First-Time Buyers Are Eager to Buy, Here’s What They Are Looking for

By Kelly Leighton | Jan. 3, 2022 | 2 min. read

Nearly three quarters (72%) of first-time potential homebuyers are looking to buy this year.

This group of potential new homeowners includes 85% of renters who are ready to make the leap into homeownership,® found. Around half of first-time buyers have looked at homes online, 40% have researched home values to see how much they need to save to afford a home in their desired location and 30% have discussed homebuying with friends and family, looking for advice. Only about 25% have been in contact with a real estate agent, leaving the majority of these homebuyers as potential clients.

Sixty-one percent of first-time buyers are looking to spend $350,000 or less on their first home, just slightly below the national median of $353,900, according to NAR. Twenty-four percent said they would not spend over asking price, while about 17% said they would pay 1% to 5% over and about 19% said they would pay 6% to 10% over asking. While first-time buyers are more likely to have less money to use as a down payment, 25% said they plan to put down more than 20% as a down payment and 10% said they plan to pay in all cash for their home. The majority of first-time buyers (56%) said they saved for a down payment by putting money away each month, nearly 40% cut back on daily spending and about 25% saved one-off sums, like tax returns.

Despite a very competitive market, first-time buyers are still prioritizing what they want. The most popular feature is a large backyard, said 35%, while 30% each said a garage and updated kitchen. Around 27% want a quiet location and about 23% said updated bathrooms. And homebuyers have their other reasons too for wanting to own, 34% want to achieve the dream of homeownership, 31% need more space for family and 20% want more or better outdoor space.

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