We’ve got to give it to the millennial generation; they’re an educated, tech-savvy bunch that typically knows what they want. Lately, we’ve been finding that many twenty-somethings in this group have decided that what they want is to buy their first home.
Now, there are apps galore on just about everything out there, but swiping right isn’t going to get you into your first home – though it probably will help you locate the Pokemon that’s hiding behind you right now.
Instead, try these five time-tested tips on how to buy a home in your twenties:
1. Decide You’re Ready to Commit
It’s probably been said more than any other piece of home-buying advice out there... Buying a home may be the largest purchase you’ll make in your entire life. The point? You’ve got to know you’re ready for that type of commitment. Millennials have been deemed a nomadic bunch – so, it’s important to note that most home buyers stay in their homes for at least three to five years – and, that’s just so they can recoup the costs of their purchase.
Buying a home also means you’re ready to get your hands dirty – both literally and figuratively – in order to maintain your home. Handy work like replacing smoke alarm batteries, maintaining landscaping and even changing air filters typically falls in a homeowner’s hands.
If you can commit to those terms, read on!
2. Understand Your Finances
When it comes time to buy a home, a lender will consider every part of your financial picture. From your current salary to your bills and spending habits to that lump sum of money your Aunt Helen sent when you graduated from college. Since a bank is going to get all up in your spending business, you’d better do the same. Find out how much money you’ve got coming in and going out and how much you’ll be able to devote to a monthly mortgage payment.
When you’re considering your finances and budget, also consider the fact that homeownership fees don’t end with the monthly mortgage payment. Home owners are responsible for insurance, property taxes and any money it costs to cover routine maintenance or unexpected home repairs.
After hearing that financial information, is buying a home in your future?
3. Consider Credit and Savings
Your first brush with credit may have been when you were inundated with credit card offers on your first day of college classes. By later in your twenties, you’ve probably established some type of credit – and, hopefully it’s at least decent. Lenders will closely consider your credit score when it comes to mortgage approval. Remember – the better your credit card score, the better interest rate you’ll be offered.
In addition to your credit, delve deeper into your savings. When you’re buying a home, you’ll need to have money in-hand, up-front to cover fees like your down payment and closing costs.
Have you saved the money you’ll need when it comes time to buy?
4. Find a Lender and Get Preapproved
It doesn’t take long to see that buying a home is largely a financial process, so it only makes sense that the mortgage process may be a long one, right? We’ve already let you know that lenders will consider your bank statements, bills, salary, spending habits, credit and more – but, here’s where you get to have a say. Seek out several lending institutions before you settle on the one you’d like to use.
Just like every buyer is different, so is every lender. Some may be more lenient when it comes to credit history. Some credit unions or banks you’ve used for years may offer lower rates than other lenders. The federal government also overs FHA and VA loan options that may be good for first-time buyers.
Consider all options before choosing a mortgage lender!
5. Work with an Agent You Trust
Ah yes, that ever-important last piece of the home-buying puzzle. This is one area where we would not advise following a DIY mentality. Professional real estate agents have the training and know-how to lead any first-time home buyer to a home that’s right for them. Your trusted real estate agent will help you make up your “needs and wants” list when it comes to a home; they’ll help you consider your long-term goals for your new home; and, they’ll search for homes, show you homes, negotiate and walk you through the entire offer and closing process… right down to the point where those new home keys fall into your hands.