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Crime, commutes, and community: Here are the top concerns for homebuyers

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Homebuyer priorities

Affordability is the No. 1 priority for today’s homebuyers, but that’s not all they want in a house. According to a new analysis, Americans are also concerned with crime rates, commute times, and overall community well-being when deciding where to buy a home.

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What homebuyers care about most

According to a new study from insurance resource Clovered, affordability is the top concern for homebuyers, with 60 percent saying it’s their No. 1 influencing factor.  

Local crime rates and commute times are also big concerns, as is community well-being, employment opportunities, and proximity to family and friends.

As Clovered’s Sean McCahill explains, “Commute times were another hot-button topic among our respondents, with roughly 40 percent listing their daily to-and-fro as a major factor in deciding on a location. And they may be onto something: A recent study found that each extra minute spent in the car or on the train contributes to reducing job and leisure time satisfaction.”

What’s not important? Nightlife, local arts and entertainment options, political culture, and HOA fees are all low on the list. Proximity to the ocean was the least important factor overall, with just 5 percent of homebuyers citing it as a concern.

Out of the top 50 metro areas, Clovered determined that El Paso, Texas and Portland, Oregon align most with homebuyer priorities. Raleigh, North Carolina came in at No. 3.

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Homebuyers’ priorities by generation

The priorities varied across generations. For Millennials, employment opportunities were more important than for Generation X or Baby Boomer buyers.

Generation X ranked the quality of local education higher than other generations, while Boomers said proximity to family and friends, home values, and local tax rates are prime concerns. 

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Taxes were least concerning to Millennials. Only 27 percent said they’re an influencing factor when buying a home.

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