The 7 Most Common Mistakes Home Buyers Make

First-time home buyers, beware! By Caylin Harris Updated March 07, 2019

The more experience you have with buying real estate, the more you’ll learn about the complicated process. Between the confusing terminology and the logistics of buying a house, it’s all-too-easy to make the wrong move or wind up in an unwise investment. If you’re a first-time home buyer, skip the buyer’s remorse by learning about some of the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them. To find out what not to do, we reached out to Tracie Rigione and Vicki Ihlefeld, Vice Presidents of Sales at Al Filippone Associates/William Raveis Real Estate in Fairfield, Connecticut, to get their best advice. 

1 Not Getting Pre-Approved Before You Shop

The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a house you can’t afford! To prevent that, one of the first things you should do is get pre-approved for a mortgage. “You need to know what you can afford and what the monthly payments look like,” says Ihlefeld. “A good mortgage broker will figure this out for you. And while a bank will usually pre-approve you for a higher amount, you don’t want to overextend yourself. Be realistic about what you can actually afford.” When you go to make an offer on a house, you’ll also be a stronger buyer because you’re pre-approved.

Miguel Navarro/Getty Images

2 Not Seeking Advice From an Experienced Professional

Even though there is so much information available online, you should still seek the advice of an experienced professional early on in the home-buying process. “Realtors educate people about the process, who they need to consult, if they need an attorney, when they’ll have to have their down payment ready. And we can give valuable insights into the neighborhoods you’re looking at,” says Rigione. An added bonus: sometimes real estate agents have access to a property before it even goes on the market. 

Finding a real estate agent to work with is important, but take your time finding someone who’s a good match for your personality and preferences. As Rigione points out: “You’re going to be spending a lot of time together throughout the process!” 

3 Not Making an Informed Offer

A common home-buying mistake is letting your emotions dictate the offer. Instead, only make an offer if you’re really serious about buying a property and make sure it’s based on comparable sales, rather than just how much you like the house. “Ultimately the price should reflect the market value of the home. The ideal negotiation is when the buyer and seller both feel like they’ve won,” says Rigione. “The negotiations between your opening offer and your ideal number is where working with a real estate pro really comes in handy.”

4 Not Being Able to See the House Past Its Appearances

This is potentially a two-pronged issue and both can be problematic. This first scenario is finding a house that is updated with beautiful finishes, fixtures, and is decorated beautifully. “We call it eye candy,” explains Ihlefeld. “People get so busy looking at superficial details and forget about things that they can’t change about the house like the location, the yard, or that it’s on a busy road.”

It can also go the opposite way: Shoppers may overlook a home that needs some paint and cosmetic updates, but that has great bones and a good location. When shopping for a house, keep in mind both cosmetic details that can be altered, as well as those that are expensive or impossible to fix.

5 Making Buying a House an Emotional Rather Than a Business Decision

You never want to fall so in love with a house that you’re emotionally invested in the purchase. “If you love it so much that you feel like you’ll do anything to get a property, you can end up overpaying for the home,” warns Rigione. “That can lead to buyer’s remorse and feeling like you didn’t get the best deal. The buying process is emotional enough, and that’s why you want someone on your side that can keep your emotions in check through the close. We’ve seen deals fall apart from something as small as a missing light fixture!” Stay levelheaded and remember that this is a serious commitment that you’ll have to live with for years to come.

6 Only Looking at Mortgage Rates From One Lender

Make sure you’re doing your due diligence when it comes to your mortgage. You need to speak to an experienced loan officer who will look for the best rates and mortgage products. “Talk to your loan officer about your personal needs so they can help steer you towards the best mortgage for you and your family,” says Ihlefeld. You can save a lot of money that way, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.”

7 Applying for Lines of Credit or Making Large Credit Purchases. 

Buying a house is a big enough purchase, so just focus on that. You shouldn’t be shopping for a car, buying furniture, or opening a new credit card. “Your credit score gets dinged when you open a new line of credit. It can impact your pre-approval, mortgage approval, and create a big mess for the underwriter. It can even delay your closing. Once you’ve closed on the house, then make your next buying decision,” says Rigione.


