Tuesday, July 20, 2010
by Broderick Perkins
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Deadline Newsroom - The Great Recession may have drained the equity from millions of homes, but when it comes to making what's often the greatest purchase of all, the vast majority of homeowners are resting easy.
An overwhelming 90 percent of homeowners say they don't regret buying their current home, according to a new study by Bankrate, Inc.
That's even in the face of stagnant - or sliding - home prices they've suffered and rock-bottom mortgage rates they may have missed out on.
Only 9 percent of respondents expressed second thoughts about taking the plunge. Why? Most often because they couldn't sell their home and move on, or because they were unable to afford the monthly mortgage payment.
"It's surprising and reassuring to hear 90 percent of homeowners say they don't regret the purchase of their current homes," says Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
"And all the nasty headlines in the past two years have really moved the needle in terms of mortgage awareness, with a significant drop in the percentage of borrowers who don't know what type of mortgage they have," McBride said.
Only 8 percent of Americans don't know what type of mortgage loan they have. That's a lot lower than the 26 percent of respondents in a Bankrate study done two years ago who said they were in the dark about their mortgage type.
Being bullish on homeownership isn't necessarily new. A recent Fannie Mae report revealed 70 percent of consumers see a home as one of the safest investments to make and 64 percent think now is a good time to buy.
"The key to any real estate survey conducted in today’s market would be to factor in the state where the survey's respondents reside. In many parts of the country, particularly in the Central states, they did not experience a real estate boom like the West and East coasts and therefore are not faced with the fall out of a dramatic real estate bust today," said Nancy Osborne, chief operating officer of Erate.com, a Santa Clara, CA-based financial information publisher and interest rate tracker.
She added, "Feelings about homeownership should have changed very little in those states where home prices and equity have remained relatively stable."
Other results in the Bankrate poll of 1,001 randomly selected adults, conducted last month by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, include:
• Fixed-rate mortgages are gaining in popularity. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said they had this type of mortgage on their home.
• Wealthier Americans -- those making more than $75,000 -- overwhelmingly preferred fixed-rate mortgages. Almost 90 percent of those who were asked, said they used a fixed-rate mortgage.
Crystal Chow is a DeadlineNews Group associate editor who contributed to this article.
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Broderick Perkins, an award-winning consumer journalist, parlayed 30 years of old-school journalism into a digital real estate news service, the San Jose, CA-based DeadlineNews Group, including DeadlineNews.Com, a real estate news and consulting service and Web site, and the Deadline Newsroom, DeadlineNews.Com's news back shop.
Perkins was the first Examiner to cover three beats for the Examiner.com news service:
• National Offbeat News Examiner
• National Consumer News Examiner
• National Real Estate Examiner
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