Framework Homeownership Survey Finds Majority of First-Time Homebuyers Feel Underprepared, Overwhelmed

43% of prospective first-time homebuyers also report discrimination and stress as negative factors in their experience

September 23, 2019 10:02 AM EDT

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BOSTON, Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Framework, the organization dedicated to empowering smart and successful homeownership for first time homebuyers and homeowners, today announced the findings of two surveys centered on home buying and ownership. While offering the prospect of joy, independence and generational wealth, the surveys revealed home buying is laced with blind spots and fraught with anxiety for first-time homebuyers, many of whom wish they were more educated and informed. The surveys were completed by two groups: recent first-time homebuyers and prospective first-time homebuyers.

Among prospective first-time homebuyers:

  • Only 41% feel very well prepared for the home buying process.
  • 57% worry they can't afford homeownership.
  • 47% think the home buying process is "rigged" against the buyer.
  • 44% fear making costly mistakes.
  • And 55% said they could use an independent advocate to coach them through the process of home buying and homeownership.

More than half of the first-time homebuyers in both groups – prospective (58%) and recent (53%) – said buying a home was more difficult than it should be.

"Buying a home is the biggest purchase we'll ever make and keeping it takes some planning," said Danielle Samalin, CEO of Framework. "Our mission is to offer first time homebuyers access to the tools, knowledge and support they need to ensure they are well prepared throughout the entire purchasing process, thereby reducing the anxiety and stress of homeownership."

Homeownership Literacy

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of recent first-time homebuyers said they emerged from the process knowing a lot more about the financial implications than before they entered it. Only three in 10 recent first-time homebuyers said they took home buying or homeownership classes prior to their purchase.

Not surprisingly, poor preparation leads to unpleasant surprises: Given a choice of eight homeowner challenges, "paying my taxes" was the biggest concern of prospective homeowners, but recent first-time homebuyers found maintenance, both inside and outside the home, to be the biggest challenge.

In another measure of financial uncertainty, a majority of both groups wish they had started looking to buy a home earlier (54% of recent first-time homebuyers and 62% of prospective first-time homebuyers).

Fortunately, anxiety seems to recede slightly once a homeowner has settled in. Worry about affording homeownership was 13 points lower for recent first-time buyers than prospective buyers (44% vs. 57% respectively). And only 36% of recent first-time homebuyers think they actually made costly mistakes compared with the 44% of prospective buyers who expect to do so.

Homeownership Anxiety

Adding to the home buying anxiety, many homebuyers perceive discrimination based on their race, gender or another trait. Forty-three percent of prospective first-time homebuyers and 23% of recent first-time homeowners say they experienced such discrimination. The numbers were higher for Hispanic first-time homebuyers (41%) and African American first-time homebuyers (34%).

"Many minority homeowners are first-generation homeowners. With that in mind, we at Framework view home buying and homeownership through a social equality lens," said Samalin. "We're deeply committed to democratizing the process for first time homeowners to help them navigate a challenging system and take them from 'buyer beware' to 'buyer prepared.'"

About Framework

Framework is a mission-driven organization dedicated to empowering smart and successful homeownership for first time homeowners. Formed as a social enterprise by two nonprofits in 2012, Framework approaches homeownership through a social equality lens and serves as a trusted advocate working to democratize the homeownership process. Since 2012, Framework has been providing premier home buying resources, including a state-of-the-art online course that meets the needs and expectations of today's homebuyers. Always looking ahead, Framework continues to build and strengthen its platform to provide ongoing education, tools, and advice to support a lifetime of successful homeownership for anyone pursuing the dream. To learn more, visit:


Framework, through Brodeur Partners, conducted two national surveys. One survey was of those who purchased their first home in the past 3 years (n=334). A second survey was of those who said they are looking to purchase their first home in the next 12 months (n=348). The survey was conducted from September 6-11, 2019 via Qualtrics Panel research based on available sample and weighted based on U.S. Census Data.


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SOURCE Framework

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