About half of 18-to-34-year-olds said affording a down payment was the single greatest financial barrier to homeownership, according to the Urban Institute and Country Financial. (Despite most Americans' belief that you must put 20 percent or more down, 71 percent of current homeowners made down payments of 20 percent or less, according to Census data.)
"Purchasing a home is much more than paying for a place to live; it's a major investment of both time and money," said Doyle Williams, Country Financial executive vice president. "Once you've done that, there's a benefit to being a homeowner: You are building equity with every mortgage payment."
If given $25,000 tomorrow, more millennials — about 26 percent — said they would rather put this newfound money toward a down payment for a new home than use it to pay off their credit card debts (17 percent) or student loans (16 percent), Country Financial said.
By contrast, Americans ages 35 to 49 would rather pay off their credit card debt (33 percent) or invest the funds (20 percent).
Country Financial surveyed over 1,000 adults in February for its Financial Security Index.
More from Personal Finance:
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Here's why millions of millennials are not homeowners
Why buying a home can be almost impossible with massive student loan debt
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