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First Time Home Buying Strategies for Millennials

Young first time homebuyers

For a few years, it seemed as though Millenials, people between the ages of 18 and 34, just weren’t that into the idea of buying a home. But, a combination of high rent prices, paying off student loans, and an improving housing market is causing more and more Millenials to think about first time home buying. In 2014, Millenial buyers made up about 32 percent of the housing market, Bloomberg reports, making them the largest section of home buyers.

If you fall into the Millennial generation and are considering buying your first home, it helps to have a game plan in place before you make the leap. Laying out a strategy can help you get the best mortgage possible, as well as make sure you don’t buy more house than you can afford.

Check Your Credit

Taking a look at your credit score should be step one of the first time home buying process. While there are plenty of mortgage programs out there that allow you to buy a home with less than excellent credit, the higher your score, the lower your interest rate is likely to be, and the less you’ll have to pay for the home in the long run. The sooner you check your credit, the better, as it will give you time to raise your score before you start the process of applying for a mortgage.

Get Extra Help

Don’t feel that you have to work through the home buying process on your own. There are plenty of people out there who want to help you. For example, if you need to improve your credit or find out a way out of debt, it might be a good idea to work with a credit counselor to come up with a plan for repaying any current debts or for figuring out if getting a mortgage is the right step for you at the moment or in the near future. Working with a real estate agent is also a good idea, even though you can view many listings online. An agent can help you understand what similar homes in the area are selling for, explain the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage, make an offer on the home, help you go through closing, and can assist you in finding the house that fits your lifestyle needs and budget.

Look at All the Options

Financially, buying a home might seem out of reach. You might not have a full 20 percent of a home’s value saved for a down payment, still have some student loans or might worry that your income is too low for a mortgage. While you do want to take your time buying and make sure that you are financially set before you become a homeowner, there are a number of options available that are designed to make first time home buying possible for a wide range of people. You might qualify for a mortgage guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, which allows you to put as little as 3.5 percent of the home’s value down. Many states and cities also offer programs designed to make home buying easier for first-time buyers.

Buying your first home is a big commitment, but not one that should be unreachable. Get as much help on your side as possible and take advantage of the programs out there that are designed to help you buy a home.

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