Purchasing your first home has long been a part of the American dream. While some cities across the country are considered Millennial Magnets, according to a report by ABODO Apartments, Dallas ranks near the bottom of the list of major US cities for this new wave of home buyer.
Dallas, Texas has experienced a boom in its employment market because of huge economic opportunities. Consequently, the increase in the job market has also caused an increase in demand for housing making it difficult for Millennials to afford Dallas homes for sale.
But despite these challenges, some continue to push forward with buying their first home in the DFW. Our REALTORS® know the local market well and offer these eight tips when you're ready to buy a home in Dallas.
- Have Your Finances in Order
With Millennials having higher student debt than previous generations, you will want to make sure that your finances are in order. Know your credit score and make sure to review your credit history and resolve any credit issues. A lower credit score and poor credit history will cost you with higher interest rates.
- Saving for a Down Payment
The National Association of REALTORS® recommends saving approximately $34,000, which is 20 percent of a Dallas-area starter home priced at $168,300. If you are starting at zero savings, and can only afford to save $300 a month, it could take you up to 10 years to save that amount. There are low down payment programs available for first-time home buyers.
- Closing Costs
In addition to a down payment, you will need to factor in closing costs that are included with most home purchases. Your REALTOR® can give you an estimation of how much these costs could be.
- Think of the Future
When purchasing your first home, consider its future resale potential. Look for features that are appealing not just to you but will be appealing to potential buyers. This could be as simple as the house being on a quiet street or having a master suite on the main floor.
- Don't Go Overboard with Contingencies
When you make an offer on a home, don't ask the seller to make minor repairs like replacing light bulbs or re-caulking the tubs. However, if there are obvious signs that major repairs are needed, like repairs to the roof, air conditioner or foundation, it's not unreasonable to ask for repairs. Your REALTOR® can create an amendment to your offer requesting these repairs be made.
- Make a Strong Offer
In a seller's market, you need to make a strong offer for your purchase price to be taken seriously. Other buyers could be offering the asking price or higher. If you make a low offer, your offer may not initially be accepted.
- Don't Delay
If you find a Dallas home that you really love and it's at the right price, don't delay in making your offer. The current market for real estate in Dallas is hot and taking time to "sleep on it" or ask your friends or family for their opinions could cause you to miss out.
- Choosing a REALTOR®
It's a good idea to interview a few real estate agents before choosing one. It's important to ask about their familiarity with the Dallas area and its housing market. You should also get an idea of their negotiation style, the technology they have available to help you during your search and buying process and their track-record.
If you're getting ready to take your first steps to homeownership, there is no better time than now to start. Contact RE/MAX DFW Associates to speak with an experienced realtor that knows the Dallas market and understands the needs of first-time home buyers.