If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is the new norm. Our dining room tables have been doubling as desks and our internet usage has gone into overdrive, significantly impacting what home means to us and forcing us to focus on what features are most important.
Looking ahead, we’re confident homebuying will remain top of mind, particularly as so many reassess what they require in a home. Now is a perfect time for reflection and planning, and there are some great resources to help your clients get primed for house hunting.
From in our dreams to real life
Homeownership has long been considered part of the “American dream,” so it’s not surprising that the Bank of America 2020 Homebuyer Insights showed that 89% of buyers are motivated to purchase their first home. However, many self-select out of investigating homeownership simply because they don’t think they can afford it. That’s unfortunate—and unnecessary—when there are many ways to get help with the upfront costs of homeownership.
“Someday” homebuyers realize the path to homeownership can be long, but we can help them take the first steps. Whether it’s building their credit or putting away small amounts over time to save for a down payment, it all builds towards being able to own a home one day. Future homebuyers can also prepare themselves with educational content like the First-Time Homebuyer Online Edu-Series, which covers preparing finances, applying for a mortgage, and making an offer.
Affordable homeownership isn’t old school anymore
Down payment and closing cost assistance programs aren’t new, but consider what buyers could do with a down payment as low as three percent AND grants that, when combined, could provide eligible borrowers with up to $17,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance.
For down payment, eligible homebuyers can get a grant of 3% of the home purchase price up to $10,000, whichever is less, and no repayment is required. It adds up to even bigger savings when combined with our America’s Home Grant through which borrowers could be eligible for a credit of up to $7,500 to help with non-recurring closing costs or to buy down their interest rate. To find grant-eligible properties, buyers can search property listings across the country, all connected to the listing agent.
Tech when they want it and personal expertise when they need it
Not surprisingly, a preference for digital options has been on the rise for years, and these tools have proven particularly invaluable recently. Many prospective homebuyers are actively looking at real estate listings (49%), touring homes virtually (29%), and researching financial advice online (24%).
Buyers are also gravitating towards simple, interactive loan application experiences, like the Digital Mortgage Experience from Bank of America, which seamlessly guides applicants through the process, significantly reducing time and effort. Through the experience, existing bank clients’ information is pre-filled, documents can be uploaded easily, and applicants can get real-time status on their application, all drivers for great client satisfaction. On top of that, digital preapproval applicants’ grant eligibility is considered automatically, so they can house hunt already knowing how much assistance they’ll receive.
We know… there’s more to do
A lot has changed in the past year, but people’s desire to own a home remains strong. Helping clients achieve homeownership is no small feat, but these tools and resources are a great start to helping them fulfill their dream, build their family legacy, and lead to long-term wealth over time.
Bank of America helps clients build pathways to credit and meets a broad range of financing needs, including mortgages for home purchase or refinance and home equity lines of credit. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender © 2020 Bank of America Corporation. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.