What Millennials Need to Know as First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time should be a time for celebration. As most millennials know, though, it’s also a complicated process that has many pitfalls. If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, it’s important that you keep a few things in mind about what it’s really going to be like.

Your Credit Matters

Your credit score will be one of the most important numbers you will know during the home-buying process. While having a stable income is also a necessity, it’s largely your credit score that will determine whether a lender is even willing to look at your application. Getting your score up even a few points can save you thousands of dollars during the life of the loan, so always make sure that you know what’s on your credit report before you seek out a loan.

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The Market is Changing

The way that the market works isn’t the same as it might have been for your parents. While they might have been looking for new homes for sale and competing against their peers for properties, today you’ll be trying to buy a market that’s full of investors and people looking to cash in on hot markets. You’re going to face much more competition than in the past, so you’ll almost always have to move faster.

Buying Isn’t Always Cheaper

It’s also important to remember that buying isn’t always going to be cheaper than renting. If you’re renting, you may not be paying for some of your utilities and you probably aren’t paying for maintenance. You’ll need to account for those factors when you’re trying to figure out what you can afford. While buying is almost always the best long-term strategy, you should be aware that it’s not always going to be cheaper.

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There are Realistic Loan Options

There’s a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the ability of millennials to buy homes, but the truth is that there are programs out there that can help. FHA loans reduce the amount of money you need for a down payment significantly and there are even other federal programs that can get you into a home without putting money down. You’ll need to do research to find out whether you qualify for these programs, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Don’t be put off of buying a home just because people tell you that it’s tough. While there is more competition, you do still have access to many different ways to get into a great home. If you can get your credit score in order, homeownership is still a very realistic goal.