Helpful Home Improvement Tips Everyone Should Learn

With your home being the single most expensive thing any of us will probably ever purchase, making changes, improvements or renovations to it can be a scary proposal. What if it goes wrong, What if we make the wrong choices, This article will help you wade through the rights and wrongs with some great tips and ideas for your home improvement projects.

If you’re tired of running out of hot water, consider getting a tankless water heater. Tankless heaters give you hot water only as you need it, without having to have a holding tank. By only heating the water you’ll immediately use, you can also save money on energy. They also take up much less room than traditional tank heaters.

When it comes to home improvement, go with your gut feeling about the contractor as long as everything else matches up. Do not even consider someone that you do not fully trust, as you probably have that feeling for a reason. If you have a hint of mistrust toward the contractor that you meet with, it may only lead to anger and mistrust on an exponential level if things do not go according to plan.

When it comes to home improvement, be sure to do your background work and ensure that the contractor is bonded. This is important because a way to assure that the job you intended to be completed will be completed per the stated terms. Also, the bond provider will cover any damage or theft that occurs.

Before you begin your next home improvement project, make sure to secure any permits that you might need. Anything dealing with electricity, plumbing or structural work will require a permit. If you aren’t sure how to get the proper paperwork, it may be helpful to hire a general contractor to assist you.

Consider hiring a professional to do the electrical work for your home improvement project. It may seem easy to change out an outlet from two prongs to three, but if you are unfamiliar with electrical work, the safest thing to do is to have an electrician take care of the rewiring for you.

If you’re one of the many people who are suffering from lack of space in their closets, have no fear. You can easily build simple shelving inside of your closet to create more space for your clothing and accessories. Hang your purses on pegs and put your shoes in small plastic boxes to be able to later stack them on the bottom of your closet. Whatever you’re not using and is out of season, consider moving them to storage or storing them under your bed.

Don’t forget to improve your outdoor living space. The living space of your home can be extended into your backyard. It is the perfect area for barbecuing or simply relaxing after a long day at work.

If you have a lot of cords hanging out of your entertainment stands then you know what a pain and unsightly view cords can be. You can easily clean up your mess by using Velcro tape, which is widely available, at most stores for about $5. Roll up the unused portions of your cord and hold them together with the Velcro tape for a clean and tidy look.

Hopefully the information that you have just read will help you realize that home improvement isn’t as scary as it can seem. There are wrong choices that can be made, but if you stick to these tips, you will have the information you need to make good choices and have a great and valuable home.

Copyright © 2019 www.UsefulHomeDecorTips.com – All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

12 Ways to Wake Up Your Yard for Spring

Outdoors and in, take care of a few simple tasks now to bring your house out of winter hibernation!

By Jennifer Noonan and Caitlin Castelaz

Window Box Planting

Few tasks put us in a spring mood like filling window boxes with colorful annuals. Bringing this sign of spring home is as simple as buying potting mix and plants. A planter that’s a couple inches shorter than the width of the window looks best. For a stand-out look, include plants with a variety leaf sizes, colors, and growth habits—trailing, compact, spiky and so on.

Clean Garden Tools

Give your gardening tools and equipment a good once-over now so that you’re ready for heavier landscaping work later in the season. Sharpen blades; replace weak or broken handles; and tighten any loose nuts, bolts, or screws. Plus, don’t forget to test the garden hose for leaks; a damaged hose can be repaired with the aid of a hose mender

Test your soil’s pH—only then can you confidently plan for soil amendments like fertilizer. Home centers and hardware stores carry basic kits, any of which will prove fairly accurate if you closely follow the directions. Since soil composition varies, take samples from several places around your property.

Don’t delay! Now is the time to order seeds, bushes, and trees so that you can plant once the the last frost has passed. As a convenience, saving you the hassle of storage, many online or catalog vendors will delay sending your purchases until the time comes to put them in the ground.

Before heading outdoors to entertain, clean the surface of your deck and as you go along, inspect the structure for any issues in need of repair. Fix loose handrails, steps, and deck boards as soon as possible and if appropriate for your decking material, add a fresh coat of sealer. Last but certainly not least, fire up that grill!

Your rugs have spent the long winter under the treads of slushy, salty boots—they deserve a little TLC. Once the weather starts to warm up, DIY rug cleaning is the perfect project to tackle when you can only spare an hour or two. So get out your vacuum and garden hose and ready your rugs for another year of cushioning footfalls.

