Millennials, people born between 1982 and 2000, are the largest generation America has ever seen. In fact, there are over 83 million Millennials in the United States. They are also fast becoming this country’s most prominent first-time homebuyers; however, according to CNBC, 63 percent of Millennial homebuyers have regrets, mainly because they underestimated the hidden costs associated with buying and owning a home.
“Finding your dream home only to learn it’s outside your financial reach can be a nightmare,” said Brownson, who works with a lot of Millennials and first-time homebuyers every step of the way.
To help guide Millennials and first-time buyers through the homebuying process, Brownson shares the following four tips :
No. 1 : Get pre-approved. “The first and most crucial step is to get pre-approved by a reputable lender,” stressed Brownson, who grew up in a family of residential developers, builders and interior designers. “A qualified lender will walk you through the financial responsibilities of purchasing a home so you will know exactly what your closing costs and monthly mortgage costs will be before going under contract.”
Furthermore, it is imperative to find a lender that has worked with their Realtor on numerous occasions.
“In today’s real estate world, 1 in 4 deals are falling out due to financing,” added Brownson. “Ensure you find a lender that won’t overpromise and underdeliver.”
No. 2 : Opt for smaller square footage. Brownson further notes that statistically, the smaller the square footage of a home, the more it appreciates. Millennials are generally busy people, and don’t have a lot of time for home maintenance.
“Typically, they buy homes between 1,100-1,700 square feet and opt for townhomes that have a HOA. Not having to maintain the exterior is a huge plus,” stated Brownson.
No. 3 : Understand the buying process. Whether the house is new or very old, the buyer needs to know how the structure is holding up.
“You need to know what work has been done on the house and what will bring value to the property. Make sure you have gone through the buying process with your agent so you know what to expect. My buyer flow chartis what I like to review with my clients,” said Brownson, who not only has an interior design background but grew up in construction, so understands how to inspect the bones of a property. “Make sure to have your Realtor help you schedule an inspection with a licensed inspector.”
No. 4 : Interview the Realtor and be prepared to make an offer. This helps one learn about the Realtor’s experience and availability for showings. Do they have backup? How many buyers have they successfully represented?
“Have your Realtor set you up on an automatic search that emails you properties daily,” concluded Brownson. “If you find a property you like, see it as soon as possible and be ready to write an offer if you love it. In Denver it is common to get more than one offer in the first few days on the market.”