Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may be wondering what’s happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three things that can help give you the information you need to confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options When the Number of Homes for Sale Is Low

Today, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. When that happens, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums (condos) and townhomes can be an excellent way to increase your choices. According to Bankrate:

“Townhomes often cost less than single-family homes of a similar size in the same location.”

In another article, Bankrate also says:

“Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses.”

Condos and townhomes are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.

2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think

Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

One of the biggest misconceptions among housing consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

Data from NAR shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | Keeping Current Matters

Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought.

There are also down payment assistance programs available for many buyers. Not to mention, some loan options require as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options.  To get more information on how much you may need to save and the help that’s available, talk with a professional.

3. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Advisor Throughout the Process

Finally, no matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional.

If you’re just starting out, they can help you with the initial steps, like educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved. Once you’re ready to begin your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help your offer stand out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Knowledge is key to succeeding on your homebuying journey. Knowing market trends, what you need for a down payment, and what options you have as a buyer today can give you the confidence you need to buy a home. Connect with a local real estate professional so you have an expert on your side who can help you navigate the homebuying process.

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Ever had a Crush on a House?

Ever had a Crush on a House?

Realtor.com® Survey: Men, Women Dig on Digs Differently

So, you’ve got it bad for “the one” — you know, the one that keeps you awake at night fantasizing about the day when you can be together.

Wait a second. We aren’t talking about that one — we’re referring to a different kind of love affair: a “home crush.” If you’ve found yourself swooning over a house you just can’t get out of your head, you’re not alone.

In a new realtor.com® survey, 69 percent of the 1,000 people who responded said they have had a “home crush” – a home they liked so much that they were drawn back to looking at it more than once online or in person.

“We conducted the survey to see how searching for ‘the one’ in real estate correlates to searching for ‘the one’ in love, and we found that they are very similar,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer at realtor.com®. “Buyers have to evaluate crushes based on turn-ons and turn-offs and whether the home is in their league, so they often find themselves spending a good amount of time checking out their crush online.”

But what do you do when you’re pining for that perfect dwelling? Just as in romance, men and women respond to their home crushes quite differently, the survey found. Women were more likely than men to have a crush on a home that was out of their league financially, while men moved from one home crush to another more frequently than women.

Men and women tend to fall for the same things when it comes to houses, though. Of those surveyed, 54 percent of women and 46 percent of men said they tended to fall in love with outdoor living spaces. Women also swooned for open floor plans and appliances and fixtures, while men’s hearts raced over a good garage and curb appeal.

“Whether it’s love or real estate, having a short list of deal breakers is critical for finding ‘the one’ to help buyers weed through the crushes to find the home of their dreams,” said Leslie Piper, consumer housing specialist at realtor.com®.

Majority of all surveyed consumers report having a home crush:

69 percent of those surveyed said they have had a house crush

31 percent said they have not had a crush on a house

Women are more likely to cultivate crushes on homes that are out of their league financially:

Of the women included in the survey…

41 percent revealed that their home crush is out of their price range

59 percent reported that their home crush is in their price range

 

Of the men included in the survey…

30 percent indicated their home crush is out of their price range

70 percent shared that their home crush is in their price range

 

I’ve had my share of home crushes – for myself and my client.  Have you?  Please share!

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/men-women-dig-on-digs-differently/?cid=EML301887&MID=2014_02_BoB_2013_ROLLOUT&RID=9851214#.Uvvp9Xl4wpE

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