how to buy a home as a millennial

How to Buy a House as a Millennial in 5 Simple Steps

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Millennials are becoming more and more entrenched in the real estate market as time moves forward.

For clarification, a millennial is considered anyone from the ages of 24-38 as of writing this article.

This generation of home buyers has changed the game when it comes to how real estate agents should operate.

They’re less likely to answer cold calls, less receptive to door knocking, and most of them are mentally wired to look up “how-to” do something on Google or YouTube before ever dialing a phone number for professional help compared to their boomer counterparts.

This is bad news for real estate agents because most have not built any sort of online presence, other than using Facebook a couple of times a week to self-promote.

However, as a younger guy, I feel the same sentiments as millennials when it comes to phone calls versus using the internet for help.

That’s why I’ve built this website, this blog, create videos, and craft the rest of the digital content I produce on a daily basis.

I’m who they find on the internet.

And I’m here to answer another one of their questions.

How do you buy a house as a millennial?

The Basics

The basics are the same as any other real estate transaction.

  • Sort your finances and get prequalified by a lender.
  • Find a Realtor.
  • Shop for homes.
  • Make an offer on a house you like.
  • Close the transaction.

But because most millennials are making their first real estate purchase, there’s often a lot of apprehensions involved in making such a huge commitment that costs the most amount of money they’ve ever put up.

So what should you do as a millennial?

1. Get Your Finances Sorted and Receive Prequalification From a Lender

Making sure your finances are in order is the most important part of this process.

As a millennial, odds are that you’re encumbered by a crazy amount of college debt.

Recent reports state that the average person in North Carolina carries over $36,000 in student loan debt. The U.S. as a whole has a combined $1.4 trillion in college debt.

millennial college debt
Data from Experian’s report on U.S. College Debt.

That’s insane.

Those loans aren’t getting paid off fast either. As a millennial, before you consider buying a home, be sure to ask a mortgage lender to look at your finances.

Yes, I mean actually contact a lender. You’ll find a plethora of calculators and content online that will teach you about mortgages and let you know if you can afford a house.

But I promise you, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the underwriting process (the actual financial qualification) and you’ll need personal attention from a lender.

Once you know that you can afford a house or not, it’s time to get excited.

This is where the fun begins.

2. Find a Realtor Before You Start Searching

I might be biased, but there’s serious merit in hiring a real estate agent before you find a house.

We’re also free to work with as a buyer too, so you have nothing to lose.

Buying a home is a very large process, not necessarily complicated, but large.

You’ll want to focus on one thing at a time.

Before you begin your search, find a good real estate agent. Preferably, one that knows what they’re doing (you’d be surprised by how many don’t) and can explain things to you in an easy-to-understand manner.

How you find your agent doesn’t matter. In fact, because I’m part of the new-age digital marketing group of real estate agents, find ones like myself who produce content.

Those are the ones who are passionate about real estate.

3. Shopping Time

Back in the day, you’d have to either ride around town and find “For Sale” signs in the yard or ask a real estate agent to show you their big MLS book.

Now, we have Zillow and the internet.

I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m a better resource for finding the perfect house for you.

The internet is by far the place for you to look.

For one, you search based on what you want. Zillow, realtor.com, Trulia, and all those big websites have plenty of sliders and options for you to sort through the homes you don’t want to see.

Two, how am I ever going to be a better resource for picking a house than your own feelings?

I’m so tired of hearing real estate agents give their value proposition as “we have the MLS” because that died when the internet was born.

All of the listings we see on the MLS are syndicated to every real estate website that exists. Albeit, listings are not immediately syndicated, it’s pretty quick and it’s getting quicker.

Real estate agents offer value through expertise in the form of content and being there for you when you need us, but ultimately, you have all of the information you need to find the home you want.

4. Making an Offer

When you’re ready to buy a house, let your real estate agent know and they’ll go ahead and compile an offer that will be sent to the listing agent and the Sellers.

The offer will contain the sales price, earnest money deposit, due diligence fee, and other terms.

Hopefully, the Sellers accept the offer and you’re able to go under contract.

If not, then they either counter us with an offer they find more favorable or let us walk.

Doing Your Due Diligence

Let’s say the Sellers accept our offer. We’re now in the due diligence period.

In this phase, you’ll want to start getting inspections on the property and whatever you or your Realtor believes will be necessary to get looked at.

During due diligence, you’ll be able to cancel the contract with a minimal penalty, so you’ll want to figure out now if you’re ready to commit or not.

This is also the time to negotiate any necessary repairs and concessions with the Sellers.

5. Prepare for Closing

Once due diligence passes, you’re on your way to the end.

Usually, the settlement is about a week to two weeks after the date of due diligence, so you’ll be closing soon.

I have a full article on what you’ll need to expect in closing costs so I would definitely take the time to read that. Closing costs can rack up a lot of cash, sometimes more than $10,000 so be informed.

Close

Closing is usually an hour-long process where both parties come to the attorney’s office, selected by you, to exchange keys, disburse funds, and transfer the title.

This is where you “get” your new home.

Final Thoughts

While this was a very short and sweet guide, the general message I’m providing here is that as a millennial, the process is the same when it comes to buying a house.

What differentiates the process is that most millennials will have a significant amount of debt, which might make it tough to get pre-qualified or afford what you actually want.

Nonetheless, real estate is an amazing investment and much better than renting.

Millennials are becoming more and more entrenched in the real estate market as time moves forward.

For clarification, a millennial is considered anyone from the ages of 24-38 as of writing this article.

This generation of home buyers has changed the game when it comes to how real estate agents should operate.

