Monday, April 19, 2010

Survey: Reasons For Buying a Home

Fannie Mae has released its 2010 "National Housing Survey"!

The Survey, conducted in December 2009 and January 2010 (so the data is fairly recent)... surveyed consumer perspectives on a range of related issues, including: current attitudes toward the economy and housing; present conditions for homeownership; owning versus renting; the present climate for borrowing; current mortgage satisfaction; the impact of being "underwater" on borrowers; and attitudes toward defaulting. In some instances, data are compared to a 2003 study on housing by Fannie Mae.

Over the next few weeks... we'll be highlighting some of the findings of the survey.

Here's the first highlight: Reasons for Buying a Home:

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of survey respondents prefer owning to renting, citing non-financial reasons such as safety (43 percent) and quality of local schools (33 percent) as driving factors in wanting to own a home. 

Here's the breakdown of responses:

(Click Image to Enlarge)

One of the interesting points of that question, is that only 11% of respondents listed "Energy Efficiency" as a reason to choose a home to purchase. 11%. There seems to be a large disconnect between the push for "Green Building" and what consumers really want. (Comments are welcome in the comment section! No flame wars, please).

Care to share with us the factors that are/were important to YOU when you purchase (or purchased) YOUR first home.  Take our non-scientific survey/poll here.

Are you currently considering purchasing your first home?  There are LOTS of factors to consider... as you can see from the Survey Results above.  Make sure you're fully informed about how to be a SUCCESSFUL homeowner by speaking with a Housing Counselor or by taking a Home Stretch workshop first.  For more information on buying your first home in Minnesota, click here.


  1. I believe that builders and the home building industry need to do a better job explaining the true value in green building. An energy efficient home is, by definition a better built home, it has to be.

    What this translates to for a buyer is a more comfortable, better performing home over time.I see too many builders trying to sell green homes as a simple return on investment where the merits of an energy efficient home are simply what is the payback period. More often than not this is a losing proposition.

    People will buy value and green building is a value proposition that needs to be better conveyed to a new home buyer.

  2. CKrygier... Agreed. "Energy Efficient = Cost Efficient = More Affordable Long Term" needs to be the marketing plan. "Green" for the sake of "Green" isn't going to cut it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. While I agree that 11% sounds low, a lot depends on how a question is posed. I think if you asked people if they could have an affordable home in the neighborhood they wanted, if they'd prefer an energy-efficient green home or not, you'd get a different answer.

    Keeping in mind that McGraw-Hill estimates that green building will reach about 20% of all new construction by 2013, maybe this % makes sense given the way the question is posed. Many of us look forward to a time when green building is an outdated term since all building will be green! That means efficient and healthy for occupants as well as minimally impactful on the surrounding environment.

    Keep in mind that to be competitive for most consumers, green materials and practices must be cost efficient, high quality, visually appealing, easy to work with, and durable. Many materials do meet these criteria - and progress is being made all of the time. The key is how to get information out there to those who need it. I am working on one green building directory/resource, and there are others as well. We will get there.


    Allison Friedman
    Rate It Green


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