Owning a Home is Still the American Dream
This month, Atlanta Real Estate Forum joins with the National Association of Home Builders to celebrate National Homeownership Month along with home builders, developers, contractors and suppliers to the construction industry. And there is good reason to celebrate as new research shows a household’s primary residence is its largest asset and continues to provide an important building block for long-term financial security. In fact, we are going to highlight six reasons that Millennials should buy a new home!
We’d like to encourage Millennials to get out of apartments and rental homes and buy a home. Stop throwing money away in rent. The statistics are staggering – a new report from real estate website RentCafe finds that between the ages of 22 and 30, the median total amount millennials spent on rent was $92,600. That’s $10,400 more than the inflation-adjusted amount that members of Generation X paid at the same age and $21,600 more than Baby Boomers spent. WOWZA!!!
Top Six Reasons that Millennials Should Buy a New Home
1) Interest rates are low.
Historically low in fact! Average weekly interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage have remained under 4% for most of 2017. And they are still below 5%; however, these rates will not last. They are going to creep up slowly, and sometimes a slight rate increase can push monthly payments to the point that a buyer might miss out on their first choice for a new home.
2) Huge down payments are not necessary.
While lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years, there are options for purchasing your first home without a 20% down payment. For example, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans to first-time home buyers with down payments as low as 3.5%. However, these loans require mortgage insurance. There are also a number of down payment assistance programs available like these from Invest Atlanta.
Buyers should consider pre-qualifying for a mortgage before shopping for a new home, as it makes the process go much smoother. Many Atlanta home builders have preferred lenders in place to work directly with their buyers, and many offer down payment incentives, so make sure to ask!
3) New homes are built to fit your lifestyle.
Today’s new homes are designed to accommodate busy lifestyles and feature open floor plans, flexible spaces, low-maintenance materials, home automation, outdoor living, state-of-the-art kitchens and other features that appeal to younger buyers. Most new home communities include wide sidewalks and focus on walkability to restaurants, parks or other nearby attractions.
New homes are also more energy efficient than ever. Some even offer guarantees for energy like those in the Jackson EMC Right Choice New Homes program.
4) Technology makes house shopping fun and easy.
Mobile apps allow tech-savvy home buyers to find key information on a property and see videos and photos from their mobile phones or tablets. Most home shoppers start their search with Zillow or Realtor. If you are looking at homes in an unfamiliar area, AroundMe helps you get a quick sense of the neighborhood by telling you the location of local restaurants, supermarkets, other businesses and attractions.
5) Owning a home can help young families build wealth and combat rising rents.
For most Americans, homeownership is a primary source of net worth and is an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term. As the housing market continues to recover, property values have begun to grow again. In fact, home values are up 6.3% nationally in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the first quarter of 2015.
6) Your furbaby (dog) will have his own yard.
We love our pets! A third of Millennials (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home (33%) say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home! Millennials are community conscious as well, and love to adopt, not shop. Most Millennials love rescue dogs like the fabulous GSDs at Canine Pet Rescue. Dogs ranked higher than marriage, upcoming marriage, birth and expected birth of a child. Fur babies for the win! Source: Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI).
We hope we have convinced you that Millenials should buy a new home! For more information on resources for first-time home buyers, visit nahb.org/forconsumers.