If you’re a young adult, you may be thinking about your goals and priorities for the months and years ahead. And if homeownership ranks high on your goal sheet, you’re in good company. Many of your peers are also pursuing their dream of owning a home. The 2022 Millennial & Gen Z Borrower Sentiment Report from Maxwell says:
“Many young adults have demonstrated their resolve to embark on the journey toward homeownership soon. More than half of millennials and Gen Zs plan to apply for a mortgage sometime within the next year.”
Let’s take a look at why homeownership makes the top of so many young buyers’ to-do list and what you need to consider to achieve your goals if you’re one of them.
Top Motivators To Buy a Home
Before you start the homebuying process, it’s helpful to know why homeownership is so important to you. The survey mentioned above sheds light on some of the top reasons why younger generations are looking to buy a home. It finds:
- 95% believe the cost of renting is too high
- 35% think owing a home is an important wealth building tool
- 16% seek the sense of security owning a home provides
- 37% plan to use it as an investment property
No matter which of these resonates the most with you, know there are many financial and non-financial reasons why you may want to buy a home. While your top motivator may be different than that of your friends, they’re all equally valid and worthwhile.
Key Obstacles and How To Overcome Them
Whether your homeownership goals come from the heart or are driven by financial aspirations (or both), it can still be hard to know where to start when you’re looking to buy a home. From understanding the homebuying process, to getting pre-approved, and exploring down payment options, it’s a lot to wrap your head around.
The same Maxwell survey also reveals key challenges for potential buyers. Thankfully, the knowledge and guidance of a trusted real estate professional can help you overcome both. Here’s a look at two of the hurdles potential homebuyers say they face:
1. The Mortgage Process Can Be Intimidating
In the Maxwell study, 33.37% said one of their obstacles was that the mortgage process is confusing or difficult to understand.
“There is a general lack of knowledge about home financing. Mortgages are a complicated topic with no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s difficult to understand the space, let alone determine what the right course of action is based on your unique financial picture.”
While you may be tempted to do a quick search online to find instant answers to your questions, it may not get you the information you need to understand the full picture. Especially when it comes to financial advice, you want to lean on a true expert. Having trusted professionals on your side can help you to learn what it takes to achieve your dream of homeownership. Not to mention, an expert can give you advice specific to your situation, not generic advice like you’ll find online.
2. It’s Hard To Know How Much You Need To Save
In the Maxwell study, 45.75% believe they don’t have enough saved to cover their down payment or closing cost expenses.
What you may not realize is that, today, there’s a growing number of down payment assistance programs available nationwide to help relieve this pressure. A report from Down Payment Resource says:
“Our Q3 2022 HPI report revealed a 1.6% uptick in the number of homebuyer assistance programs available to help people finance homes, raising the number of programs to 2,309, a net increase of 36 over the previous quarter.”
Additionally, as the housing market cools, buyers are regaining some negotiation power and more sellers are willing to work with buyers to help with closing costs. Understanding what’s out there and the options available may help you achieve your dream of homeownership faster than you thought possible.
If you’re serious about becoming a homeowner, know it may be more in reach than you think. Lean on trusted professionals to help you overcome challenges and prioritize your next steps.
- If you’re trying to buy your first home in today’s housing market, you’ll want to know what you can do as mortgage rates rise and inventory stays low overall.
- Connect with a lender to get pre-approved, prioritize your wish list, consider condos, and expand your search radius.
- Your first home is out there. Let’s connect to explore your options and what other first-time buyers are doing to find their homes.
As you set out to buy a home, saving for a down payment is likely top of mind. But you may still have questions about the process, including how much to save and where to start.
If that sounds like you, your down payment could be more in reach than you originally thought. Here’s why.
The 20% Down Payment Myth
If you believe you have to put 20% down on a home, you may have based your goal on a common misconception. Freddie Mac explains:
“. . . nearly a third of prospective homebuyers think they need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home. This myth remains one of the largest perceived barriers to achieving homeownership.”
Unless it’s specified by your loan type or lender, it’s typically not required to put 20% down. According to the latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. There are even loan types, like FHA loans, with down payments as low as 3.5%, as well as options like VA loans and USDA loans with no down payment requirements for qualified applicants.
This is good news for you because it means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize. For more information, turn to a trusted lender.
Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Be a Game Changer
A professional will be able to show you other options that could help you get closer to your down payment goal. According to latest Homeownership Program Index from downpaymentresource.com, there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., and the majority are intended to help with down payments.
A recent article explains why programs like these are helpful:
“These resources can immediately build your home buying power and help you take action sooner than you thought possible.”
“It is a common misconception that homebuyer assistance is only available to first-time homebuyers, however, 38% of homebuyer assistance programs in Q1 2022 did not have a first-time homebuyer requirement.”
There are also location and profession-based programs you could qualify for as well.
Saving for your down payment is an important first step on your homebuying journey. Let’s connect today and make sure you have a trusted lender to help explore your options.
The historically low inventory over the past few years led to challenges for many buyers trying to find a home that met their needs and their budget. If you’re in the same boat, you should know the recent shift in the housing market may have opened up doors for you to restart your search.
“. . . today’s shoppers have more than 5 homes to consider for every 4 they had at this time a year ago.”
But perspective is important. Overall, housing supply is still low. If you need even more choices, expanding your search by adding additional housing types, like condominiums, could help.
Exploring Condos Could Add Options That Fit Your Budget
One thing to consider is condos generally differ from single-family homes in average space and floorplans. But that size difference is one reason why condos can be a more affordable option. According to a recent report from realtor.com, condo buyers paid roughly 7% less for their home than buyers of other housing types last year. With rising mortgage rates and home prices, the relative affordability of a condo could be worth considering.
Remember, your first home doesn’t have to be your forever home. The important thing is to get your foot in the door as a homeowner. Buying a condo now can springboard you into a bigger home later on. An article from the Urban Institute explains:
“Because condos and co-ops are generally more affordable, they tend to help first-time homebuyers step onto the first rung of the homeownership ladder. These buyers often use the equity on their condo to then purchase a larger single-family home.”
In other words, owning a condo will help you start building wealth in the form of home equity. In time, the equity you build can fuel a future purchase should you decide you want to buy a home with more space or different amenities.
Condo Living Provides Several Great Perks
Boosting the number of options in your budget during your home search is just one reason to consider condos, but there are several other benefits to condo living.
First, they tend to require minimal upkeep and lower maintenance – and that can give you more time to spend doing the things you enjoy. A recent article from Bankrate highlights this, saying:
“Condos can be a good option for anyone who wants to keep home maintenance to a minimum . . . if the roof is leaking or the carpet in the lobby needs to be replaced, that’s not your responsibility — the condo association handles those duties.”
Plus, since many condos are located in or near city centers, they offer the added benefit of being in close proximity to work and leisure. Again, realtor.com explains:
“Buying a condo, which is generally less expensive than a single-family home, enables a household to afford to own in the middle of it all, and often means a newer-built home with less maintenance responsibility.”
Ultimately, owning and living in a condo can be a lifestyle choice. And if that appeals to you, they could give you the added options you need to buy your first home.
Adding condominiums to your housing search could be a great move. If you’re ready to search condos in our area, let’s connect today.