Although only one in eight North Texas homeowners is interested in selling their house and buying another one right now, 83% of renters are interested in buying a home over the next five years, according to an online survey conducted by the $753 million Texas Trust Credit Union.
The unscientific Web survey was filled out by 1,719 people, 86% of whom belong to the 53,300-member Texas Trust.
The Mansfield credit union conducted its first online survey of homeowners and renters in mid-August to measure attitudes about home ownership in the North Texas area, which primarily includes five counties between Dallas and Forth Worth.
Among the 83% of renters who say they are interested in buying a house, three out of four indicate their main motivations are financial, not emotional. For example, 34% see home ownership as a better investment than renting, and 28% see it as an investment in their family’s financial future. Seven percent want to build equity and another 7% are motivated by the home interest tax deduction.
In contrast, only 22% are motivated by the emotional attractions of the personal pride of home ownership or having something to pass along to their children when they retire.
Among the current homeowners surveyed who are interested in buying another house at this time, financial motivations also dominated. Among this group, 50% are attracted by current low interest rates, while 18% relish the idea of getting a bigger house for less money and 16% simply see another house as a good investment at this time.
"What motivated most people to buy houses in the past isn't necessarily the same as what motivates them today," said Richard Whitman, vice president of mortgage lending at Texas Trust. "According to our survey, Dallas-Fort Worth area residents no longer see home ownership as the American dream. Instead, they're coming to see it more as a financial investment designed to grow their net worth."
The survey also found that both renters and homeowners expressed a strong desire for a personal relationship with the financial institution holding their mortgage.
That desire was particularly important to renters, with 88% of them considering the relationship very important or at least somewhat important. Overall, across all groups, this relationship was very important or somewhat important to 82% of all respondents, the survey found.