Buying a house today is nothing like buying a house twenty, or even 15 years ago. We have changed how we access information, and gone are the days of having to visit with a real estate agent to see the listings in your local market. Now, you simply use the internet to search for a home, and possibly even to buy your home.
Millennials are the generation of technology. Many have grown up using smartphones, computers, and social media for nearly everything. The real estate market has shifted, and it is nothing like your parents’ real estate market. Information is easily accessible, and getting preapproved for a loan online is commonplace. However, as the real estate market changes with the generations, there are some important things to keep in mind and understand about buying and selling homes in today’s market.
The Homeowner Evolution
Prior to the current market, most homeowners were typically young. They were married in their 20s, and bought a starter home, usually in the suburbs. Thirty year loans were common, because home purchases did not happen often during a lifetime. At most, many people bought a house maybe twice in their entire lifetime. It was an investment in settling down and planting roots. After 30 years, the house was paid off, and they lived there until the end.
Today, however, the market is much different. When you went to college, it is likely that you didn’t stay in your hometown, or if you did, you probably moved after graduating. Millennials are a highly mobile generation, and they value freedom and travel. Renting has become more common, and even preferable, for the many millennials that travel and change jobs frequently. In today’s market, buying a home isn’t necessarily the American Dream.
Of course, there are plenty of millennials that do buy homes. Today, there is little pressure to buy a home, because homeownership doesn’t hold the same status that it used to. If you don’t want to buy a home, then don’t. But if you do, don’t feel pressured not to.
Slowing Down in a Fast World
Technology has made the world incredibly fast. Instead of writing a letter and waiting days, weeks, or longer for your message to get delivered, you simply send an email and it is sent and received instantly. The internet has made the world accessible in a matter of seconds, and searching for a home is far easier now than ever before.
While technology has made many aspects of your daily life virtually instant, that doesn’t mean you should rush purchasing a home. Just because you can get preapproved for a mortgage online, send your closing documents or inspection reports from your smartphone, doesn’t mean that buying a house is a rushed process. You need to take your time, and make sure that you are buying the best home, for the right reasons.
The Evolving Real Estate Agent
Twenty years ago, a real estate agent was one of just a few, if not the only, ways to explore real estate. Today, the internet does the searching for you, far faster than a real estate agent ever could. However, you should not discredit real estate agents. When you are buying a home and looking for property, you need a good local real estate agent on your side. The internet can find you a home, but the agent will be able to tell you if the neighborhood is good, if the price is right, or if you should keep looking. Your local real estate agent is there to help you understand that massive amount of data available to you on the internet, and they want to help you find the perfect home at the right price.
Buyer Beware? Not Anymore
Millennials are the generation of the internet. You have grown up being able to search the internet for anything, and online reviews are influential in your purchasing decisions. Just telling you something is good doesn’t make you believe it, and you will do your homework and research before you make your decision.
The same is true when it comes to selling a home. Just like you do your homework when buying a home, smartphone, or anything else, any potential buyers of your home will be doing the same thing. You will need to stay one step ahead of them. Before you list your home, think like a buyer.
Loans, Loans, and More Loans
Only 15 years ago, you did not have the ability to choose from the dozens of different loans and mortgages available today. Essentially, you could get a 30-year mortgage. That number is intimidating, likely because you don’t know where you will be in five years, much less 30. Today, there are a wide variety of mortgage options, so shop around, flex your search muscles, and find the mortgage that is going to work the best for you.
Don’t be afraid about working a local mortgage professional. Their experience and knowledge will help you navigate the dozens of loan options available today, to make sure you don’t get stuck in a mortgage that doesn’t work for you now, or in the future.