Discover Home Loans Poll: Buyers Believe a Home is a Good Investment but Many Are Unprepared for Mortgage Process

Potential Homebuyers Have Not Used All Available Resources or Determined Key Costs


Discover Home Loans July 2014 Poll Results

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--()--Homebuying season is in full-swing and a recent independent poll commissioned by Discover Home Loans shows that 94 percent of prospective buyers believe they are making a good investment by purchasing a home. Although 87 percent are confident they will find an affordable home loan, the poll shows many have not done the math to determine their costs. In fact, 63 percent find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of mortgage information available.

Financial Readiness

A large majority of buyers surveyed are confident in their ability to secure an affordable loan and obtain the type of property they want.

  • More than three-fourths of buyers, 83 percent, have been pre-qualified for a home loan.
  • Sixty percent of respondents began their home search after at least one of the following took place, including:
    • Having achieved sufficient financial stability, 22 percent
    • The market becoming more affordable, 20 percent
    • Improved credit scores to qualify for better mortgages, 20 percent
    • Mortgage rates and lending options becoming more affordable, 18 percent
    • Having saved enough for a down payment, 17 percent

Unsure of the Cost

Despite feeling financially prepared when entering the process, many homebuyers don’t know what purchasing a home will actually cost them.

  • Although 87 percent know what type of property they can afford, only 52 percent have actually determined what their projected monthly payment may be.
  • Forty-one percent have yet to calculate their down payment.
  • Nearly half, 48 percent, don’t know how much their mortgage payment would be if they chose a more or less expensive property.

Inundated with Information

In general, the majority of those looking to purchase a home find information about the financing process overwhelming.

  • Nearly two-thirds feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available on home financing.
    • This is especially true for those under age 30, of which 76 percent reported feeling overwhelmed.
    • Seventy-six percent of first-time buyers reported feeling overwhelmed, versus 54 percent of those who have previously owned.

“The industry is becoming more transparent in an effort to help homebuyers become informed about changes that may affect their process,” said Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans. “The sheer amount of information can lead to confusion and stress. Those looking to purchase should work closely with their lender and realtor to make sure they are comfortable with mortgage terms and understand the impact a loan will have on their finances.”

Key Resources

Prospective homebuyers turn to a variety of different resources to help them make key decisions and understand the process. For example, for help determining whether buying a particular home would be a good investment, prospective buyers turn to real estate agents most often, 66 percent, then to family and friends, 56 percent. However, when evaluating mortgage terms and comparing offers, they turn to mortgage bankers most often, 59 percent, then to real estate agents, 49 percent.

The national survey of 1,037 prospective homebuyers was commissioned by Discover Home Loans and conducted by Versta Research, an independent survey research firm (, March 24 to April 4, 2014. Assuming no sample bias, the maximum margin of sampling error was +/-3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit


Susan J. Diaz de Leon

Release Summary

Discover Home Loans Poll: Buyers Believe a Home is a Good Investment but Many Are Unprepared for Mortgage Process - Potential Homebuyers Have Not Used All Available Resources or Determined Key Costs


Susan J. Diaz de Leon