According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials make up 31% of home buyers. This group of buyers could make up a substantially larger percentage over the next year. We’ve put together these quick tips specifically with millennial home buyers in mind:
- Resale is especially important since this will probably not be your forever home: Think of real estate as an investment. Chances are that you’ll sell this home and buy another one that’s larger or in a different area within 5 to 7 years. You’ll want your home to appreciate as much as possible so that it will sell easily (and for a good profit) when the time comes.
- Financing might be harder than you think: When you know that purchasing a home is in your near future, go ahead and talk with a lender. Getting a jump start on this process will give you time to improve your financial situation – and it could get you a lower interest rate to save money. Your lender can pull your credit history and offer advice for correcting errors in your credit report, managing student loans, or closing/opening accounts.
- Some homes aren’t listed online: Most homes are listed for sale in an MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that shows all of an area’s listings, regardless of the real estate company. However, many new construction homes never see the MLS, and some pre-owned homes sell before they’re ever listed on the MLS. This is why you’ll want to talk with your Realtor to make sure you’re seeing all of the listings. Based on what you’re looking for, he/she might be able to send you options to consider that you would have never found online.
- Zillow and Trulia are notoriously inaccurate: Millennials tend to understand this better than older aged buyers, but it’s still worth noting. Trulia and Zillow are both advertising websites, so they’re better at marketing and generating ad revenue than showing accurate and updated listings. One study by The New York Times showed that these 2 websites only 79-81% of listings, and that 36-37% of their listings are no longer available. Zillow and Trulia and great resources to start your home search because you can view any market, any time. However, a Realtor is going to be a more thorough resource and will be able to share updated listing and give more accurate estimates than a Zestimate can calculate.
- If you’re considering condos and townhouse, be sure to compare Homeowners Association fees and regime fees: Millennial home buyers often choose townhouses or condos because of their low maintenance, affordability, and amenities (many of these communities have pools and workout gyms). These can make great first home purchases, but the monthly fees can vary drastically by community. As you’re comparing neighborhoods and prices, ask your Realtor for the HOA and regime fees and also what the fees cover. In order to compare apples and apples, you’ll need to know whether things like insurance, water usage, and termite/pest bonds are included in the price.