People are willing to give up plenty for a free dream home

A willingness to survive on fast food alone was no surprise to Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage in Pontiac, Michigan, who said he’d gladly do that.

But sharply curtailing communication with friends and family was unexpected. “You wouldn’t be able to show off that dream home,” Ishbia said.

All kidding aside, buying a home requires research and a firm grip on your finances. Two-thirds of Americans expect home prices to rise in their area, according to a Gallup poll.

Two factors — a dip in housing supply and the increasing number of people carrying student debt — could make home-buying even more difficult.

The median home price in the U.S. is now $217,300, and rising interest rates — combined with the economy and inflation — will have some impact on fixed mortgage rates as well.

Chances are, most people have some vision of what a dream home would look like. Taking the steps to make that a reality can be another story.

Lack of certainty is the biggest emotional roadblock to buying a house. “You fear what you don’t know,” Ishbia said.

People often make guesses about what they need to qualify for a mortgage, and statements that begin with “I heard … may be tip-offs to their lack of knowledge,” he said.

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