According to the recently released?BMO Harris Bank?Home Buying Report, 52 percent of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would?average a 21 percent down payment. The report also had other interesting revelations.

Those?Looking To Buy

  • 74 percent of those looking to buy a new home will consult a real estate agent
  • 59 percent said they will visit online real estate websites
  • 37 percent will seek recommendations from friends and family
  • 78 percent plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home

Those Who Already Own

  • 75 percent of current home owners set a budget before looking for a home. 16 percent ended up spending less while 13 percent went over their budget.
  • 63 percent of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
  • 8 percent bought their home without participating in an active real estate search ? or even any plan to buy at all ? because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: Of those that purchased a home, 8 percent bought ?without any plan to buy at all.? A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why Are More People Not?Planning?Their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? A?recent article?by?Fannie Mae?may give us that answer, there is evidence that a large numbers of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains:

?Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from?applying for mortgages, selling their homes and buying different homes.?

Bottom Line

Perhaps it’s time to sit down with The Olear Team to determine the actual equity you have in your house and take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move up, move down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.