Along with spring comes the ritual of lawn mowing. Make sure you’ll be ready once the grass starts getting high. Change the oil in your mower, replace its spark plug or plugs, and swap in a new air filter. Also, clean the cutting blade; if it’s dull, have a professional do the sharpening.

When the weather gets warm, your family will be racing for bikes, scooters, and other recreational items that spent the winter hibernating in your garage. To ensure that everything fun is easily accessible, give your garage a good clean-out, wash, and reorganization.

Seed Lawn in Spring

Spring is the best time to reseed warm-weather grass, while fall is the ideal time to plant cool-weather seeds. Still, if you live in colder climes, now is a good time to reseed patches of lawn that sustained damage over the winter. Keep the seeded area adequately watered, then avoid walking on the area until the new growth is well established.

A well-maintained compost pile breaks down organic matter no matter the season, but the bacteria and critters responsible for this process are not as active during the winter. Rev up the compost system again by turning the pile to allow air and water to circulate. Some compost may have cured during the winter and be ready to sift from the pile, after which it be added to your garden beds. A compost sifter like this one, which is designed to sit atop a wheelbarrow, can help.

Warm-weather grass will benefit from a spring application of fertilizer. Cool-weather grass, too, may need a light application of fertilizer to look its best at this time of year. If your soil test indicates that nutrients are a little low, pick up a fertilizer to bring the lawn back into a healthy balance. Pay special attention to the contents of your fertilizer, making sure you buy one that addresses the unique needs of your lawn.

As the last of the snow melts away, spring bulbs are getting ready to burst forth and bloom. Rake your beds to clear away leaves or debris to expose delicate shoots to the light. Watch where you rake, however, so as not to damage the small beginnings of crocus, daffodil, and other early bloomers.

Rake Garden Beds in Spring

Photo: istockphoto.com

Home Buyer

2019- Cherry Creek Mortgage

Why is it Important to Get Preapproved Before You Shop for Homes?

Reading time: 1 minute

Imagine finding your dream home, making an offer, and then losing out because you weren’t preapproved for a mortgage and someone else was. Getting preapproved is a critical step in the home buying process for several key reasons.

Know your budget

When you get preapproved for a loan, your lender will preapprove a mortgage amount for you. This helps you and your real estate agent identify homes that are within budget. You don’t want to fall in love with a house that’s way out of your price range!

Stand out in a competitive market

In today’s real estate market, it’s important to be as prepared as possible to make an offer. Sellers will take an offer more seriously if you’ve been preapproved since it shows you have already put work into the process of purchasing a house.

Build a relationship with your lender

Getting preapproved for a loan requires you to submit some initial paperwork to your lender. That’s just the start of the great teamwork between you and your loan officer. Your loan officer will help you navigate your current home purchase, but they can also help you down the line with refinancing, home equity loans, and much more.

Better understand the cost of a mortgage

Going through the preapproval process will help you have a better grasp on what costs you’ll incur when you get a mortgage. Educating yourself beforehand ensures you won’t be surprised by anything at closing.

Types of ownership buyers should be thinking about

WORD OF THE DAY

Fee Simple

The maximum possible estate one can possess in real property. A fee simple estate is the least limited interest and the most complete and absolute ownership in land; it is of indefinite duration, freely transferable, and inheritable. Fee simple title is sometimes referred to as “the fee.” All other estates may be created from it, which means that all other estates must be something less than fee simple (such as life estates or leaseholds). Any limitations that exist on the control and use of the land held in fee do not result from the nature of the estate itself but are founded on public or private controls governing the use of the land (zoning ordinances and building codes or restrictions and conditions). The fee may also be encumbered, either by voluntary (e.g., mortgage) or involuntary (e.g., tax lien) encumbrances. Such encumbrances tend to reduce the value of the fee interest. 


Written by JOHN REILLY – Real Town Real Estate Network

LIV SIR: 2019 real estate outlook and a strategy for buyers and sellers

While some prospective home buyers and sellers may still be waiting for the spring market to ramp up before making a move, market studies show that sellers who list sooner are more likely to see a larger benefit from taking advantage of early buyer activity.

Heading into March, some prospective home buyers and sellers may still be waiting for the spring market to ramp up before making a move.

