First-Time Homebuyers' Success Factors
Purchasing your first home is an exciting decision and a significant milestone that has the potential to transform your life. As a first-time homebuyer, it’s a vision you can bring to life, but, as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares, you’ll have to overcome some factors that have made it more challenging in recent years:
“Since 2011, the share of first-time home buyers has been under the historical norm of 40% as buyers face tight inventory, rising home prices, rising rents and high student debt loads.”
That being said, if you're in the market for your first house, here are two things you should think about.
Save Money with First-Time Homebuyer Programs
It might be difficult to pay for the initial costs and fees involved with homeownership. Whether it's getting a loan, saving for a down payment, or having money for closing costs, there are a number of factors that might make buying your first home feel difficult.
Fortunately, there are a lot of public and private first-time homebuyer programs that can help you get a loan with little-to-no money upfront. CNET explains:
“A first-time homebuyer program can help make homeownership more affordable and accessible by offering lower mortgage rates, down payment assistance and tax incentives.”
In fact, as Bankrate says, many of these programs are offered by state and local governments:
“Many states and local governments have programs that offer down payment or closing cost assistance – either low-interest-rate loans, deferred loans or even forgivable loans (aka grants) – to people looking to buy their first house . . .”
To take advantage of these programs, contact the housing authority in your state and browse sites like Down Payment Resource.
The Supply of Homes for Sale Is Low, So Explore Every Possibility
It's a sellers' market, which means there aren't enough homes on the market to fulfill buyer demand. So, how can you be sure you're doing everything possible to find a home that works for you?
You can increase your options by considering condominiums (condos) and townhomes. U.S. News tells us these housing types are often less expensive than single-family homes:
“Condos are usually less expensive than standalone houses . . . They are also less expensive to insure.”
One reason they may be more affordable is because they’re often smaller. But they still give you the chance to get your foot in the door and achieve your dream of owning and building equity. Beyond that, another major perk is that they typically require less maintenance. As U.S. News says in the same article:
“The strongest reason for purchasing a condo is that all external maintenance is usually covered by the condo association, such as landscaping, pool maintenance, external painting, paving, plowing, and more. This fee also covers some internal maintenance, such as gas, electric, plumbing, HVAC and other mechanical systems.”
Working with a reputable real estate agent is the best way to ensure your success, especially if you're just starting out. They can educate you on the homebuying process, assist you in understanding your local area to identify the best possibilities for you, and guide you through the process of making an offer in a competitive market.
First-time homeowners face several obstacles in today's housing market. However, there are still ways to fulfill your objectives, such as taking advantage of first-time homebuyer programs and reviewing all of your housing possibilities. Let's get in touch so you can have an expert on your side to help you manage the process.