You can buy a house in your 20s
The time has arrived when you’ve graduated college, or at least graduated from living in Mom and Dad’s basement, and now you are considering your next big move — both personally and financially. Naturally, people in their 20s are faced with many “grown up” decisions like figuring out how to repay student loans, buy your first car, get married and find time to travel the world while you are at it. Not to mention that ever lurking thought of, “So, how am I going to buy that house I want anytime soon?”
If the question of how to buy your first home seems intimidating, don’t worry; you are not alone. Many millennial buyers today are in the same boat, and have numerous questions on where to get started on purchasing their first real estate asset. Today I’d like to offer you some tips on purchasing your first home without adding too much stress to your already chaotic 20-something-year-old life. Many first-time buyers I work with underestimate the possibility of owning property for a number of reasons, many of which are easy to address. Before we get to some advice, I can almost promise you that you won’t need a 20 percent down payment, an 800 credit score and a job that pays $90,000 annually to make your home buying dream a reality.
That said, here are some tips I would encourage you to follow as you undergo the home buying process: First, it helps to clearly understand your financial situation. It’s a great idea to spend some time alone or with your spouse defining a budget, which includes saving for a down payment. Budgeting will help you not only track your day-to-day expenses, but also support your efforts to save for a good down payment. Part of budgeting process should include developing a realistic timeline to reach your goal. For some, it will take a year and for others it will take several years to save for that down payment. In either instance, it helps to create a vision and go for it.
Once you have decided the commitment of home ownership is in your future, you should then meet with a trusted mortgage lender. This lender will collect information from you to get you pre-qualified for a loan. Depending on your debt-to-income ratios, credit score and some other variables, a lender will be able to help you create a personalized plan to achieve home ownership. Not to mention, lenders can give you valuable advice on how to repair your credit and save money.
When you feel like you have a financial plan in place and have been pre-qualified with a lender and are ready to start shopping, the last part is finding a trusted Realtor who will listen to your needs and work tirelessly until you find “the one.” It was not long ago I was in your situation and so I can relate and hope to get the call when you are ready to start house hunting.
Shawn Manwaring is a broker associate with Roaring Fork Sotheby’s International Realty in Glenwood Springs. Shawn services western Garfield County and the lower Roaring Fork Valley. He can be reached at 970-389-6069, Shawn.Manwaring@SIR.com or http://www.ManwaringProperties.