However, it’s predicted that sellers who list sooner are more likely to see a larger benefit from taking advantage of early buyer activity (reported from Megan Aller, sales executive with First American Title). On the flip side, sellers who wait until the summer months to list their homes should be prepared to sit on the market for a little longer.

The Greater Metro Denver Real Estate Review (Aller’s report) looks at previous years’ history and shares helpful predictions for anyone interested in making a real estate transaction this year.

The main takeaway for 2019 is that sellers who get on the market sooner will see the most benefit.

Another interesting fact: Over the last 10 years, the weekend immediately following the last game played by the Denver Broncos showed an increase in real estate activity. For the 2018 season, we unfortunately saw this increase sooner than desired for Broncos fans, with a healthy uptick in January real estate.

As reported by LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in its monthly market reports, it’s evident there are sellers who are following this advice and have already listed their homes.

Looking at the last 12 months, year-over-year, metro Denver homes $1,000,000 and above reported extraordinary results with a 16 percent increase in total sales volume, a 15 percent increase in properties sold and a 19 percent decrease in average days on market. These metrics show that 2019 is off to a healthy start for real estate within the luxury sector of the metro Denver area.

As mentioned by Shannel Ryan, senior vice president and managing broker for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, there are clear signals that 2019 market activity is off to a great start when looking at all price points as well.

“To understand what is happening today, we can look at showing activity for the last two weeks of February versus the first two weeks of February,” Ryan said. “LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s showing activity is up 17 percent during the past two weeks and up nearly 10 percent over last year across all price points — a great indication that 2019 market activity is off to an excellent start.”

Heading into March, some prospective home buyers and sellers may still be waiting for the spring market to ramp up before making a move.

However, it’s predicted that sellers who list sooner are more likely to see a larger benefit from taking advantage of early buyer activity (reported from Megan Aller, sales executive with First American Title). On the flip side, sellers who wait until the summer months to list their homes should be prepared to sit on the market for a little longer.

The Greater Metro Denver Real Estate Review (Aller’s report) looks at previous years’ history and shares helpful predictions for anyone interested in making a real estate transaction this year.

The main takeaway for 2019 is that sellers who get on the market sooner will see the most benefit.

Another interesting fact: Over the last 10 years, the weekend immediately following the last game played by the Denver Broncos showed an increase in real estate activity. For the 2018 season, we unfortunately saw this increase sooner than desired for Broncos fans, with a healthy uptick in January real estate.

As reported by LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in its monthly market reports, it’s evident there are sellers who are following this advice and have already listed their homes.

Looking at the last 12 months, year-over-year, metro Denver homes $1,000,000 and above reported extraordinary results with a 16 percent increase in total sales volume, a 15 percent increase in properties sold and a 19 percent decrease in average days on market. These metrics show that 2019 is off to a healthy start for real estate within the luxury sector of the metro Denver area.

As mentioned by Shannel Ryan, senior vice president and managing broker for LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, there are clear signals that 2019 market activity is off to a great start when looking at all price points as well.

“To understand what is happening today, we can look at showing activity for the last two weeks of February versus the first two weeks of February,” Ryan said. “LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s showing activity is up 17 percent during the past two weeks and up nearly 10 percent over last year across all price points — a great indication that 2019 market activity is off to an excellent start.”

By KELLI WILLIAMS | LIV Sotheby’s International Realty | Sponsored ContentFebruary 28, 2019 at 11:25 am

The Secret To DIY Pre-Sale Home Renovations:

A Reality Check Forbes Real Estate Council Gina Michelle Forbes Councils Forbes Real Estate Council CommunityVoice Real Estate POST WRITTEN BY Gina Michelle Estate Director at The Agency.

In real estate, we all know that design is important. But the question I hear is always, “How important is it really?”

My answer is straightforward: It is so important that I believe you should always consult with a real estate agent who specializes in design before renovating your home to put it on the market. Even after 15 years, I still get the occasional funny look after telling someone that, but it’s absolutely true — and now more than ever!

Market preferences and design trends shift over time, and your home probably wasn’t built yesterday. While renovations can go a long way toward improving your home’s value, it’s also very easy to waste money on outdated colors or trends that aren’t going to move the needle and actually sell your home.

