The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey and found about 75% of current non-homeowners say they would like to own a home one day.

Rents continue to rise on average of 3% annually, but only 15% of the survey respondents state rent increase were a factor in deciding to buy a home. 25% of the renters said they would move to a cheaper rental unit if the rent was too high.

The number one reason respondents stated for buying a home in the future would be a change in lifestyle such as getting married, starting a family or retiring.

The next top reason to buy would be an improvement in their financial situation, followed by the desire to settle down. However, with prices and mortgage rates also expected to increase, affordability pressures will persist.

An increasing share of non-homeowners answered that the primary reason they currently do not own is because they are unable to afford it. 

Many do not believe now is a good time to buy due to swift home price growth and low levels of housing supply. 

The average rental rate is about $1400 per month. A 3-bedroom, 2 bath home, in the Chisago Lakes School District listed for $209,900 with 3.5% down payment would cost about $1450 per month, with taxes and insurance. A VA loan with zero down payment would be less than $1400 per month. 

There are down payment assistance programs for qualified first-time homebuyers to help those buyers with little or no cash for a down payment. It is still possible for first time buyers to purchase a home with no down payment and many sellers will pay the buyer’s closing costs.

An experienced real estate agent or loan officer can help find the best financing programs available, along with affordable housing.

Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.