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Can Younger Homebuyers Reach the Ownership Milestone?

homebuyersWhat is the best age to buy a house?

According to a survey by BankRate, the answer is 28, unless you're a member of the Silent generation, then the answer is 26.

That two-year difference is about the same across the board when it comes to what are perceived to be the right ages at which to make major financial decisions, per the BankRate survey. In general, millennials, Gen-Xers, boomers, and silents seem to agree on roughly the ages at which people should think about things like getting a first credit card or retiring.

Of course, “reaching a milestone at a certain age is realistic depends on your own personal circumstances,” the report stated. Chantel Bonneau Stewart, a wealth management adviser at Northwestern Mutual in Los Angeles said it's even more important to “think about how much money you need to save in order to accomplish your financial goals according to your timeline.”

Take homeownership. The generally agreed-upon age that a person should first buy is 28. “But many Americans find the idea of entering the housing market at a young age challenging,” the report stated. Especially among the young, the issue often has to do with lower wages entering the job market and the weight of student loans.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median age for first-time homebuyers is actually 32, which is closer to the age lower-wage workers say is a good age at which to buy.

“A little more than half of the lower-income individuals who earn less than $30,000 per year think that it’s best for new homebuyers to be at least 30 years old,” the report stated. “You’re also more likely to say that it’s best to wait to buy a house if you live in a region like the Northeast, where the cost of living in many places is high and affordable housing may be out of reach.”

Stewart suggested that for those hoping to get a mortgage and buy as young as possible should see if they qualify for local programs that offer down payment assistance.

“And find out if you qualify for an FHA loan, which allows homebuyers to make a down payment as low as 3.5 percent,” she said. “But that doesn’t work in every housing market.”

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.
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