Most Millennial homeowners have buyer’s remorse, report says
Nearly 63 percent of millennial homeowners have regrets when it comes to their current home purchase, according to Bankrate.com.
Analyst Deborah Kearns said the most common regret is that they did not factor in unexpected maintenance or hidden costs. Kearns said consumers should expect to set aside 1 percent of their home purchase price each year to keep in a savings account to cover those expenses.
To also avoid the sticker shock of unexpected costs, Kearns said to get a home inspection. For a lot of people in competitive markets, such as New Jersey where there's tight inventory and hard to get in the door with other buyers, many people are actually waiving the home inspection. But she said getting that done will prepare you for any surprise costs.
House size and location are also common areas of regret for homeowners. Millennials are often first-time home buyers so Kearns said they are buying homes they can afford for now, not so much what will suit their needs down the road, like a family. She said 12 percent believe they bought a house too small, 5 percent said too big and 8 percent said they bought a house in a bad area.
Kearns said it's so important to do research and really rely on the expertise of a realtor while shopping for a home.
Other regrets include having high monthly mortgage payments or not getting the best mortgage rate available. She said consumers should be comparing the rates from at least three lenders, even more, just to ensure a person is getting the best deal possible.
Regrets aside, 79 percent of Americans still consider homeownership to be part of "The American Dream," according to Bankrate.com. It was the most popular response ahead of other top choices like being able to retire (68 percent), having a successful career (63 percent) and owning a car (58 percent).
"That's striking that people really still value homeownership. They want to own homes," said Kearns.
But when the survey dug deeper into the folks who don't own a home, 51 percent said their incomes are holding them back from buying a house; 41 percent said they could not afford a down payment or closing costs; and 34 percent simply said home prices are just too high.
Millennials are more than three times as likely as those who are older to say that student loan debt is holding them back from homeownership.
Kearns said when a person is buying a home, especially for the first time, they should remember it's a marathon, not a sprint. It's important to sit down with a lender early on, figuring out the financial picture, using a mortgage calculator to figure out what a person can afford, then drilling down what the monthly payment will be that fits a budget.
She said the up-front legwork could potentially save a home buyer thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
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