Homebuyers are so desperate that many would pay up to $100,000 over budget for their dream home

January 27, 2022, 7:05 PM UTC

The housing market is so tight right now that one out of four prospective homebuyers is willing to go as much as $100,000 over budget if it means living in their dream home.

That’s according to a new study released this month from the home-improvement firm HomeAdvisor that surveyed 2,000 Americans who recently purchased homes in the current housing market. 

Unsurprisingly, price was the most important consideration. But more than 60% of respondents also said that they would be willing to go over budget if it meant they could nail down their ideal home. 

Homebuyers always had to juggle different priorities, including location, space, and other features, even before the pandemic, and going over budget to get the perfect home was far from unheard-of. But it appears that more prospective owners are willing to go much further over budget than before. 

A 2019 study by real estate brokerage service Owners.com found that over a third of potential homeowners were willing to go $20,000 over budget on average when buying their new home. But in 2022’s study of the crowded housing market, 25% of home seekers were willing to pay five times as much. The study also found that more than eight out of 10 buyers felt as if they had been rushed into a decision faster than they were comfortable with.

Although that $100,000 is big, it becomes smaller factored into monthly mortgage payments. For example, if a homebuyer made a down payment of 20% on a home and took out a 30-year mortgage worth $500,000 rather than $400,000, the monthly payments would be around $500 more per month.    

The wave of fierce competition currently sweeping the U.S. housing market shows little sign of slowing down in the near future. Real estate’s busiest season usually starts in March, and many homebuyers expect to be left disappointed after another year of dwindling home supply and high prices.

Last year’s housing market saw the lowest number of homes for sale in over 40 years, and inventory is still down heading into this spring. 

It is possible, though, that with higher interest rates likely to happen this spring, higher annual payments will give some prospective buyers reason to rethink and pull back from the housing market, bringing demand and prices down.

But still, the largest demographic of new homeowners, millennials, are beginning to consider buying their first homes, as 45 million of them reach a prime age to do so in 2022.

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