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6 Things Millennials Can't Ignore When Buying a Home

Sep 27, 2018|

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If you’re a millennial in the market for a home, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what you want—maybe it's a starter home in the suburbs, a sprawling ranch with a huge yard or a townhouse just steps away from your favorite bars and restaurants.

A wish list is good to have, but what's really important when looking for a home?

Take a look at some of the most important things millennial homebuyers should keep in mind when looking for their first home.

1. Know your budget and stay true to it

This is the number one rule for house hunting. Keep in mind that what you can affordand what you’re approved for might be two different things. Create a realistic budget and find out what you can comfortably afford.

It’s also important to remember that your total payment isn’t just your mortgage. Taxes, HOA fees, and homeowners insurance will all factor into the payment. Financial experts recommend keeping your total mortgage between 30 and 35 percent of your pretax income.

2. Consider investment opportunities

You want a home that not only provides value for you now but in the future as well. So how do you turn your home into an investment?

There are many ways to approach the investment of your home. You could purchase a fixer-upper, invest money (and a little labor) into making it safe and modern, and have instant sweat equity in your home. Or, you may want to think about buying a home in an area that could provide steady rental income in the future if you ever decide to move, such as in a college town or city that attracts tourism.

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3. Find your version of a "starter home"

It used to be that starter homes were smaller, inexpensive homes people purchased as they were just starting out, with the idea of eventually “trading up” to a larger or more expensive home as they became more established. The average starter home cost in the US is between $150,000 and $250,000.

But that might not be the path to home ownership for millennials. Today, many people are skipping the starter home phase and going straight into more expensive homes for their first-time home.

In fact, 30% of millennials bought homes for $300,000 or more in 2018. After renting for longer periods of time, some millennials are able to save for a greater down payment while also finding better-paying jobs as they settle in their careers.

4. Make a difference with energy-efficient features

If you’re like most millennials, the environment matters. So much, in fact, that 78% of respondents in one survey said they were willing to change their lifestyles in order to make a positive impact on the environment.

You can go green when buying a home by looking for energy-efficient features. These might include anything from home improvements like upgraded insulation to Energy Star appliances to alternative energy sources, like solar.

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Improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home with a smart thermostat.

Even if you find the home of your dreams and it doesn’t have environmentally friendly features, that shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker. Installing energy efficient lighting or a smart thermostat that adjusts the temperature automatically will not only save energy, but money as well. That’s a win for the environment and your wallet.

5. Location, location, location

When you’re buying a home, location matters. Decide what’s important to you—whether it’s great schools, proximity to your favorite shops and restaurants, or privacy from neighbors—and look for a home in a location that meets your needs.

If you commute to work, location will also play a factor. Spending hours in the car each day driving back and forth to work gets tiring quickly, so a home that provides a reasonable commute is something to consider.

6. Convenience at home and on the go

A home is a major investment and should reflect your lifestyle as much as possible, so convenience should be a major factor when looking for a home.

For many millennials, this means the latest and greatest tech. According to one survey, 86% of millennials are willing to shell out more money for a home that has smart technology.

smart home provides the ultimate in convenience, allowing you to manage and control your home—lock doors, adjust lighting, view security cameras, adjust temperature—remotely from a single smartphone app, a central location in your home, or even with your voice. Knowing you can stay connected to your home wherever you are also provides peace of mind—something all buyers want, regardless of age.


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As the real estate market continues to improve, more and more millennials are looking for homes where they can raise a family and establish roots.

Wherever your home search takes you, you can't go wrong with a smart home that combines affordability and value with convenience and security.

Get a free quote on a smart home system and start your homeownership experience on the right foot. Give us a call at 844.481.8630.

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