No matter the living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it's a familiar scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes can be more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why.
You've put in a lot of work to achieve the dream of homeownership, and whether it's your first home or your fifth, congratulations are in order for this milestone. You've earned it.
Owning your own home offers not only safety and security but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and unwind after a long day. Sometimes that's just what we need to feel recharged and truly content.
Whether you want more room for your changing lifestyle (think: working from home, dedicated space for a hobby, or a personal gym) or you simply prefer to have a large backyard for entertaining, you can invest in a home that truly works for your evolving needs.
Looking to try one of those decorative wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to create an entire in-home yoga studio. You can do all of these things in your own home.
Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a repeat buyer who's ready to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the non-financial factors that turn a house into a happy home. Reach out to a trusted real estate professional to help guide you.
Resource: Keeping Current Matters
The sense of pride you'll feel when you purchase a home can't be overstated. For first-generation homebuyers, that feeling of accomplishment is even greater. That's because the pride of homeownership for first-generation buyers extends far beyond the homebuyer. AJ Barkley, Head of Neighborhood and Community Lending for Bank of America, says:
"Achieving this goal can create a sense of pride and accomplishment that resonates both for the buyer and those closest to them, including their parents and future generations."
In other words, your dream of homeownership has far-reaching impacts. If you're about to be the first person in your family to buy a home, let that motivate you throughout the process. As you begin your journey, here are three helpful tips to make that dream come true.
It's important to reach out to a trusted advisor early in your homebuying process. Not only can an agent help you find the right home, but they'll serve as your expert advisor and answer any questions you might have along the way.
The latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveyed first-time homebuyers to see how their agent helped them with their home purchase (see chart below):
As the graph shows, your agent is a great source of information throughout the process. They'll help you understand what's happening, assess a home's condition, and negotiate a contract that has the best possible terms for you. These are just some of the reasons having an expert in your corner is critical as you navigate one of the most significant purchases of your life.
The second piece of advice for first-generation homebuyers is practical: do your research so you know what you can afford. That means getting your finances in order, reviewing your budget, and getting pre-approved through a lender. It also means learning the ins and outs of what it takes to pay for your home, including what you'll need for a down payment.
Many homebuyers believe the common misconception that you can't purchase a home without coming up with a 20% for a down payment. As Freddie Mac says:
"The most damaging down payment myth—since it stops the homebuying process before it can start—is the belief that 20% is necessary."
The chart below shows what recent homebuyers have actually put down on their purchases:
On average, first-time buyers only put 7% down on their home purchase. That's far less than the 20% many people believe is necessary. That means your down payment, and your home purchase, may be in closer reach than you realize. Keep that in mind as you work with a real estate professional to better understand what you'll need for your purchase.
Finally, it's important keep in mind why you're searching for a home to begin with. Overwhelmingly, first-generation homeowners recognize the financial and non-financial benefits of owning a home. In fact, in a recent survey:
As AJ Barkley explains:
"For many first-generation homeowners and their families, homeownership has a unique importance, given the collective efforts to overcome financial challenges that can often span generations…"
If you're a first-generation homebuyer, being prepared and working with a trusted expert is key to achieving your dream. Connect today so you can get started on your path to homeownership.
Resources: National Association of Realtors (NAR), Keeping Current Matters
Sources: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, MBA, NAR, Pulsenomics, Zelman, Keeping Current Matters
From the opportunity to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates to changing homeowner needs, Americans have more motivation than ever to buy a home. According to the experts, buyers are making moves right now, creating an unseasonably strong housing market for this time of year.
As we wrap up the fall season and move into the winter months, here's a look at what several industry leaders have to say about the continued momentum in the current market, and what it means as we head into the early part of next year.
"This solid buying is a testament to demand still being relatively high, as it is occurring during a time when inventory is still markedly low. The notable gain in October assures that total existing-home sales in 2021 will exceed 6 million, which will shape up to be the best performance in 15 years."
"So far in November, purchase applications point to another strong month in sales. Still low rates and demographic demand support this strength, even as affordability and inventory headwinds remain."
"The demand for housing in the United States has reached a fever pitch, a trend that opposes the norm of this time of the year when the market cools as the winter months set in."
"Strong demographic demand will continue to act as the wind in the housing market's sails."
Buyers are actively in the market, and they're competing for homes to purchase. With the momentum coming out of this fall, all signs point to the winter housing market picking up steam, making it much busier than in a more typical year. And as we've seen in so many ways, 2020 and 2021 were anything but typical in real estate. It looks like 2022 may be joining that list before we know it.
If you think the housing market will slow down this winter, think again. Whether you're thinking of buying a home, selling your house, or both – connect with your trusted real estate professional to determine if this winter is your best time to make a move too.
Resources: Keeping Current Matters, National Association of Realtors (NAR), First American