Uni First Investment Inc
Uni First Investment Inc Alhambra, CA
Published on June 3, 2021


Despite media perception that the Millennial generation has been slow to enter the housing market, and is a generation of long-term renters, recent statistics tell a very different story. Consider these statistics:

  • 78% of today’s Millennials are between 28 and 37 years old
  • 66% of today’s Millennials are married
  • Before buying, 56% were renters, 18% lived at home or with other relatives, and 24% owned a home previously

That’s right—nearly a quarter of today’s Millennials have already been homeowners, and are looking to buy again. If this is your first time in the housing market, here are some tips to help you achieve home ownership more easily.

Look Great on Paper

In an era where debt is high and cash on hand is minimal, one of the biggest hurdles to homeownership is getting approved for a mortgage. A house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you will ever make, so it is important that you make good decisions when securing financing.

Banks and lenders will look at your credit score, the amount of savings you have, student loan debts, and anything else that has an impact on your ability to pay your mortgage. Make sure there are no surprises. Obtain copies of your credit scores, and review them carefully. If you find any errors, go through the necessary channels to clear them up before you apply for a mortgage.

If your report looks clean but your scores are lower than you thought, take some extra time to pay down debt. This will improve your debt-to-credit ratio. Avoid doing anything that will trigger a credit check, since banks look at this as a negative. This includes opening new credit card accounts, making late payments, and even getting a new cell phone plan.

Know Where You Want to Be

Finding a house is about more than just the house. In fact, much of Millennials’ buyers’ remorse stems from the late realization that the neighborhood wasn’t what they wanted. There is no one right answer. Take into consideration factors like:

  • Walkability vs suburban amenities
  • School systems and private school options
  • Commuting time to work
  • Fixer-upper vs move-in ready

When you are deciding where you want to live, think about the lifestyle you currently have and whether you want those same amenities in your new neighborhood, or whether you are looking for a change of pace.

Getting Realistic about the Real Costs

Our final piece of advice is to be realistic about expenses beyond the list price. In a study conducted by Bank of the West, 20% of Millennials had regrets about the house they purchased because they realized there was damage present after they closed. Another 20% regretted the ongoing expenses incurred by home maintenance, and 13% reported feeling stretched too thin financially. As a group, only 32% had no regrets of any kind.

When considering home ownership, most realize they will need a down payment. Other big expenses like property taxes and interest are automatically calculated into the monthly payment. However, all home buyers are ahead of the game if they also budget for inevitable repair costs. Even if the new home is in perfect condition now, eventually the roof, furnace, and water heater will need to be replaced. Appliances and flooring wear out. Walls need to be repainted. Landscaping needs to be maintained.

Making the Right Decision for Your First House

But it’s not all bad news. Mortgage interest and property taxes are tax deductible. Home values are continuing to rise, which means homes are earning equity. Homeownership offers a level of privacy and independence that renting cannot. And pride in homeownership creates strong communities and roots for families. With some research and considerations for the bigger picture of life as a homeowner, Millennials can find their dream homes that meet their needs today and in the future.