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The Next Generation in Real Estate

The Next Generation in Real Estate

By: Darrin Friedman

The National Association of REALTORS says that nearly 40% of home buyers are first-time home buyers, and three quarters of those first-timers are Millenials (those born between 1978 and 1995). In other words, a lot of people between the ages of 19-36 are buying their first homes. This generation may be young, but its power is on the rise; the Brookings Institute reports that Millennials have more than 1.6 trillion dollars in buying power, with the average member of this group earning more than $60,000 in annual salary.

If you are a part of this new power generation, congratulations! You and your peers are a force to be reckoned with in real estate today. That doesn't mean, however, that you should run right out and buy a home just because you can. As consumers, you first need to consult with a real estate agent who will serve as your advocate, giving you all the facts and the kind of sound advice necessary to make the decision that is best for you.

If you or someone you know is a Millennial looking to buy a home, below are five tips to help you navigate the process:

 

1. Make sure buying makes sense for you. The key question to begin the consideration process is not "Can I afford to buy?" but rather "Should I buy?" To answer this, you'll need to ask yourself some tough questions: How transient am I at this point in my life? Is my job stable? Am I ready to put down roots? Can I see myself still living in this city in 3-5 years? If you think there's a strong possibility you'll want to move within 3 years, buying a home may not be a financially sound plan for you. In many markets, the rate of growth will not be sufficient to yield what you need if you sell again in just a couple of years. While it is impossible to predict the future, taking an honest look at your current lifestyle choices is critical in order to assess whether buying a home at this point in your life makes sense for you.

 

2. Talk to your parents. Guess what? They have most likely been through the home-buying process before, perhaps several times. Use them as a resource and you'll be surprised how helpful they can be. However, you should also remember that just because they offer advice as former sellers and buyers does not mean they know everything about this industry. Most people's parents are not experts in current day market conditions, negotiating, or contract law. You have a REALTOR for a reason. Use them. Be grateful that your parents want to give you input, and by all means listen to their opinions, but be aware of their limitations in what is an extremely regional -- and very complicated -- process.

 

3. Don't settle for a mediocre agent. There are literally thousands of real estate agents out there. Do your homework and find someone who really makes sense for you. Interview them and make sure that you are comfortable with them, because the process of buying a home is a sensitive one, and it helps if there is a connection. Take your time and find exactly the right person. And if you end up choosing someone only to discover later on that you have real problems with them, then by all means fire them. You have that right.

 

4. Be patient. Finding the right home needs to happen according to one person's time table -- yours. If anyone pushes you or makes you feel rushed, they are not the right advocate and do not truly have your best interest at heart.

 

5. You are in charge. There is nothing more important for you to understand than the consumer is in control of the decision making. You will not have control of every aspect of the sales transaction, of course -- things always happen that no one can foresee -- but your agent must listen to your needs and wants. They're not the one buying this house. You are.