Homebuyers Want to Live in Their Homes Longer

by Chicago Agent

Although reality doesn’t always match the expectations of any buyer, according to the 2011 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, which surveyed 5,708 homebuyers and sellers this summer, homebuyers expect to stay in their homes longer – they’re making long term investments.

Although 41 percent of recent buyers are unsure of how long they expect to live in their homes, the typical buyers estimated they would live in their home for 15 years, up from an expected 10 years cited in last year’s survey. This increase is likely because of the demographic makeup and buying habits of buyers have changed dramatically in the last year, revealing that fewer first-time buyers and more stable, mature, older, married buyers make up a larger portion of the buyer pool.

First-time buyers estimated they would live in their houses for 10 years. Young buyers (aged 18 to 24) estimated they would live in their homes for five years and buyers aged 45 to 64 expected 20 years in their home, the shortest and longest expectations, respectively.

Age of homes purchased
NAR reported that first-time buyers who comprised half of all buyers in 2010 now only comprise a third, which we suspect is why the age of homes purchased has shifted. The typical home purchased this year was built in 1993 but varied by region, with Southern homes being the newest (and largest), typically built in 1999. Homes in the Northeast were predictably the oldest as it is the oldest region in our nation; homes purchased this year were typically built in 1973. Homes in the West were typically built in 1991 and in the Midwest in 1986.

What buyers compromised on when purchasing
Although a third of buyers said they made no compromises with their recent home purchases, 18 percent said they compromised on the price, 16 percent compromised on the condition, and unmarried couples, along with first-time buyers, were the most likely to make compromises when purchasing a home, according to NAR.

The takeaway
Buyers are looking to stay in their homes longer, and are not making compromises when they purchase. The average home age varies by region, and the report findings mean “Realtor for life” is more important than ever as expectations to stay put are considerably longer. It is important to note that buyers aren’t looking to compromise, but a few may be willing to budge on price or condition.


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