They’re less likely to answer cold calls, less receptive to door knocking, and most of them are mentally wired to look up “how-to” do something on Google or YouTube before ever dialing a phone number for professional help compared to their boomer counterparts.

This is bad news for real estate agents because most have not built any sort of online presence, other than using Facebook a couple of times a week to self-promote.

However, as a younger guy, I feel the same sentiments as millennials when it comes to phone calls versus using the internet for help.

That’s why I’ve built this website, this blog, create videos, and craft the rest of the digital content I produce on a daily basis.

I’m who they find on the internet.

And I’m here to answer another one of their questions.

How do you buy a house as a millennial?

The Basics

The basics are the same as any other real estate transaction.

You first get prequalified by a lender, shop for homes with a Realtor, make an offer on a house you like, and then close.

But because most millennials are making their first real estate purchase, there’s often a lot of apprehensions involved in making such a huge commitment that costs the most amount of money they’ve ever put up.

So what should you do as a millennial?

Get Your Finances Sorted

Making sure your finances are in order is the most important part of this process.

As a millennial, odds are that you’re encumbered by a crazy amount of college debt.

Recent reports state that the average person in North Carolina carries over $36,000 in student loan debt. The U.S. as a whole has a combined $1.4 trillion in college debt.

millennial college debt
Data from Experian’s report on U.S. College Debt.

That’s insane.

Those loans aren’t getting paid off fast either. As a millennial, before you consider buying a home, be sure to ask a mortgage lender to look at your finances.

Yes, I mean actually contact a lender. You’ll find a plethora of calculators and content online that will teach you about mortgages and let you know if you can afford a house.

But I promise you, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the underwriting process (the actual financial qualification) and you’ll need personal attention from a lender.

Once you know that you can afford a house or not, it’s time to get excited.

This is where the fun begins.

Find a Realtor Before You Start Searching

I might be biased, but there’s serious merit in hiring a real estate agent before you find a house.

We’re also free to work with as a buyer too, so you have nothing to lose.

Buying a home is a very large process, not necessarily complicated, but large.

You’ll want to focus on one thing at a time.

Before you begin your search, find a good real estate agent. Preferably, one that knows what they’re doing (you’d be surprised by how many don’t) and can explain things to you in an easy-to-understand manner.

How you find your agent doesn’t matter. In fact, because I’m part of the new-age digital marketing group of real estate agents, find ones like myself who produce content.

Those are the ones who are passionate about real estate.

Shopping Time

Back in the day, you’d have to either ride around town and find “For Sale” signs in the yard or ask a real estate agent to show you their big MLS book.

Now, we have Zillow and the internet.

I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m a better resource for finding the perfect house for you.

The internet is by far the place for you to look.

For one, you search based on what you want. Zillow, realtor.com, Trulia, and all those big websites have plenty of sliders and options for you to sort through the homes you don’t want to see.

Two, how am I ever going to be a better resource for picking a house than your own feelings?

I’m so tired of hearing real estate agents give their value proposition as “we have the MLS” because that died when the internet was born.

All of the listings we see on the MLS are syndicated to every real estate website that exists. Albeit, listings are not immediately syndicated, it’s pretty quick and it’s getting quicker.

Real estate agents offer value through expertise in the form of content and being there for you when you need us, but ultimately, you have all of the information you need to find the home you want.

Making an Offer

When you’re ready to buy a house, let your real estate agent know and they’ll go ahead and compile an offer that will be sent to the listing agent and the Sellers.

The offer will contain the sales price, earnest money deposit, due diligence fee, and other terms.

Hopefully, the Sellers accept the offer and you’re able to go under contract.

If not, then they either counter us with an offer they find more favorable or let us walk.

Doing Your Due Diligence

Let’s say the Sellers accept our offer. We’re now in the due diligence period.

In this phase, you’ll want to start getting inspections on the property and whatever you or your Realtor believes will be necessary to get looked at.

During due diligence, you’ll be able to cancel the contract with a minimal penalty, so you’ll want to figure out now if you’re ready to commit or not.

This is also the time to negotiate any necessary repairs and concessions with the Sellers.

Prepare for Closing

Once due diligence passes, you’re on your way to the end.

Usually, the settlement is about a week to two weeks after the date of due diligence, so you’ll be closing soon.

I have a full article on what you’ll need to expect in closing costs so I would definitely take the time to read that. Closing costs can rack up a lot of cash, sometimes more than $10,000 so be informed.

Close

Closing is usually an hour-long process where both parties come to the attorney’s office, selected by you, to exchange keys, disburse funds, and transfer the title.

This is where you “get” your new home.

Final Thoughts

While this was a very short and sweet guide, the general message I’m providing here is that as a millennial, the process is the same when it comes to buying a house.

What differentiates the process is that most millennials will have a significant amount of debt, which might make it tough to get pre-qualified or afford what you actually want.

Nonetheless, real estate is an amazing investment and much better than renting.

There are many cases where it can be cheaper to own a home than pay rent. Do what our generation does best and Google it!

Matthew Myre

Matthew Myre

Matthew is a North Carolina real estate agent and the CEO of Berri Properties. Matthew brought his passion for writing to his career by creating the Berri Properties Blog, which now ranks as one of the Top 50 Best Real Estate Blogs in the world. His favorite things are basketball, history, politics, and popcorn. Feel free to contact him at matthew@berriluxuryproperties.com

Matthew Myre

Matthew is a North Carolina real estate agent and the CEO of Berri Properties. Matthew brought his passion for writing to his career by creating the Berri Properties Blog, which now ranks as one of the Top 50 Best Real Estate Blogs in the world. His favorite things are basketball, history, politics, and popcorn. Feel free to contact him at matthew@berriluxuryproperties.com
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