• The majority of buyers are completely happy with their experience purchasing a home, but affordability issues are keeping some on the sidelines.

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The homebuyer’s journey is laden with obstacles. Credit issues, low inventory, unreasonable sellers and complicated inspections can all alter a homebuyer’s perception and taint the whole experience for some. For others, the process proves fairly breezy.

The results of Experian’s 2017 Homebuyers Survey revealed that some potential buyers are steering away from homeownership due to affordability, credit or lifestyle preferences while others are working hard to overcome the setbacks keeping them from purchasing.

The study also found that:

  • More homebuyers are beginning to recognize the importance of credit and work to improve it for the purpose of qualifying for a better home loan rate.
  • Future buyers’ credit scores and financing options can have a negative impact on the amount they can spend on their new home and their timeline for buying.
  • After going through the homebuying process, recent homebuyers are more aware of the value of credit and now monitor their it more often.

Homebuyer perceptions: Inventory, affordability, buying experience

Despite the industry’s struggle with low inventory, overall homebuyers don’t feel the pinch in that area: What they’re struggling with is affordability (which is made worse by the low supply). The majority (64 percent) feel they have enough inventory to choose from, while 22 percent say it’s an issue.

Over half of buyers firmly believe houses are less affordable than they were 10 years ago, while only 29 percent believe they are more affordable and 17 percent feel prices have remained the same.

As far as their satisfaction with the homebuying experience, 44 percent of future homebuyers say they are happy with how things are turning out for them at this point. A close 40 percent say they are not satisfied with the experience so far, while 16 percent remain indifferent.

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Results for recent homebuyers were quite different, with a sweeping 83 percent saying they are completely happy with their experience purchasing a home. A very small number (4 percent) claim to be disappointed by the experience, while 13 percent say they were neither happy nor unhappy with the experience.

The survey revealed that buyers most likely to be happy with their homebuying experience include those who 1) already know their credit score, 2) have exceptional credit, 3) benefit from an annual household income of $100,000 or more, and 4) are not first-time homebuyers.