13 Things Millennials Need to Know Before Buying Your First Home

Homeownership increased to a three year high for third quarter of 2017 to 63.9 percent due in large part to millennials. As this generation gets older and becomes more financially stable, they’re increasingly ready to own their own home. While the increase in buyers sent shockwaves through the rental market recently, it’s great news for buyers and sellers along the Emerald Coast.

Here are 13 things millennials and any other first-time home buyer needs to know and consider before you buy.

  1. Check your credit first. A poor score will disqualify you from getting a mortgage or force you to pay a high interest rate. It is often better to repair your credit first to get the best deal.
  2. Save as much money as you can. You don’t need a 20 percent down payment but any lender will want to know you have the ability to cover closing costs and whatever down payment your loan requires.
  3. Look into first time homebuyer programs. They may be able to help get you the extra you need to make a lender feel comfortable approving your loan application.
  4. Talk to a lender. Knowing your budget is good but a mortgage lender can give you an idea of how much you can afford what you can likely get approved for.
  5. Work with a Realtor®. Having a real estate license isn’t enough. You need to work with a professional that follows a strict code of ethics and has access to excellent information.
  6. Consider what features matter most in a home for you and your family. Make a list of the must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves. This can help you narrow down your decision or know which home to fight for with a counter-offer.
  7. Try not to fall in love with the first home you see or make an offer on. Sometimes you get exactly what you want, and sometimes you don’t.
  8. Think about your lifestyle when choosing a neighborhood. Do you want to be close to certain areas like the beach or downtown? Is it important to be close to work? Is walkability a factor for you?
  9. Always get a home inspection. Make any offer on a home contingent on the inspection so you can walk away if you find there are serious and expensive problems.
  10. Shop around for homeowner’s insurance. When you have a mortgage on your home, you’ll be required to carry insurance. Not all policies or companies are the same.  Find one that works best for you.
  11. Once you put in an offer and it’s accepted, don’t take on any new debt.
  12. During the closing process, don’t change jobs.
  13. Basically, until you’ve signed your name a dozen or more times at the closing table and received the keys, make zero changes to your financial life while your mortgage application is processed. Even a small change could impact your ability to be approved.

No matter what generation you belong to – millennial or something else – buying your first home is daunting and exciting. Make sure you know how the process works and find a professional you trust to help you. When you’re ready to become a homeowner, we’re here to help! 

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