Survey: Two out of five recent homebuyers struggling to make payments

Financial regrets, compromises among big takeaways from Clever Real Estate study

According to a new survey from Clever Real Estate, 43% of new homeowners have struggled to make their mortgage payments on time.

Prevalent financial concerns are among several takeaways from the latest edition of the company’s American Home Buyer Report, derived from a survey of nearly 1,000 people who recently purchased a home or plan to do so within the next year. Of the buyers who purchased in 2023 and 2024, 82% had at least one regret about their purchase — with spending too much among the most common reasons for remorse.

Twenty-four percent of recent homebuyers said they spent too much, equal to the share who indicated that their interest rate was too high. The most common regret was buying a home that needs too much maintenance, a complaint for 28% of recent homebuyers. Notably, 35% of recent buyers said that the seller was not upfront about how much maintenance the property would require. Also prominent among recent homebuyer regrets was that their newly purchased home doesn’t meet all of their needs, as indicated by 24% of respondents to Clever’s survey.

Forty-eight percent of buyers indicated that buying an affordable home was a priority, but three out of four buyers who said so had to compromise on that priority to buy a home.

Financial regrets and compromises have led to stress among recent buyers. Thirty-eight percent of people who bought homes in 2023 and 2024 admit they overpaid for their home. Almost half (47%) of people who bought homes during that timeframe say they feel “in over their heads financially” since making their purchase. Forty-four percent have taken on extra debt to maintain their lifestyle. And three out of five recent homebuyers say that their finances have not improved since purchasing a home.

Clever has been active lately in taking consumer sentiment regarding a variety of housing market issues. A recent separate survey from the fintech company found that a staggering 94% of home sellers support a new commission structure agreed to by the National Association of Realtors that would require homebuyers to pay their own agent’s commission. That share, unsurprisingly, falls to 61% among buyers, 50% of whom said they would consider completely forgoing the use of a real estate agent entirely.

If they did have to pay their agent, homebuyers in Clever’s survey said that they would lower their homebuying budget by an average of $13,167.


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