Not long ago, some misguided soul suggested that Millennials can’t afford to buy a home because they spend too much money on avocado toast. Millennials had every right to be indignant. Home ownership is definitely difficult to achieve if you belong to a generation with $1.4 trillion in student debt loan. However, owning a home is not impossible. There are many ways millennials can prepare themselves for home ownership and none of them involve selling a major organ.
Create a realistic budget.
Start off by sitting down with your finances and budget in order to figure out how much house you can actually afford. While you can receive help from a lender on this, bear in mind that they will often pre-qualify you for a larger amount than you can really afford. So if you don’t want to be house poor and have noodles for every meal, be realistic about the amount you can afford to pay every month on a mortgage.
Be Prepared to Make Sacrifices.
Saving enough money to afford a downpayment might entail not splurging on a new outfit, vacation or car. Learning to live minimally will help propel you into a home of your own.
This is NOT your forever home.
While everyone wants their dream home, it’s not always possible for that to be your first home. Be aware that the average homeowner will purchase three different homes in their lifetime and that’s when upgrades can come in.
Consider the Suburbs.
Homes tend to be cheaper and you’ll have more space for children, dogs, etc which does lead to an easier life. Just remember to factor in commuting costs if you have to travel.
Pay off your student debt.
No, it’s not a joke. If you have more than one debt, determine which one has the highest interest rate. Increase your payments to that loan while making the smallest payments to the other loans. This will help you pay off the big debt faster. Then once you’ve paid off that loan with the highest interest rate, you can devote more money to the others and save yourself interest.
Improve your credit score.
Even a perfect credit score won’t buy you a house, but could lower your interest rate enough to make a monthly mortgage payment possible. If your credit isn’t great, consider enlisting the help of a credit repair service which can guide you in the right direction.
Do your homework.
Make sure you do your homework first to allow you to be as savvy as possible. You’re welcome to give me a call. I can fill you in on average home prices in Union County, New Jersey and selling prices compared to listing prices. It’s nice to look at photos of homes, but you really need to have a good idea of how much these homes are really selling for.
Understand the housing market fluctuates
By the time you’re ready to actually buy a home, the landscape may have changed. The market is a fickle thing at the best of times. Again, I would be happy to discuss the market with you.
If you’d just like to browse the MLS and see what homes in Union County NJ, might be of interest to you, click this link and you can search the entire area and neighboring towns. I’d be happy to show you any home that might interest you and help you to explore the neighborhood.
If you would like more information about buying or selling a home, please contact me on my direct line at (732) 261-6151. I’d be glad to help you.
This information courtesy of Jackie Safran who is an award winning Real Estate Agent at RE/MAX Select in Westfield, NJ (732) 261-6151. I help nice people sell and buy beautiful homes in Union County and beyond.