I'm a millennial and I just bought a home - here's what I wish I knew when I started the process
- Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most people will make.
- There are many things millennials must consider when buying a home, like speaking with a mortgage broker rather than relying on real estate websites, finding an inspector, and sticking to a budget.
- After a year and a half of searching, my partner and I finally bought a house, though there are a number of things I wish we had known before starting the process.
I've always thought buying a house was a milestone I would reach by 30. I'd own that perfect, stately colonial on a beautiful tree-lined street in a nice suburban town.
I'm turning 30 this year, and the search for my perfect home has been complicated beyond measure, with the foremost obstacle being affordability. It turns out I'm not alone among people of my generation - according to CNBC, a growing number of millennials are struggling to save any money at all, nevermind enough for a down payment.And it doesn't help that, as of 2018, US home prices are the least affordable since 2008, according to Attom Data Solutions.
I live in New Jersey, and looking for a home in a town with a good school district that's within a reasonable commuting distance to New York City is a tall order at any budget. According to the 2019 Best School Districts in New Jersey list from Niche, only a handful of towns within a 30-40 mile radius of NYC rank in the top 25 school districts. When you cross reference that list with the average sales price of homes in the area, affordability plummets.
After a year and a half of searching through half a dozen New Jersey towns, my husband and I are finally ready to close on our first home.
As a millennial, here's what I learned about buying a house that I wish I knew when I started the process.