10,000 in unsecured debt. A summary of the results, and a downloadable copy of the survey’s raw and generational breakouts, are available.