The Millenial's Guide to Buying a Home
The Millennial’s Guide to Buying a Home
What you should know if you’re thinking about taking the leap.
Homeownership is down 8-9% among millennials compared to Boomers and Gen X’ers in their 20s and 30s. And with student loans, rising home prices, and the general tornado that has crashed its way through 2020, the thought of buying a home for most millennials can feel about as attainable as climbing Mt. Everest in flip flops.
But studies have shown that it’s worth the effort - people who own their homes build wealth faster, have a more secure nest egg, and are overall happier than those under the thumb of a landlord. And it’s not as out of reach as you might think, especially when you’re taking steps to stay ahead of the curve. If you’re ready to start building your own future instead of your landlord’s, here’s what you can do to get started today:
Create a vision board
Get extremely clear on what’s important to you in a house. Want a cozy house in the woods with a private hot tub? A soundproofed music studio in the basement? A huge kitchen with an island and a mini bar? A backyard garden with a hammock and a reading nook?
Have fun with this part! The world is your oyster. Create a vision board and hang it somewhere you will see it often. Revisit your vision board at least once a month to see if it still aligns with your goals and adjust anything that doesn’t align with your dream life. This is your chance to manifest something amazing, so let yourself dream big!
Start looking at homes you like and learn the market
Once you’ve created your vision for your dream home, it’s time to see what the market looks like in your area. Make it a habit to get on a website like Zillow every week and see what homes look like in the area you want to live. Look for how the prices fluctuate, how quickly homes sell, and what prices they are selling at. It’s a good idea to subscribe to a weekly email list, download an app, or save a search so you can stay informed.
Even if you’re not ready to buy just yet, start watching the market, learning to speak the language, and saving homes you like. That way when you decide you’re ready to jump on your dream home, you’ll slash the learning curve, know the lingo, and navigate your first purchase with confidence and ease.
Define your down payment and save every month
So you’ve decided you’d rather have your monthly check go towards building home equity than lining the pockets of your landlord, but saving up that down payment is getting in your way of making the move? You’re not alone.
Saving for a down payment is one of the biggest impediments to first-time home buyers. But it doesn’t have to be out of reach.
Once you’re familiar with the market and the price range you’re looking at, calculate what you’ll need to save up for a down payment. Write that number on your vision board where you’ll see it regularly. Then, open a separate savings or investment account and start saving a little bit every month. Challenge yourself and make it like a game where you’re constantly trying to complete the next level. Even if you have a rough month and can only put in $25, make it a habit to save something towards your goal, and celebrate yourself as you start to see the balance on that account going up over time.
Build a relationship with a real estate agent
If you’re interested in buying a home in the next couple years, one of the best moves you can make is to build a long-term relationship with a real estate agent you trust. A real estate agent can help you navigate the real estate market and save you tens of thousands of dollars on your home purchase. And since buying a home is one of the most important personal decisions you will make in your life, you’ll feel better when you’re working with someone who knows you well.
A trusted real estate agent has access to listings that aren’t shared with the public, and they can send you homes you might like to get a better idea of what you are looking for. Plus, your real estate agent probably knows a mortgage lender and can help you get a solid discount on your first mortgage and reduce your down payment. You’ll be way better off in your purchase if you’ve spent some time building a relationship with your real estate agent before it’s time to sign the paperwork.
A good real estate agent will want to get to know you, will never pressure you, and will be excited to hear about your goals and freely share information that might be helpful for you. So send the scary email, pick up the phone, hop on a zoom call, or grab a coffee with an agent you know. At worst? You learn something. At best? You walk away with a more secure future, a mortgage that’s cheaper than your rent, and maybe even the home you’ve been dreaming of.
If you’re hoping to buy a home in the next few years but don’t know where to get started, send me an email. I can talk through the process with you and help you navigate through anything that feels uncomfortable or out of reach. There are no strings attached and I will never pressure you.
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