Friday, 15 July 2016
Who is the average first-time home buyer? What does the real estate market look like for them?
And how did the housing market crash affect this generation of novice house hunters? Who's buying homes among the millennial cohort is different than what you might expect. Single women and unmarried couples are growing subsets of the home-buying population, making up 25 percent of buyers. The trend among this age group of waiting until later to wed may indicate that unmarried couples are putting mortgages before marriage, and financially independent women are buying homes of their own.
What does the market look like? It's not as bleak as it was a few years ago, but the outlook still isn't as strong as it was when this generation's parents were making their first home purchases. The result of the housing crisis: fierce competition over homes due to negative equity. Many homeowners are staying put because they owe more to their lender than would constitute a fair market price.1
Because of this, first-time home buyers are engaged in bidding wars over a small swath of median-priced homes. Rosemary Weed, a real estate agent at RealtySouth in Birmingham, Ala., says "In a competitive market, you must have a realtor to find homes before they go on the market. If it goes on Zillow, you're probably too late."
Fortunately, for the time being, interest rates are low. "And because interest rates are low, people are jumping on the home-buying bandwagon," says Weed. "This is typical of what we see during election years. The uncertainty may drive people to buy now rather than later."
Buying a first home is one of the most exciting and often financially rewarding endeavors you'll undertake during your lifetime. So get out there, know your goals, research the market, and find your dream home.
Learn more about today's first-time home buyer in the infographic below, and check our tips on buying your first home.
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