first time home buyer

Tips for Buying a Home with Friends

With housing inventory low and prices going up, some people are making the decision to partner with friends and buy a home together. This scenario allows people who otherwise would not be able to afford a house to share expenses and achieve the dream of becoming homeowners. But how do you know if buying property jointly is the right move for you?

It is important to remember that this is a business transaction, so you and your friends will have to approach it as such. You are going to have to have a very open, very frank conversation with your friends about their finances, their plans for the future, what to do if someone wants to sell, etc.If these are conversations you are uncomfortable having or you are worried about the effect they might have on your friendship, then buying a home with friends is probably not the right choice for you.

However, if you and your friends can come to terms, owning a home while sharing the burden of all the costs can help you build your savings while gaining equity in a home.

Here are some tips on purchasing a home with friends:

Review your friends’ finances. This is most likely the largest financial decision of your life, so now is not the time to hem and haw on questions of finance. You will need to be aware of everyone’s credit scores, income, savings and any other relevant assets. It is important to make sure that you and your friends are financially prepared to become homeowners.

Decide how payments and costs will be split. Questions to consider are how much each person will contribute to the downpayment and if that will affect how you and your friends divide the mortgage payments? Will the utilities be split evenly every month or will you alternate who pays? It is important that these details be worked out and understood by everyone involved before the home is purchased.

Decide on the type of house. Are you planning on buying a single-family home or a multi-family home? Do you see yourself sharing a kitchen and bathroom, or are you looking to buy a place where you will each have your own private residence? You should also decide ahead of time on everyone’s must-haves for the home. Knowing that your friend will only buy a house with a big backyard or that they will not buy a house on a corner lot can save you a lot of time house hunting.

Get everything in writing. It is important that all of the co-purchasers keep written documentation of all of your agreements regarding financial and other responsibilities. So many people think that because they are dealing with friends that there is no need to write up a contract, but it can help you to avoid conflicts and surprises down the road.

Work with a Realtor®. Buying a home is an important decision, and whether you are doing it on your own or with a friend, using a Realtor® is a smart move. A Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, can provide counsel, discuss listings, show you homes in person, negotiate on your behalf and help you stay focused on the issues that are most important.

If you enter the arrangement educated and prepared, co-purchasing a home can be a great way to get your foot on the first step of the homeownership ladder.

What do Millennials Want From A Realtor?

The numbers are in and Millennials take the top spot as the largest group of recent home buyers in the U.S. According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers, Millennials (those age 33 and younger) comprised 31 percent of recent home purchases.

“Millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, and since many still aspire to one day invest in their future through homeownership, they will drive future housing demand,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Despite having a reputation of not wanting to put down roots, this generation still very much sees homeownership as part of the American Dream. What exactly is this age group – most of whom are likely to start their home buying search online – hoping to gain from working with a Realtor®?

Getting information from the Internet is a lot like trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant. Young buyers are looking to Realtors® to help them understand and interpret all this information, given them insights into everything that goes into the home buying decision, and guide them through the process. This is the largest financial transaction of their lives, so they are looking for someone they believe is honest and trustworthy.

This means that they are most likely to hire their agent based on a reference from a friend or relative. As this is probably their first venture into the real estate market, a recommendation from mom or dad, or perhaps a good friend who just went through the process is going to carry more weight than any online reviews. While Millennials want to enter the market, this generation does face some challenges on their path to homeownership. Twenty percent of Millennials polled said that they would have a hard time saving for down payment, citing student loan debt as their main financial hurdle. That, along with the challenges of tight credit, limited inventory, and the possibility of rising interest rates, can limit the options and ability for young people to own.

However, these issues aren’t changing young buyers’ attitudes about buying a home. This generation truly appreciates the long-term benefits and economic security of homeownership; 87 percent polled say they consider their home purchase a good financial investment. They also understand the issues currently affecting the market, and that they may have to be flexible to make owning their own home a reality.

Realtors® know that younger people often need to make compromises to get into their new home and can help guide buyers to achieving their goal of owning their own property. Desired size and location are usually negotiable when buying a home and most buyers are willing to make financial sacrifices if it means they can make this important investment in their future.

First-time buyer’s guide

Buying a home for the first time can be quite the experience. Whether it’s choosing the right location, establishing a proper budget or even choosing the right real estate agent, it can all be a bit much. Fortunately, local REALTORS® are available to help guide new home buyers through the tricky and sometimes tedious process.  

Step number one, before even looking for a dream home, is to get prequalified for a mortgage. Prequalifying shows the REALTORS® and the rest of the market that this is a serious hunt for a house. Check on credit scores, current budget and long-term goals before applying for prequalification.  

First-time home buyers also face an uneasy road when it comes to location. Many may be in a new town or are moving from a rental property. While they may understand mortgage payments, this may be their first time with insurance, upkeep and everything that comes with actually owning a house.   

Deciding where a long-term investment will pay off is key. Is it the up and coming neighborhood, or a long-standing traditional neighborhood? A REALTOR® will listen to the needs of the buyer and knows the city inside and out, which allows them to find the right home.   

Check out more great tips from REALTORS® by contacting your REALTOR today.

First-time Buyer’s Guide

Buying a home for the first time can be quite the experience. Whether it’s choosing the right location, establishing a proper budget or even choosing the right real estate agent, it can all be a bit much. Fortunately, local REALTORS® are available to help guide new home buyers through the tricky and sometimes tedious process.

Step number one, before even looking for a dream home, is to get prequalified for a mortgage. Prequalifying shows the REALTORS® and the rest of the market that this is a serious hunt for a house. Check on credit scores, current budget and long-term goals before applying for prequalification.

First-time home buyers also face an uneasy road when it comes to location. Many may be in a new town or are moving from a rental property. While they may understand mortgage payments, this may be their first time with insurance, upkeep and everything that comes with actually owning a house.

Deciding where a long-term investment will pay off is key. Is it the up and coming neighborhood, or a long-standing traditional neighborhood? A REALTOR® will listen to the needs of the buyer and knows the city inside and out, which allows them to find the perfect home.  

Check out more great tips from REALTORS® by contacting one today.