Throughout my career, I’ve visited countless DIY-renovated houses. In a majority of these cases, I find that homeowners are very proud of the renovations they’ve done and believe these renovations will add substantial value. In reality, the renovations are often not ones that will actually help maximize their sales price. Thus, sadly for the homeowners, that means the money they spent was really just dollars down the drain.

With that in mind, here are four common “owner-instigated” renovations you should avoid when readying your home to sell.

1. Mismatched Flooring

It’s easy to get used to incongruent flooring when you’ve been living in your home awhile, but most buyers today want flooring to be uniform. Unfortunately, this is probably the issue I see most frequently.

As I mentioned, trends change over time. For example, some older homes still have original wood floors, and the owner will try to preserve the old wood in one room and put another flooring type elsewhere. Other times, homeowners may try to save costs by only replacing the floors in one part of the home.

Historic preservation is one thing, and cost cutting is another — but selling a home is a different thing entirely. When you’re renovating your home to sell, you want to appeal to the largest mass of people, and the best way to achieve that is with one flooring style.

2. Loud, Busy Or Overly Colorful Walls

If you’re an interior designer and this is your forte, go ahead and skip to No. 3. Otherwise, please step away from the loud wall patterns and accent walls!

When you’re renovating to sell certain luxury homes, that amazing wallpaper or bright accent wall might impress and be a positive selling motivator. But you need to first make sure to consider the many factors at play. It must be done correctly, in the right market, at the right price point and for the right buyers.

For the majority of buyers, a neutral, classy palette will be the best bet. Neutral tones give your buyer plenty of upside but no downside. If they want to paint, they can. But they don’t have to worry about needing to paint over a color they don’t like.

3. Partial Room Renovations

You know what I call a beautiful, brand new marble countertop installed onto scratched, old cabinets that can’t be saved or repainted? A cost-saving measure gone very, very wrong.

When a homeowner is renovating to sell, sometimes they’ll pick the “worst thing” they can see in a room, such as the countertop, and try to eliminate it. However, those beautiful marble countertops may not be salvageable when the new buyer inevitably changes the cabinets. And trust me: They’ll notice the cabinets.

Keep your buyer in mind before you start a partial renovation. It’s almost always better to save up or spend money on a different room than it is to create a space that’s an unwelcome combination of new and old.

4. DIY Installations

Above all else, the best thing you can do to ensure your renovations are high quality is to get realistic about your abilities. Unless you’re a general contractor who is licensed to [insert whatever you are planning to remodel here], don’t do it.

Even seemingly “simple” renovations or installations can lead to a host of issues. For example, marble countertops need to be sealed, but so do most surfaces in the kitchen. Did you know that? If not, missing this small detail could translate to big money left off the table.

Overlook any number of steps, and you may cost yourself down the line. Never underestimate your potential for causing issues in inspections, which can often be substantial enough to bring the whole sale into jeopardy.

Bottom Line: Renovate Right

It’s my experience that beautiful, strategic renovations can go a long way toward making your property stand out and earn its maximum value. But if you’re looking to maximize your ROI and sell quickly, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

I encourage any homeowner beginning on the path of DIY home renovations to consult with a real estate agent who specializes in design before renovating a home to put it on the market. By utilizing their expertise and simply avoiding these common mistakes, your pre-sale renovations will stand out above most in your area and translate into real value when you sell. And isn’t that what you wanted in the first place?

“What Home Buyers Really Want”

Laundry rooms and Energy Star–compliant windows topped the list of what buyers considered the most “essential” or “desirable” features in a home, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ 2019 “What Home Buyers Really Want” report, released at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas this week. Most of the features that new homeowners or aspiring buyers ranked highest related to helping them save in utility costs, add extra storage, and spruce up the outside, said Rose Quint, the NAHB’s assistant vice president of survey research.

Read More From the 2019 International Builder Show

Are ‘Green’ Features Being Valued Enough in Listings?

Housing Affordability: ‘It’s at a Crisis Level’

The NAHB surveyed nearly 4,000 consumers who either purchased a home within the last three years or plan to buy a home in the next three years to identify their top desires in a home. Consumers were asked to rank 175 home features based on how essential they were to their home purchase decisions.

