Many people are eager to buy a home right now while affordability continues to be a highlight of the current housing market. However, a recent survey by Sparks Research shows that 20% of first-time homebuyers cite a lack of financial education as a barrier to homeownership, in addition to other factors such as high rent costs and student loans. If clients do not feel comfortable with the financial process of buying a home, it’s hard to make a confident decision. In fact, 80% of prospective homebuyers say they need help to understand what they can even afford in the first place. This positions you, as their agent, as the right professional to help them through this important process.
On top of that, the same survey reports over two-thirds of prospective homebuyers believe they’ll need assistance to save enough for a down payment. What they may not realize is that there are substantial down payment assistance programs at the state and regional levels, and many of them have funds available for potential buyers. Down Payment Resources recently released its Q3 2020 Homeownership Program Index, which explains:
“The number of total programs is 2,340, and over 81 percent (81.1%) of programs currently have funds available for eligible homebuyers.”
Down Payment Assistance Programs Are Not Only for First-Time Homebuyers
Keep in mind, these programs aren’t just for first-time homebuyers, so it’s worth having clients explore their options no matter the situation. For example, if a client can now permanently work from home, they may be thinking of relocating to a more affordable area. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:
“Rural areas have mortgages (USDA loans) that don’t require down payments; and some workers who can work from home may want to consider outer suburbs or small towns where USDA home loans are available and where homes are very affordable.”
If affordability is a potential challenge, the right down payment assistance program might be out there to help your client obtain their dream home. Down Payment Resources is one online platform that consolidates and presents resources to clients, however buyers should also explore individual state, county, and city, programs across the U.S.
Thanks to a range of down payment assistance programs, affordable options are out there for today’s hopeful homebuyers. It’s important to equip your clients with education and resources to help them understand the homebuying process and what is affordable for them.