Press Releases

Home Buyers Spend More Time Researching a Car Purchase than Their Home Loan

More than half of borrowers spend five hours or less shopping for home financing options, according to Zillow survey

May 4, 2016

SEATTLE, May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A home purchase is one of the largest investments most people make in their lifetime, yet on average, Americans spend just 8 hours researching their home loan, and obtain just four quotes from lenders, according to a new survey by Zillowi. One in five (18 percent) of those surveyed spend an hour or less shopping for their home loan. More time is spent researching a car purchase (11 hours) and an equal amount of time researching a vacation (8 hours), despite the fact that these items cost just a small fraction of the average cost of a home. For example, the average homeii costs five times more than the average cariii and 80 times more than the average vacationiv.

"When it comes to spending money on our daily expenses, we all understand the value in taking time to shop around, compare product reviews online, or research retailers to ensure we are making a wise purchase," said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages for Zillow Group. "Yet surprisingly, very few prospective homebuyers apply that same diligence to choosing a lender and a home loan, despite the fact that is likely the largest purchase they will ever undertake. Unfortunately, that mistake could be costly – a small difference in the interest rate can add tens of thousands of dollars to your mortgage."

Millennials, who face obstacles such as student debt and high rents that can impact their ability to save for a down payment, are approaching the home buying process wisely. According to this survey, Millennials (age 18-34), on average, spend more time than Generation X (age 35-54) or Boomers (age 55 and older) researching or shopping for a mortgage. Millennials are also more likely than older adults to shop around for a mortgage and compare apples-to-apples rates: 86 percent of 18-34 year-olds shopped around for a loan versus 75 percent of 35-54 year olds and 55 percent of those 55 years and older.

Across most types of homes loans, the millennial generation reports obtaining more quotes from lenders than do their older counterparts – on average, Millennials obtained six quotes, versus an average of four quotes by Gen X shoppers and three quotes by Boomers. Getting multiple offers and being able to compare them relative to one another is critical to ensure the borrower has chosen a loan officer who will provide a seamless experience and competitive rates.  For example, current mortgage rates on Zillow show that a borrower taking out a 30-year fixed rate conventional loan could get rates that vary by more than half a percent, based on varying offerings and services from lenders. This difference could save the buyer of a $300,000 home more than $26,000; in San Francisco, where the median home price is $792,600, the savings could be more than $43,000v.


By Generation

All Surveyed Borrowers

Investment

Typical Hours of Millennial (18-34) Research in 2016

Typical Hours of Gen X (35-54) Research in 2016

Typical Hours of Boomers (55+) Research in 2016

Typical Hours of Research in 2016

Average Cost

Home

20

26

32

26

$184,600vi

Car or Truck

11

11

12

11

$33,666vii

Major Home Improvement

7

8

9

8

$49,240viii

Mortgage or Refinance Loan

9

7

8

8

$147,680ix

Vacation

9

7

8

8

$2,788x

Minor Home Improvement

4

4

5

4

$700xi

Computer

6

5

5

5

$1,299xii

Television

4

4

4

4

$1,224xiii

Mobile Phone or Tablet

4

3

3

4

$349xiv

Calling or Data Plan

3

3

3

3

$2,040xv for two years

Zillow
Zillow® is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. Zillow serves the full lifecycle of owning and living in a home: buying, selling, renting, financing, remodeling and more. In addition to Zillow.com®, Zillow operates the most popular suite of mobile real estate apps, with more than two dozen apps across all major platforms. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group (NASDAQ:Z and ZG) and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow and Zillow.com are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

i Survey of 2,010 adults conducted online from March 28-29, 2016 by Ipsos on behalf of Zillow.
ii The median value of all homes in the U.S., ($184,600), according to Zillow Home Value Index
iii New-Car Transaction Price in March 2016, from Kelley Blue Book.
iv Adobe's Digital Index Travel Report, 2015, Average Expected  Summer Travel Spend is $1,145/person (assuming two adults, $2,788)
v Calculation compares the savings in monthly mortgage payment of 30-year fixed loan of a home valued at $792,600, minus a 20% down payment at interest rates of 3.6% and 4.1% for the lifetime of the loan.
vi The median value of all homes in the U.S., according to the Zillow Home Value Index.
vii New-Car Transaction Price in March 2016, from Kelley Blue Book.
viii Based on averages from Remodeling Magazine, 2014
ix The median value of all homes in the U.S., according to Zillow Home Value Index, minus 20% (assuming down payment)
x Adobe's Digital Index Travel Report, 2015, Average Expected  Summer Travel Spend is $1,145/person (assuming two adults, $2,788)
xi The median expected spend on spring 2014 renovation projects, according to Zillow Digs.
xii NPD Average Macbook laptop purchase
xiii IHS Technology Report - US Flat-Panel TV Retail Pricing Hits Highest Level in More Than Two Years (2012)
xiv Average of list cost of an iPhone ($199) and iPad ($499)
xv International Telecommunication Union (ITU), average phone plan with 500MB of data costs $85 per month in the U.S., assumes a two-year contract.

 

SOURCE Zillow

For further information: Cat Neilson, Zillow, press@zillow.com


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