There seems to be a prevalent mindset that millennials will never be able to afford a house. While the housing market is inflated in some areas, for most of the country, there are certainly affordable properties. This misconception is certainly not current for many young adults who are working full-time, even if they have significant student loan debt. There are a few steps millennials can take to save for their first home, even if that purchase is ten years down the road. Here are steps you can start taking today to help get you ready to purchase a home.
Boost your credit score
While this tip isn’t directly related to saving up money, it’s a vital one when it comes to purchasing your first home. When you apply for a loan for your mortgage, a big factor for the interest rate and whether or not you’ll get approved is based off of your credit score. If you do not have a great credit score now, you can fix this issue by opening up a credit card and lightly using it; make sure you pay off the balance each month and avoid late payments. Over time, your credit history will improve as you use more of it. Regularly check your credit score as well to make sure there’s no false information or that someone is opening accounts in your name.
Save up a down payment
The best way to make owning a home feasible and less stressful is by saving up an adequate down payment. The rule of thumb is to have 20 percent of the home’s value as your down payment, though many people do not follow this number. You can get approved for a home if you have less than a 20 percent down payment and there are programs out there to help make up the difference and navigate buying your first home, but it’s still best to put as much money down initially as possible.
Do your research
There are major costs associated with buying a home, but you can mitigate some of these costs if you do sufficient research. Make sure you are only buying a house you can actually afford; people often get approved for mortgages that severely strain their budgets. Also shop around for real estate agents and learn what costs you can cut back on and how to get the best deal as you search for your home.
Set regular goals
Buying a home might seem far off, but saving up a down payment takes time. Set goals for yourself to achieve over the next few years. Even putting away $20 a week adds up! You can also schedule automatic withdrawals from your account to go to a separate account for your down payment. You won’t notice the money’s gone and you’ll save up a decent down payment for when you start shopping for a home.