February 3rd, 2011 3:45 PM by Eileen Denhard
U.S. homeowners remain upbeat about homeownership, and many renters are warming up to the idea of owning their own homes, according to a recent survey by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) conducted by Harris Interactive. A large majority of homeowners (87 percent) and 64 percent of renters agree that owning a home provides a healthy and stable environment for raising a family. More than three-fourths of homeowners (77 percent) and 55 percent of renters believe homeownership helps them meet long-term financial goals, while 70 percent of homeowners and 48 percent of renters believe it helps them realize the American Dream.
Nearly all homeowners (95 percent) and 72 percent of renters say that over a period of years, it makes more sense to own a home than rent. If they had to move in the next six months, 82 percent of homeowners and 50 percent of renters say they would prefer to buy a house. A majority of current homeowners (88 percent) say their ownership experience has been positive or very positive, while only 51 percent of renters have had positive experiences with renting.
More than six out of 10 renters say they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a home in the future, and 24 percent are extremely likely to do so. Nearly three-fourths of young adult renters (74 percent) say they are likely to buy a home at some point in the future, while 43 percent of renters plan to purchase a home in the next three to five years. Many renters cite several obstacles to homeownership, however, such as a lack of money for a down payment and closing costs, finding a home that is affordable and job security.