Advice for Millennial Home Buyers
Millennials, Generations X and Y don’t necessarily want to be tied down by roots, as previous generations of homeowners did. They want the flexibility to travel or to take a new job, whether it’s in Chicago, Los Angeles, or Dubai. Even so,
there are still many people in their 20s and 30s who want to be homeowners. Here’s five pieces of advice for millennial home buyers.
1. Don’t assume you can’t afford to buy. So many people come out of college with student debt and little savings. Even after a few years in the workforce, they assume they don’t have the 20 percent down payment or don’t have the income to afford a home. But around the country, mortgage brokers, bankers and direct lenders are lending more than ever. Loan options such as those from the FHA (Federal Housing Authority) enable qualifying first-time buyers to purchase with as little as 5 percent down.
2. Don’t go it alone. With today’s easy access to online listings, some people think you don’t need a real estate agent. But agents know the market like no one else. They’ve been inside hundreds of homes, have relationships with many other agents and have done many deals. They know exactly what to do when a red flag arises. Also, home purchases are both personal and emotional, and having an objective agent by your side can help you keep everything in balance.
3. Ask your parents for advice. Your parents probably bought real estate under different market conditions. But they’ve got prior experience, which may be helpful to you today.
3. Take your time. Even though the flow of information is fast today, a home purchase takes lots of time, research and due diligence. It should never be rushed, ever. Don’t feel pressured by a “hot” market or competitive bidders. Slowly learn the market, do your research online and go to some open houses. Over time, you’ll get more comfortable with the market, and with luck, you’ll get pre-approved for a loan and hooked up with a good, local real estate agent. You may make an offer or two or three or four before you find the best home at the best price. Let the process work itself out over time. You’ll avoid buyer’s remorse.