Date of Award:

7-2-2012

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lucy M Delgadillo

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to identify, from the perception of realtors, how prepared first-time homebuyers (FTHBs) are when purchasing a home and to discover what kind of issues and problems arose during the home-buying process. This study also identified common factors used by realtors to identify: how FTHBs are prepared, usefulness of FTHB workshops, FTHBs' mortgage knowledge, and recommendations to better prepare FTHBs. The goal was twofold: identify areas in the home-buying process where FTHBs are less prepared and provide information to financial educators and real estate agents to help fill the gap in FTHB preparedness. This study covered three main areas of buying a home: pre-purchase preparedness, mortgage finance, and the closing process. Data for this study were collected using an online survey emailed to realtors in the Cache Rich Association of Realtors (CRAR) in Northern Utah. A total of 66 realtors responded to the survey. Descriptive statistics, matched pair t tests, correlations, and simple regression analyses were used. Overall, realtors find their FTHB clients to be less than somewhat prepared. This is evident when the mean percentage of FTHBs that realtors stated were well-prepared for homeownership was only 44.4%. According to realtors' perceptions, many FTHBs did not have their personal finances in order and poorly understood the cost of obtaining a mortgage and its process. The analysis of the data collected from realtors' responses also identified the most frequent problem or issue that arose during the home-buying process was obtaining a mortgage. When asked if FTHB workshops are useful, 60% of realtors perceived them to be more than somewhat useful. Reasons for their usefulness included being educational, beneficial, and preparing FTHBs for buying a home. Results also indicated that the level of mortgage knowledge and knowledge about housing sustainability directly related to the level of pre-purchase preparedness of FTHBs as perceived by realtors. When pre-purchase preparedness levels were low, mortgage knowledge and knowledge about housing sustainability levels were also perceived to be low. In the end, realtors offered their suggestions on how to better prepare FTHBs for homeownership and their answer to this question was to have FTHBs work with a qualified realtor and network of professionals. The second most frequent response was to educate FTHBs on affordability and housing sustainability.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on July 31, 2012.

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