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First-Time Homebuyer VS. Repeat Homebuyer Fears

Navi Persaud
Oct 29, 2021
Black and white photo of a woman looking nervous and scared.

Both first-time and repeat homebuyers have their fair share of fears as they navigate the process, however, these fears aren't alike.

  • 40.4% of first-time homebuyers in the study are afraid there might be better options out there than the homes they are looking at.
  • 36.8% of first-time homebuyers are afraid of not being able to afford their mortgage.
  • 41.6% of repeat homebuyers are afraid of rising home prices.
  • 41.6% of repeat homebuyers are afraid that inventory will continue to decline.

A recent study from Ojo Labs took a look at the different fears that first-time and repeat homebuyers have. Both sides are afraid of the homebuying process, though the fears they ranked the highest and ones that affect the process differ, according to Patrick Kearns, director of storytelling for Ojo Labs.

“A survey of 200 homebuyers conducted between July 2020 and July 2021 found that, on average, buyers reported a fear level of 51.2 on a scale from 0-100,” according to the report. “First-time buyers skewed slightly higher on that same scale, reporting a fear level of 52.9, while repeat buyers reported a fear level of 50.7.”

First-time homebuyers have more financial-related fears than their repeating counterparts. They mostly feared not being able to afford a mortgage and taking a look at their own finances, according to the report. 

“Despite financial-related fears dominating the top five, it was actually the fear that there are better options out there that was the top-rated fear for first-time homebuyers,” according to Kearns. 

Meanwhile, the top fears for repeat homebuyers fall under continuously rising home prices and an inventory shortage that is continuing to trouble the housing industry and driving up competition among buyers who are desperate to find a home. 

“Repeat buyers let their top fears have a bigger impact on their timelines, however, with a fear of rising home prices delaying their timeline by an average 11.1 days,” said Kearns in his report. “A fear that inventory would continue to decline delayed timelines, while a fear that there would be better options out there delayed timelines by 28.5 days, nearly a month—a stark contrast from first-time homebuyers.”

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