loanDepot survey finds Americans are looking for freedom from debt; see homes as investments

PR Newswire
FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.
Oct 21, 2013

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif., Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For decades, Americans viewed owning a home as the American dream and while homeownership is still important, a recent national survey by loanDepot.com, LLC (loanDepot), shows that more Americans are dreaming of being debt free.

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"For many, owning a home will always be the ultimate American dream," said Jim Svinth, Chief Economist for loanDepot. "But, consumers are more knowledgeable than ever about debt management, and understand the importance of financial freedom. And, ultimately, a homeowner who is free from other types of debt can own more of a home and make other wise investments."

loanDepot conducted a nationwide survey of American adults to evaluate opinions on various housing-related topics including how they would use equity from a home and what they consider to be the long-term investment potential of a home.

The American Dream: Survey says ...

While 34 percent consider being "debt free" to be the new American dream, owning a home and being more financially stable than their parents followed closely behind:

    --  25 percent selected owning a home
    --  25 percent selected being better off financially than their parents

Owning a home: An investment and opportunity

loanDepot's survey also asked consumers whether they expect home values would increase, decrease or stay the same in the next five years. More than half--62 percent--expect values to increase, with only 15 percent anticipating a decrease. With home values proven to be on the rise, opportunities to tap into a home's equity will also increase.

When asked how they would rate a home as a long-term investment, 67 percent of those surveyed consider it to be an excellent or good investment.

Finally, loanDepot asked how consumers would most likely use available home equity. Correlating back to the desire to attain financial freedom, more than half of the respondents say they would use it toward other finances and savings by paying down debt (34 percent), followed by putting it toward retirement (27 percent).

While this survey of U.S. consumers highlights that financial freedom is a priority, it also demonstrates that owning a home is still very important and provides opportunities--as shown by respondents who believe home values will increase and, in turn, allow them to tap into equity, pay down other debt or put toward future goals.

About the survey

loanDepot commissioned the Opinion Research Corporation to conduct an online survey. Results were tabulated from 1,017 adults, 18 years of age and older. Interviewing was completed during the period of Sept. 19 to 22, 2013.

About loanDepot.com

loanDepot.com, LLC (loanDepot), is the third largest private, independent retail mortgage lender in the U.S. and provides residential loans. loanDepot's current business channels include direct lending, affinity, branch retail and servicing, as well as a distributed branch purchase platform. loanDepot currently has more than 2,200 employees and more than 700 licensed loan officers serving all 50 states and is an approved seller and servicer for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. loanDepot.com, LLC, NMLS # 174457. Learn more at www.loanDepot.com.

CONTACTS:

Teri Felix
949-380-3224
pr@loandepot.com

Beth Oates
949-470-6360
pr@loandepot.com

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Image with caption: "The American Dream: For decades, Americans viewed owning a home as the American dream and while homeownership is still important, a recent national survey by loanDepot.com, LLC (loanDepot), shows that more Americans are dreaming of being debt free." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131021/MM00684-INFO-a

Image with caption: "loanDepot logo." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131021/MM00684LOGO-b

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SOURCE: loanDepot.com, LLC