First-time patrons face challenges head-on

A 12 months after the frenzied market of 2021, first-time dwelling patrons proceed to grapple with bidding wars, fleeting listings, surprising prices, and extra calls for on their time. However as we’ve seen all through the pandemic, actual property resilience stays – even for these battle-scarred veterans of bidding wars. And even regardless of on a regular basis, emotional vitality and general effort it takes, the dream of dwelling possession hasn’t waned for patrons already within the sport in addition to newcomers. 

What’s behind this robust need to personal, and the way has the expertise modified during the last 12 months? We partnered with Wakefield Analysis to disclose a few of the ache factors for first-time patrons, how they tailored to a chaotic market, and whether or not they have any regrets. 

First-time home searching

On par with final 12 months, first-time dwelling buyers have been aggressive of their searches. The common first-time dwelling purchaser toured a frightening 24 properties in particular person or nearly; that was up from 15 in 2021. However some first-timers have been extra selective: the place in 2021 17% of patrons toured fewer than 5 properties, this 12 months 25% did. 

After they selected their favourite, patrons felt a way of urgency in making a proposal, hoping theirs could be the successful bid. Half of first-time patrons stated they made gives on 5 or extra properties earlier than successful one; respondents averaged 12 gives apiece, up from 10 in 2021. 

Is the will to personal so robust that first-time patrons are settling for a property that’s not “the one”? Some first-timers admitted placing their preferences apart and bidding on a house that they didn’t strongly need. In actual fact, practically 2 in 3 (63%) admitted to bidding for a house they didn’t really need: 70% of fogeys, and 43% of first-time patrons stated they bid on a number of properties that didn’t attraction. This was very true of Millennials, 20% of whom made gives greater than 5 instances on homes they didn’t need. This will appear odd, but it surely does mirror a way of urgency primarily based on a flurry of competitors and pre-inflationary low mortgage charges. 

are first-time buyers settling in this market

Even so, as soon as patrons have made a deal, satisfaction is excessive. Almost 7 in 10 (69%) say they’re assured they discovered one of the best dwelling for them available in the market, together with 92% of Boomers and 72% of Millennials. Of all of the grownup age teams, Gen Z patrons have been the least happy, with simply over half (54%) saying they discovered one of the best dwelling.

Residence, oh dwelling, the place artwork thou?

Maintaining in a aggressive housing market means checking, and re-checking, listings. Greater than two in 5 first-time patrons (41%) say they checked listings a number of instances a day in a median week, up dramatically from the 25% who have been looking for properties final 12 months. Those that bought a house between mid-August and mid-September 2022 checked dwelling listings on common 12 instances a day—practically twice as usually as those that purchased throughout the earlier 6-12 months. 

first-time buyers searching more often for homes

The tendency to test listings often daily differed considerably by area. First-time patrons within the Northeast (52%) have been prone to test listings extra usually than these within the Midwest (43%), South (40%), and West (30%). On common, the variety of instances householders checked listings in a single day was eight, up from seven in 2021. Millennials checked listings most frequently: 9 instances a day on common. 

Usually, dwelling purchasing can really feel like a second job. Past checking for listings, there are dwelling excursions, conferences together with your realtor and financier, and different duties. Prior to now 12 months, 65% of respondents stated they missed work as a result of shopping for course of. Those that misplaced workplace time missed an common of 15 hours – practically two full workdays, which is up one hour of workday day out from 2021.

It’s time for a break

All that’s required within the shopping for course of turned some potential patrons off: 58% stated the house search was “far more time-consuming than anticipated,” and a overwhelming majority (89%) of first-time patrons stated they’d beforehand postpone shopping for a house altogether. Taking a break from dwelling looking out can typically really feel like a defeat, particularly if you’re dealing with financial headwinds. Of those that put it on the again burner, practically half (49%) cited monetary causes, which included not being financially ready general (38%), and never having saved sufficient for a down cost (25%). 

With funds tight, many respondents seemed to companions, households, buddies, and even strangers to assist with the acquisition of their first dwelling:

How first-time buyers bought their first home

Homeownership wishes 

Past funds, different elements equivalent to COVID-19 (29%) and a wild housing market (27%) spurred some patrons to place their purchases on maintain. However regardless of these uncertainties, motivation for dwelling possession remained robust this 12 months. 

Half of first-time dwelling patrons stated “household” is the highest cause they determined to buy. House can also be an necessary consideration: practically half (45%) of first-time patrons bought their dwelling as a result of they wanted more room, significantly dad and mom. For others, the choice to purchase is rooted in spending: 45% cited having extra peace of thoughts when proudly owning as an alternative of renting, and one other 40% imagine that dwelling possession is a brilliant funding. 

Classes realized

Of all of the challenges individuals have confronted in 2022, 43% of patrons stated discovering a house that most closely fits their wants was the hardest problem. Whereas practically 70% stated they did discover one of the best dwelling for them, frustration stays concerning the precise home-buying course of. This contains the stress of ready on a proposal (41%), arising with sufficient for a down cost (36%), and being outbid by others (34%).

In 2022, 90% of first-time dwelling patrons stated they discovered methods to save cash on charges concerned within the course of. About half (49%) reported doing their very own analysis, requested extra questions on charges (37%), and negotiated charges within the course of (36%).

Alongside the way in which, practically all (94%) first-time dwelling patrons say they’ve skilled just a few revelations. Whereas many see the itemizing value for a house and plan accordingly, surprising bills equivalent to closing prices or taxes (38%), dwelling repairs (34%), surprising repairs (34%), and the influence on month-to-month budgeting (32%) are a few of the largest surprises about dwelling possession. These types of surprising prices caught many single first-time patrons off guard (44%), in addition to these incomes lower than $50,000 a 12 months (44%).

the top surprises about buying a first home

Is it price it? First-timers say ‘Sure’

Right now’s first-time dwelling patrons really feel that the time and vitality invested of their house-hunting course of paid off. Shopping for your first dwelling will be time-consuming, so approaching it with the proper mindset may help you are feeling enthusiastic about it too. Keep in mind that shopping for a house is a romance. Have endurance and embrace every step of the method when you’re looking for “the one.” Your good dwelling might be proper across the subsequent nook. 

Are you looking out proper now? Obtain the Opendoor app to learn the way we may help you discover the house of your goals.


The Opendoor Survey was carried out by Wakefield Research amongst 1,000 nationally consultant U.S. first-time homebuyers, between September 20-October 2, 2022, utilizing an electronic mail invitation and an internet survey. “Homebuyers” are outlined as those that bought their first dwelling prior to now 12 months. Knowledge has been weighted. 

The outcomes of any pattern are topic to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the variety of interviews and the extent of the odds expressing the outcomes. For the interviews carried out on this explicit examine, the possibilities are 95 in 100 {that a} survey consequence doesn’t differ, plus or minus, by greater than 3.1 proportion factors from the consequence that will be obtained if interviews had been carried out with all individuals within the universe represented by the pattern.