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Half & Half: Couples Splitting Mortgage Downpayments

moneyClose to half of all home purchases were done with equally shared money, according to a new report by NerdWallet and Harris Poll.

The survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, released Tuesday, found that 41 percent of Americans who bought their current home with a partner said that each contributed equal amounts of money toward their downpayment. The average amount each partner saved up was average of $1,078.50 monthly over three years. Sixty percent of homeowners said that they weren’t sure how much money they individually saved on a monthly basis.

About 29 percent of adults in the Northeast said they contributed all or more of the down payment than their partners did, while only 17 percent of adults in the West contributed all or more than their partners.

Eleven percent of women said they had contributed all or more to the down payment than their partner, but more male homeowners needed to save before buying a home‒‒47 percent, compared with female homeowners 32 percent.

Forty-two percent of millennial homeowners saved individually on a monthly basis for a downpayment, compared to only 29 percent of Gen X homeowners. More than half (52 percent) of millennial homeowners needed to save money before purchasing their current home.

The study also found overall affordability was a major issue, and cited the 2016 State of the Nation’s Housing report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. That report found that after three straight years on the downslope, the total number of housing-cost-burdened households (renters and homeowners paying more than 30 percent of income for housing) rose to 40 million in 2014.

In addition, the National Association of Realtors’ May existing-home sales price report found that the median American house has reached a record high of $239,700.

“Homebuyers should work closely with their real estate agent to find properties that aren’t at the top of their budget to keep affordability in check,” said Chris Ling, head of homebuying and mortgages for NerdWallet. “Also, working on a consistent savings plan for a downpayment and closing costs, as well as addressing any outstanding credit issues, will increase homebuyers’ chances of qualifying for better mortgage rates.”

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.
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