NEW YORK – About one in five millennials say that student loan debt is holding them back from homeownership, according to a survey commissioned by Bankrate.com. But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing because a majority of new home purchases come with regrets.
Almost two-thirds of millennial homeowners (ages 23-38) have buyers remorse over their home purchase. The most common regret among millennials is that they did not adequately anticipate unexpected maintenance costs.
“Repairs and maintenance costs are something all homeowners face. Consumers should expect to set aside 1% of their home’s purchase price each year to keep in a savings account to cover these expenses,” said Bankrate analyst, Deborah Kearns.
Other complaints included homeowners taking on a larger mortgage payment than they can handle and buying a house that is too small, too big or in a bad area.
For those that don’t own a home, cost is the largest barrier to being a homeowner. About half of respondents said they don’t have enough income, while 41 percent cannot afford a down payment and the closing costs involved in the purchase. A third of respondents said that home prices are simply too high.
An analysis from the young adult advocacy firm, Young Invincibles, found that, based on the U.S. Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances data, college grads with student loan debt have negative net wealth which is making home ownership more difficult.
A separate report from, Legal & General Group (L&G), a London-based financial services firm, found that “more than half (51 percent) of prospective owners under the age of 35 now expect to have help to buy from family or friends.” Without this assistance, many Americans miss out on wealth gained through a home purchase.
The study found that one in five of the buyers received an average gift or an interest-free loan in the amount of $39,000 to help with the purchase – just another reason to be nice to your parents.
Alex Tanzi is a reporter for Bloomberg News.