Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Money News

Would You Give Up the Right to Vote to Own Your Own Home?

May 24, 2018

  • Nearly a quarter of would-be homeowners would trade their right to vote for help on a down payment
  • People would also sacrifice: vacations and dinners out
  • Millennials are somewhat more desperate than other demographics to own homes
2 min read

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably willing to sacrifice a lot to buy your first home.

For most people, that probably means years of scrimping and saving for a downpayment, to make the jump from renting, or living at home with parents, to finally having a place of their own.

But nearly a quarter of first-time home buyers said they’d give up something much bigger if they could get help with their downpayment: the right to vote.

You heard that right. That’s according to equity investment company Unison Home Ownership Investors, which polled 1,000 potential homeowners in April, asking them what they’d sacrifice if someone gave them half the standard 20% down payment.

A big financial decision

Certainly, a home purchase is probably the biggest financial decision most people will ever make. And with home values seemingly zooming ever skyward, buyers will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, on average, and spend years paying off their mortgages. Purchasing a home requires aggressive saving to come up with money for a down payment.

The median cost of a home for sale nationwide is $268,500 according to real estate listings site Zillow, and there’s a growing affordable housing crisis caused by a lack of new building, according to this report by CityLab.

Other things people would sacrifice

While giving up the right to elect the next president is pretty extreme, here’s what else people would sacrifice for help on that 20% down:

Forgo their dream car
Give up going on vaca for next 5 years
Give up eating out for next 5 years
Give up their driver's license

The survey took a dive into differences by age and gender too.

More millennials would sacrifice right to vote

It turns out millennials may be more desperate than other age groups. Twenty-six percent of this demographic said they’d give away their right to vote for help purchasing a home, compared to 20% of GenXers and 7% of Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomer

Women, on the other hand, are less likely to give up their right to vote, with 21% saying they’d give it up for that downpayment, compared to 24% of men.


So what are the biggest barriers to homeownership? Money. Other reasons include low credit scores, cited by 37% of respondents, as well as high rental costs that prevent them from saving, flagged by more than a quarter of the survey sample. Nearly 40% said debt from student loans, credit cards, and auto loans hindered them.

Two-thirds of people who plan to buy in the next two years said they had less than $7,000 saved to take the dive.

Homeownership is hot

And here’s something else to think about, for single people who already own their own homes: Nearly 60% of respondents said they would be more likely to marry someone who already owned their own house.

No need to sacrifice your right to vote! You can start saving for your down payment today.

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5

Get the App

By Jeremy Quittner
Jeremy Quittner is the senior writer for Stash.

Next for you
No Retirement Savings? You’re Not Alone. Here’s How You Can Fix It.

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Technology love and money politics social media pop culture

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit