Advice for First-Generation Homebuyers

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. 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.

1. Reach Out to a Real Estate Professional

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.

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.

Jackie Kretzer says, “First, CONGRATULATIONS! Next, be upfront about your expectations and priorities when discussing a real estate purchase so you that you get the experience you want. Share your level of knowledge with your Realtor so they can make sure to guide you in ways that suit your specific wants & needs. They will help you understand how realistic or difficult your expectations may be to meet, how to calm your concerns or share red flags as you move through what can potentially be a stressful process. We want you to enjoy homeownership and be confident on your path to that goal so this step is important!”

2. Do Your Research and Know What You Can Afford

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.

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.

Carrie Long says, “Know what your comfort level is financially before you shop! Also ensure you are engaging with professionals in the field: a good Realtor and a knowledgable loan officer. You will get a lot of unsolicited advice and you can find 1,000 different articles on the internet, but you need to align yourself with pros who understand your goals, are educating and informing of the process and are committed to you achieving your end goal!”

3. Don’t Lose Sight of What Home Means to You

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:

  • 73% of first-generation homeowners say the safety and security homeownership provides is increasing in importance.
  • Nearly two-thirds of first-generation homeowners say the importance of building equity in a home is growing more important as well.

If you’re a first-generation homebuyer, being prepared and working with a trusted expert is key to achieving your dream. Connect with a real estate professional in your local area today to get started on your path to homeownership.