Are com­mon myths hold­ing you back from buy­ing a home?

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The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY -

As­pi­ra­tions of home own­er­ship is strong for Amer­ica’s fam­i­lies, yet find­ings from the fifth an­nual Amer­ica at Home sur­vey from Neigh­borWorks Amer­ica in­di­cate sev­eral per­ceived bar­ri­ers to home­own­er­ship among the ma­jor­ity of con­sumers.

Find­ings from the sur­vey, which con­sisted of 1,000 U.S. adults and 500 mil­len­ni­als in­clude many mis­con­cep­tions about what it takes to buy a home:

• The av­er­age mil­len­nial mis­tak­enly thinks the min­i­mum re­quired down pay­ment is 21.6 per­cent.

• Ap­prox­i­mately 73 per­cent of all con­sumers and 62 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als said they were not aware of or are un­sure about down pay­ment as­sis­tance pro­grams in their com­mu­ni­ties for mid­dle-in­come home­buy­ers.

• Seventy per­cent of adults feel they don’t have enough money saved for a down pay­ment.

Ex­perts be­lieve that con­fu­sion about down pay­ment re­quire­ments and lack of aware­ness about as­sis­tance pro­grams are hold­ing back many peo­ple from pur­su­ing home­own­er­ship. “Be­fore de­cid­ing if own­ing a home is right for you, take time to un­der­stand your down pay­ment op­tions, and sep­a­rate myths from facts,” says Fred­die Mac Vice Pres­i­dent, Danny Gard­ner.

For ex­am­ple, the av­er­age down pay­ment among first-time home­buy­ers in 2016 was just 6 per­cent and, for re­peat buy­ers, just 14 per­cent. What’s more, mort­gage op­tions, such as Fred­die Mac’s Home Pos­si­ble Mort­gages, make it pos­si­ble for qual­i­fied bor­row­ers to put down as lit­tle as 3 per­cent.

If your down pay­ment is less than 20 per­cent with a con­ven­tional loan, you’ll have to pay pri­vate mort­gage in­surance, an added in­surance pol­icy that pro­tects the lender if you are un­able to pay your mort­gage. How­ever, mort­gage rates -de­spite their rise in re­cent years -- re­main at his­toric lows, pro­vid­ing you with a sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tage.

There are also mil­lions of dol­lars avail­able for down pay­ment as­sis­tance. A great place to start is right where you live. Many state, county, and city gov­ern­ments pro­vide fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties who are well qual­i­fied and ready for home­own­er­ship.

To help de­mys­tify down pay­ments and the home­buy­ing process, free tools and re­sources are avail­able at myhome.fred­

Don’t let mis­con­cep­tions hold you back from pur­su­ing home­own­er­ship. Check out the facts to learn how much home you can af­ford.

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