The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a report on the mortgage purchasing practices of American consumers. The report is based on the results of the National Survey of Mortgage Borrowers, which was conducted jointly by the CFPB and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
It is no surprise that homebuyers' main priorities are the physical details of the house they are looking for, such as location, size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. However, the survey shows that consumers often focus on those aspects to the detriment of important financial considerations. Three out of four buyers only apply for a mortgage loan with one lender, and nearly half don't shop around for other options at all.
A majority of mortgage applicants said that their main source of information for financial details was the lenders themselves. Prior to taking out a loan, consumers should be aware of their credit scores and of different mortgage types, and be willing to explore a few alternatives.
"Consumers spend considerable time looking at different neighborhoods and at different homes for sale," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a statement. "The same should be true when choosing among possible mortgage loans. You are literally betting the house on the choices you are making, and it can be highly beneficial to shop around."
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