First-time homebuyers are, on average, 33 years old. Generally, the average age of homebuyers is 47. Not only has the average age changed, but the home-buying process as a whole has changed not only with the invention of the internet, but then even more so when the pandemic pushed everything more digital.
I’ve been in this industry for many years and I have seen lots of trends come and go. But I’ve noticed some recurring mistakes that I’m seeing young buyers making. Let’s review the top three most common.
- Taking outdated advice
Of course, your parents will have advice for you when you are on the hunt for your first home purchase. They will want to be part of the process and share their experience with you in hopes of being helpful. However, not all advice is actually helpful if it is outdated. Don’t get me wrong… I actually invite the input of parents and others for young buyers because they do have valuable input, but things are not always done the same way they were done in the past.
- Not Working with professionals well in advance
Take my word for it, there is no such thing as being too prepared. Just because you are only thinking of buying, doesn’t mean it isn’t time to consult professionals, especially a realtor and lender. Working with a lender well in advance will allow for time to get all your ducks in a row. You can start to improve your credit if needed, you can work to save for your down payment, you can have a plan in place for your budget and know what is going to be realistic for you. Too often a I see a potential buyer who thinks they are ready to buy, only to learn they have never spoken to a lender and in fact, are not ready. This makes for tough conversation and lots of unneeded delay.
- Relying too much on the internet
I’ve talked in a previous blog about my belief that you need all 5 senses engaged when looking for a home. (Here) Relying on internet photos is not reliable. Photos can be very misleading, both in a good way and a bad way. You could write off a property simply because the agent didn’t have optimal lighting in their photos, or you could fall in love with a property just because the staged photo looks amazing and misleading. Just like working with a lender in advance is crucial, so is working with an agent in advance. Work with someone who knows the areas you are interested in, go see properties physically in person, engage those senses and take in everything from the neighbors to the smells. Nothing beats seeing things in person for yourself.
If you are a first-timer and buying a home is anywhere on your radar, start the legwork now. I promise it is never too early. I have zero doubt that consulting with a lender and an agent will help you in the long run to reach your goals.