Study: More veterans looking to buy homes

More veterans are on the market to buy a home than previously expected, according to a new study.  

A new report from Veterans United Home Loans shows that the COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly half of veterans to change their home-buying plans in 2020, but most veterans are optimistic about buying in 2021 and plan to purchase within the next five years.

Experts said veterans who have been on the fence are changing their minds faster because many are working from home now, and many are thinking more about stability for their families.  

"What really inspired me to purchase a home was living with my parents after I got out of the service … I have two kids," said Jason Gabbert, a U.S. Navy veteran who recently purchased a home in St. Paul  

"If you look at the grand scheme of homeownership across the country, veterans actually have a higher homeownership rate than the national population," said Chris Birk, Vice President of Veterans United Home Loans. "Veteran Affairs puts veteran homeownership rate at about 80 percent. Nationally across the board, it’s 64 percent."  

Birk added that when more veterans buy homes, it's beneficial for the economy.  

"I think the biggest single finding in this survey of veterans from across the country is just how much optimism there is to home buying in 2021 despite the pandemic," he said. "They are planting roots into the communities across the country, they’re having economic ripple effects that reverberate into every sector of the economy."