If you find yourself daydreaming about your ideal living space or shopping online for a home, you’re not alone. Bank of America’s Homebuyer Insights found that nine-in-ten buyers (89%) are motivated to buy a home and many are looking at real estate listings (49%) and touring homes virtually (29%).

While a lot has changed over the last few months in Central Indiana and across the United States, over four-in-five (85%) prospective homebuyers said that saving for a home remains a priority.

Yet, some would-be buyers self-select out of homeownership, assuming they can’t afford a monthly mortgage payment or the upfront costs. Others simply don’t know where to start. To help future buyers better understand what’s possible, we’re debunking some of the most common misconceptions:

Myth: There is a right time to buy

While there is no secret formula to assessing emotional and financial readiness to buying a home, answering a few questions can help you determine how close you are to becoming a homeowner and equip you with the resources you need to move forward with your homebuying goals. After all, the more informed you are about the homebuying process, the better prepared you are to find the best options.

Additionally, as you’re likely binge-watching more TV right now, switch your lineup and include some productive programming about homebuying. Bank of America’s First-Time Homebuyer Online Edu-Series provides an easy-to-understand roadmap to buying a home and allows you to go at your own pace as experts provide guidance and tips to prepare your finances, make an offer, apply for a mortgage and more.

Myth: I need to have a 20 percent down payment

Many mistakenly believe you need a 20 percent down payment when, in reality, the median amount was 6 percent for first-time buyers in 2019. Still, 71% of prospective homebuyers believe they will need assistance to save for a down payment.

Many lenders offer innovative low down payment options. Additionally, online tools enable buyers to search for down payment and closing cost assistance programs offered by state and local housing agencies, nonprofit groups and employers that can help make buying a home more affordable.

Myth: It’s smarter to rent versus buy

Given rising rental prices in many parts of the country, including Indianapolis, a fixed monthly mortgage payment typically provides more stable housing costs than renting – and can sometimes be lower than monthly rent. Moreover, homeownership provides an important path to the creation of long-term wealth. Historically, homes deliver real appreciation over time. You may be able sell your home years later, or you can pass on the value your home has earned to your loved ones.

While homebuying may feel overwhelming, taking the first steps can help you understand your readiness for homeownership and ensure that you’re planning is on track. If you’re close to buying, a specialist can also review assistance programs you may be eligible for. With a little bit of guidance, the house of your dreams is within your reach.

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