This page is optimized for a taller screen. Please rotate your device or increase the size of your browser window.

Mortgage Journeys: A Video Ethnography of the Homebuying and Mortgage Process

Anna Jefferson, Hannah Thomas


December 10, 2019

This paper presents Abt’s longitudinal video and interview data on how low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers access information, and how that information shapes their mortgage shopping. The study finds participants took steps that differed from best practices, especially during the stressful purchase phase, when mortgage shopping could have the biggest benefits. The findings illuminate the need to improve access to—and the ability to act on—mortgage information at all stages of the homebuying process. This paper was presented at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies at the Symposium on Housing Tenure and Financial Stability, co-sponsored by Fannie Mae.