Financial Advice

First-Time Homebuyers Getting Serious About Buying a Home

More than half of millennials (52%) who think they’ll buy their first home in the next five years say debt is keeping them from purchasing a house, according to a survey from TD Bank. An even larger portion (70%) say they need to save more for a down payment. Yet these aspiring homeowners are optimistic, with two-thirds of them expecting to buy within the next two years.

First-time homebuyers of other generations face those barriers, too, but they’re not as common. However, millennials were more likely than everyone else to say they expect to buy a house in the next two years.

Among respondents of any age, 45% cited debt as a barrier to homeownership, and 64% said they need to save more for a down payment. The data comes from a nationally representative respondent pool of 1,002 people looking to buy their first homes within five years, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The survey occurred between June 6 and June 11.

Financial preparedness is only one part of becoming a homeowner, though it’s an important one. Another factor is home availability: One in five of first-time homebuyers actively looking for a home can’t find something they like in their price range (this calculator can help you figure out what you can afford), according to the survey. Among this pool of potential buyers new to the housing market, 22% said they are actively looking.

There’s not much consumers can do about that last part — some markets are going to be more affordable than others — unless you’re willing to move to a more affordable location for the sake of homeownership. What house hunters can control is their preparedness for homeownership. A huge part of getting a home is qualifying for an affordable mortgage, which relies heavily on the borrower’s credit standing. You can get your free credit report summary and make a plan to improve your credit on, as a way to help prepare for mortgage applications.

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This article by Christine DiGangi was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.