Consumers ranked the following home features highest:

  1. Laundry room: 91%
  2. Energy Star windows: 89%
  3. Patio: 87%
  4. Energy Star appliance: 86%
  5. Ceiling fan: 85%
  6. Garage storage: 85%
  7. Exterior lighting: 85%
  8. Walk-in pantry: 83%
  9. Hardwood flooring: 83%
  10. Double kitchen sink: 81%
  11. Energy Star–whole home: 81%

While consumers may rank certain energy-saving features highly, they may not be motivated to pay more for them, Quint said. Sixty-eight percent of consumers said they are concerned about the environment and would like an environment friendly home, but they were not willing to pay extra for one.

However, when asked if they would pay more for a home to save $1,000 a year in utilities, the responses changed. Forty-six percent of respondents said they’d pay an average of $1,000 to $9,999 more for a home to save $1,000 per year on their utility bills; 37 percent would pay $10,000 or more.

“Buyers may not be turning their hearts to the concept of saving the environment, but they will respond positively if you put it in the dollar sense of what they can save,” Quint said. “This shows it’s important to advertise homes on the savings it will bring the home buyer and how it could put money back in their pocket.”

Additional consumer preferences that emerged from the survey included:

  • 86% prefer an open layout, where the kitchen and dining room are open, either completely or partially.
  • 70% of consumers prefer the washer and dryer on the first floor.
  • 67% prefer 9-foot ceilings on the first floor.
  • 64% want two or two-and-a-half bathrooms.

On the other hand, the survey found the features that ranked the lowest on home buyers’ wish lists:

  1. Elevator: 66%
  2. Wine cellar: 57%
  3. Daycare center: 50%
  4. Plant-covered roof (partially or completely): 50%
  5. Pet-washing station: 49%
  6. Dual toilets in the master bath: 48%
  7. Cork flooring: 47%
  8. Golf course community: 47%
  9. Two-story family room: 47%
  10. High-density development: 46%
  11. Laminate kitchen countertop: 46%

Seniors Have Student Loan Debt Too


  • February 13, 2019
CMG Image

The faces of student debt in America are aging.  While you may associate student debt with current students and recent graduates, almost every demographic is burdened with student debt.  The Wall Street Journal reports Americans 60 years and older owe a collective $86 billion in student loan debt.  From 2010 to 2017, the average student loan debt owed by a senior has surged 44% to a level of $33,800.  According to TransUnion, total student debt for this demographic is up 161%, the largest increase of any age group.

Americans over 60 owe student debt for their children, others for themselves, and some may owe a combination.  Much of the growing student debt problem is due to problems brought on by the Financial Crisis of 2007-2008.  After the Financial Crisis, many Americans lost their jobs, savings, and faced other financial hardships.  This led to many income college students having to rely on student loans to attend college. 

In some cases, student loans were not enough to cover the cost of college because the Federal government caps the loan amount that undergraduate students can borrow.  Stricter lending standards made it harder for new college students without a credit history to secure a private loan.  Thus, parents had to cosign on private loans with students or take out “parent student loans” because they did not face the caps.  During the 2017-2018 school year, the federal government disbursed $12.7 billion in Parents Plus loans.  The average amount owed in Parent Plus loans at the time of the students’ graduation has more than tripled since 2000.  Parents of students owed on average an estimated $35,600 when their child graduated. 

Many Americans who lost their jobs, chose to go back to school to finish degrees or earn higher degrees to open up more employment opportunities.  Tuition costs increase as students continue from undergraduate to graduate study. 

Student loan debt has many negative impacts on the borrower.  Sometimes the borrower is unable to afford the debt payments and has to take on additional personal loans or credit card debt to afford daily expenses.  If the borrower is old enough to be eligible for social security benefits, they may have these benefits garnished to repay the student loan debt.  Student loan debt can also increase the debt-to-income ratio and make it harder to secure other lines of credit like mortgage debt.  

Because student debt is so common, many mortgage lenders will work with student loan borrowers to find a manageable mortgage solution.  If you have questions about how your student debt will influence your ability to qualify for a mortgage, please let me know.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal

#dreamhome #colorado #denver #realestae #buyers #sellers #homeowners #newhome #homeowners #homesellers #rates #mortgage #movers #coloradorealseate #denverrealestate #newcoloradohome #buyersmarket #sellersmarket #movetodenver #movetocolorado #movetocoloradosprings #newhome #newhomebuyer #newhomebuyers #homebuyer #homeowner #house #buyer

Millennials’ homeownership

GettyImages-915914778

At NerdWallet, we adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Nicole Christianson, a 26-year-old sales rep, was tired of writing big checks for tiny apartments. And she wanted to do more with her cash than stash it in a savings account.

