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Top Compromises Buyers Will Make to Reach Homeownership

The steep rise in mortgage rates and the significant surge in home prices post-COVID-19 have driven housing affordability to its lowest point in over ten years. In light of this situation, a recent study conducted by the NAHB on housing preferences surveyed prospective homebuyers regarding the particular compromises they would consider to attain homeownership.

According to Eye on Housing, for 39% of buyers, accepting a smaller lot is the path to affording a home. This finding highlights the paramount importance of reforming zoning laws that mandate lot sizes, as nearly 4 out of 10 buyers would be willing to give up land in exchange for owning a home. For 36% of buyers, accepting fewer exterior amenities is the way to homeownership—they will simply add that deck or patio at some point in the future. Another 36% were willing to move farther from the urban core and 35% will accept a smaller house if that’s what it takes to buy it.

But what areas of the home, specifically, should shrink to reduce the overall footprint of the home? Most buyers who will take the smaller house compromise sent builders and architects a clear message: shrink the home office (53%) and the dining room (52%) to save on square footage. Also, loud and clear in the message: leave the kitchen (only 21% would want that smaller) and closet space (22%) alone.

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