Despite fluctuations in the economy, the American dream still includes owning a home. Some people buy at a young age while others wait until they are in their thirties. Because life situations change as people grow older, the decision process regarding home purchases changes as well. Regardless of whether you are a fist time home buyer or are looking to purchase another place to call your own, here are some useful tips for twenty- thirty- and forty-somethings.
- Come up with a comprehensive plan in your 20s. Unless you’re a military veteran, you’re going to need a down payment on your first home. Vets have the luxury of no down payment government backed loans through the Veterans Administration. For other twenty-somethings, you’re going to need to pluck down about 5-10K to get into your first home, and ensuring your credit report is good can diminish your down payment. Saving the bucks for your down payment might not be a huge task for some, and a struggle for others, but you should also consider other extraneous costs of home ownership. Costs that need to be considered include home furnishings (if not included), maintenance equipment like a snow blower, lawn mower, and other useful necessities. Finally, your plan should consist of how long you expect to live in the home. Professionals may need to transfer, while others can consider long-term residency. In the end, it’s best to speak to a reputable real estate agent who can assist you in mapping out your plan and get you into your first home at the best possible price and best possible scenario.
- Reflect on your lifestyle needs in your 30s. When considering another home purchase in your 30s, there’s more to ruminate on than just the space you’ll need. If you have kids in school, consider the school district, and if not, an oversized living space may not be the right choice. Furthermore, those seeking a more serene environment should look to rural home purchases, while those who crave city living should consider access to shopping areas, the quality of life in the area where you desire to live, and other factors that are applicable to your tastes and wants. One other caveat is helpful as well: refrain from refurbishing your new home with overly expensive amenities. Keep in mind that if and when you sell your home, buyers are only going to pay market rates for the neighborhood, not for the mini golf course in the backyard, or the recycled antique glass and dyed cement countertop you had installed for flair. And if and when you do transition to a new home at a later time, it’s best to work with a seasoned real estate agent who can assist you in the selling/buying process so you don’t wind up at your mother-in-law’s house for a couple of months.
- Reevaluate your necessities in your 40s. Upsizing or downsizing is one of the bigger factors when buying a home in your 40s. If you have teens bound for college or who are ready to graduate, you may want to consider downsizing to avoid the empty nest syndrome. Conversely, if you started a family at a later time in your life, upsizing is the likely way to go as it may be a while before the kids are off to college, graduate and are off to seek their fortunes in life. The bottom line for home buyers in your 40s is to consider your present or pressing needs.
Careful planning and decision making when it comes to home purchases doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. There’s no rush. Take your time and jot down your needs, wants and future plans. When you finally reach a conclusion, don’t try to be Superman and go it alone on your new home purchase. Seek out an experienced, respected real estate agent who will make your decisions come to fruition and ease your burdens. After all, that’s what they’re good at.