In a January 2022 firsttuesday poll, we asked readers to voice what factor they believe most persuades first-time buyers to make the leap into ownership.

The results were mixed.

According to our recent poll:

  • 51% said investment purposes;
  • 38% said to reduce housing costs;
  • 11% said social pressure; and
  • 0% said pride of ownership.

This is starkly different from the responses received on a similar poll in 2021, which revealed:

  • 43% said pride of ownership;
  • 34% said investment purposes;
  • 15% said to save money; and
  • 9% said there was another reason first-time buyers were motivated to buy.

The answers premised on a buyer’s pride of ownership changed drastically, while investment purposes remained a key player in both. Investment purposes remain a prevalent and static motivating factor, indicating buyers see their homes as something beyond just shelter.

But why has this illusive “pride of ownership” plummeted so precipitously? Has the American Dream lost its luster?

California has always been less susceptible to the mythic sway of the American Dream, as homeownership rates have been consistently lower than national homeownership levels.

However, first-time buyers are out there in the form of present day tenants, and smart agents will find those who would like to become homeowners.

Seasoned agents are aware that first-time homebuyers have different needs than buyers who have previously owned a home, and it will likely take more time, talent, and energy to close a transaction involving a first-time homebuyer. However, once this challenge is accepted, agents will form a strategy for attracting first-time buyers and completing transactions – converting an uncertain homebuyer into a satisfied homeowner.

Related reading:

Career Coach: first-time homebuyer considerations