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Poll: Americans still want to be homeowners

April 19th, 2011

Despite woes in the housing market over the last five years, many Americans still believe in the dream of home ownership. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 81 percent of adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make. That’s despite the fact that home prices have dropped 31 percent from 2006 peaks. Home ownership beat out having enough money to live comfortably in retirement, being able to pay for children’s education and being able to leave an inheritance for children.

About half of those polled (47 percent) said their home is worth less than it was before the recession started, while 31 percent said their home’s value has remained the same and 17 percent said the value has risen. Of the people who said their home had lost value, 37 percent strongly agree and 45 percent somewhat agree that buying a home is their best long-term investment.

When to get a mortgage

Many of these people may be waiting until home prices rise so they can try to sell and get a mortgage to purchase a different property. Renters also believe in home ownership, with 81 percent saying they would like to buy a place. While home prices may not have reached the bottom yet, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense to get a mortgage at this time. It’s just important to do your research to get the best home loan deal possible.

Comparing mortgage loans

Avoid letting your emotions get the better of you when shopping for a home loan. Mortgage rates have been inching up recently and there is an expectation that they will continue rising this year, according to a Sacramento Bee report. But current mortgage rates are still affordable for people who have the means and credit to buy a home.

If you aren’t in the market for a new mortgage and can afford your current payments on a home loan, it probably makes sense to stay put. Also, if you have bad credit you will have a difficult time getting a mortgage lender to approve you for a home loan. Keep working on repairing your credit and saving up a down payment until you are in a position to buy into the American dream of home ownership.