Americans willing to give up dream car, vacations to afford homeownership

By Kelly Leighton | June 19, 2018 | 3 min. read

Many would-be homebuyers would sacrifice other life luxuries to be able to afford a home.

A survey of more than 1,000 potential homebuyers by Unison Home Ownership Investors found that the average American would give up many non-necessities for a gift of a 10 percent home down payment. Forty-four percent would give up their dream car, while 38 percent said they would not take a vacation for five years. More than one-third, 35 percent, would not go out to eat for five years. Twenty-two percent said they would sacrifice their right to vote and 9 percent would turn over their driver’s license. Ninety-two percent said purchasing a home is a good agreement.

Across generations, since baby boomers are more likely to already own a home, as well as have a stronger financial background, they are less likely to sacrifice little luxuries for a down payment. However, millennials, who are less likely to own a home or have significant savings, are much more likely to give up luxuries compared to baby boomers and Generation X. Women are less likely to give up the right to vote or drive compared to their male peers. The survey found that most people find a homeowner more attractive, as 58 percent of people reported they would be more likely to date or marry someone who is already a homeowner.

Eighty-four percent said it would take less than four years to save for a down payment, but 67 percent who hope to buy a home in the next year or two have less than $7,000 saved. Not surprisingly, baby boomers have the most saved for a down payment, followed by Generation X and then millennials.

“What buyers have expressed to me over the years is that they are willing to forgo entertainment and destination vacations in order to be able to afford buying or building the home of their dreams,” said PAR President Todd Umbenhauer. “Giving up the right to vote as any part of the process of buying a home seems to be in conflict with the American dream.”

Lack of homebuying is attributed to not enough for a down payment, a low credit score, low overall savings, the cost of a monthly payment and high monthly rent costs. Most people cite their debt, including student loans and car payments, as their reasons for not being able to save.

Nearly three-quarters of millennials and Generation X said they would benefit from first-time homebuyer education, and 41 percent of baby boomers agreed that they would as well.


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