House hunters will visit an average of 10 homes before finding the perfect match, according to a survey of about 2,500 Americans by BMO Harris Bank. For about 51 percent of buyers, it’ll take up to six months of searching before they find the home they want.
However, that time could be shortened: 77 percent of buyers, or about three quarters, say they’ll know immediately when they’ve found their ideal home.
Slightly more than half of home buyers are confident that their search will pay off in the end, with 52 percent saying they believe they’ll find their dream home in their price range. However, 48 percent say that is impossible, and the majority of buyers realize they may have to settle for something less than perfect.
Home buyers surveyed describe a range of mixed feelings when house hunting. Here are their top six emotions:
- Excited: 44% (all home buyers); 47% (first-time buyers)
- Hopeful: 33% (all home buyers); 43% (first-time buyers)
- Cautious: 32% (all home buyers); 26% (first-time buyers)
- Optimistic: 28% (all home buyers); 26% (first-time buyers)
- Happy: 26% (all home buyers); 37% (first-time buyers)
- Anxious: 25% (all home buyers); 31% (first-time buyers)
They say their top concerns in the home-buying process are:
- They’ll find something wrong with the house after they move in: 79%
- Housing prices will drop after they purchase: 69%
- Not being able to afford the mortgage: 61%
Some of the stress in the home-buying process can be relieved by getting pre-approved for a mortgage, the survey found. Ninety-eight percent of first-time home buyers say they believe the pre-approval process would take the worry of financing out of shopping for a home. However, only 13 percent of first-time buyers surveyed say they’re currently pre-approved for a mortgage.
“Pre-qualification is something we encourage house hunters to do before looking for a new home,” says Kevin Christopher, head of mortgage sales at BMO Harris Bank. “It makes it easier to put in a serious offer when the time comes.”