One night, she and her husband Thure, 28, took a look at their newly combined finances and uncovered a pleasant surprise: Together, they had saved enough for a 5% down payment on the affordable fixer-upper right across the street from their Milwaukee apartment. They closed in December 2017, and Nicole says they’re happy to finally be “making something that’s ours.”

Millennials’ homeownership goals

Many in Christianson’s age group are chasing that feeling. Eighty-two percent of young adults say owning a home is a priority, according to NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report. If they can make it happen, most will be first-time home buyers, but that ‘if’ looms large.

Millennials (those born from 1981 to 1997) are buying houses at lower rates than when previous generations were the same age, and it’s not hard to see why. Saving up for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage can feel like pipe dreams for young adults grappling with student debt, underemployment and high rent costs.

Still, millennials are an optimistic lot, and research shows there are big rewards in store for those who find a way to buy their first home sooner rather than later.

» MORE: Tips for first-time home buyers

How buying young can pay off later

Of today’s older adults, those who bought their first home from ages 25 to 34 accumulated the most housing wealth by their 60s — a median of around $150,000, according to a report by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

In contrast, the median housing wealth for those in their early 60s who bought later (ages 35 to 44), was about half as much, at $76,000. Homeowners who bought after they were 45 had about $44,000 in housing wealth by their 60s.

“Housing wealth” is another term for equity, which is the difference between the home’s market value and an owner’s mortgage balance. Equity becomes profit when a home is sold or refinanced, and it’s more likely to grow the longer one owns the home.

The takeaway for millennials? Buy a home as early as you can feasibly do so, says Laurie Goodman, vice president of housing finance policy at the Urban Institute.

Paying rent to yourself is a top perk of homeownership, Goodman says. “It’s also forced savings in the sense that you’re paying down a mortgage each month. Yes, you could put away the same amount of money in a savings plan, but people don’t.”

Thinking about homeownership as part of retirement planning is important for millennials, says Jung Hyun Choi, a research associate at the Urban Institute.

“People are living longer and job stability has declined,” she says. These circumstances make housing wealth even more essential.

» MORE: How much house can I afford?

Loans and programs that boost affordability

Certain mortgage options can reduce the upfront costs of buying a home, allowing younger borrowers to qualify with far less than the traditional 20% down payment.

“We wanted to go with a VA lender,” says Marissa Avila, 33, a self-employed small-business consultant in Norfolk, Virginia. Her husband Greg, 36, is in the Navy, so they were eligible for a loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA loan helped the Avilas buy their colonial-style house with no down payment.

Low down payment loans aren’t just for borrowers in uniform: Some conventional loans require just 3% down, the minimum for a Federal Housing Administration mortgage is 3.5% and eligible borrowers can get a Department of Agriculture, or USDA, loan with nothing down.

» MORE: What you need to know about FHA loans

Goodman recommends first-time home buyers investigate down payment assistance programs. State housing agencies often offer mortgage, down payment and closing-cost assistance. These programs may allow millennials to buy a home sooner than if they try to build savings, she says.

Talking to a lender can be a good first step if you’re not sure that you’re ready, Avila says.

“The worst that someone is going to say is ‘No, you need to save a little bit more money,’ and then you know where you stand,” she says. “It’s so much easier once you finally start that conversation.”

More from NerdWallet

Find out how much house can you afford

Calculate your mortgage payment

5 tips for finding the best mortgage lender

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

About the author

Beth Buczynski
Beth is a personal finance writer at NerdWallet. Her work has been featured by the Associated Press and USA Today

#dreamhome #colorado #denver #realestae #buyers #sellers #homeowners #newhome #homeowners #homesellers #rates #mortgage #movers #coloradorealseate #denverrealestate #newcoloradohome #buyersmarket #sellersmarket #movetodenver #movetocolorado #movetocoloradosprings #newhome #newhomebuyer #newhomebuyers #homebuyer #homeowner #house