On average, American consumers only spend five hours researching their home loan options, despite the fact that such transactions are arguably the largest in most borrower’s lives.
That compares to two hours for a television, four hours for a computer, and 10 hours for a car, according to a new survey from Zillow, which offers mortgage rate shopping via its Mortgage Marketplace platform.
The average cost of a mortgage is $145,920, so if just five hours of research are put in, each hour is worth $29,184.
Those surveyed actually spent the same amount of time planning a week-long vacation, which has an average cost of $1,708, or $341 per hour.
At least those surveyed spent more time searching for a house, though at 40 hours, it’s still pretty light relative to other seemingly everyday purchases.
Despite the ongoing mortgage crisis, borrowers are spending no more time researching home loans than they did two years ago.
And borrowers are actually gathering fewer mortgage rate quotes, with the average number down to three versus four in 2008.
It doesn’t hurt to get estimates from both mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers.
“The last few years should have driven home the lesson that understanding one’s home loan is critically important, but mortgages continue to be something that most people don’t want to spend time thinking about,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries, in a statement.
“Not understanding a home loan can have catastrophic consequences.”
For example, a half percentage point in loan rate could save a borrower with a $400,000 mortgage more than $44,000 (how to buy down your mortgage rate).