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Top 5 Home Buying Tips in Your 20's

I was very fortunate to purchase my first home at 23-years-old. Not everyone is in a secure enough place financially to make such a large purchase, but it was important to me to have a stable, permanent place to lay my roots and make a home. My now-husband and I made some big sacrifices and had a lot of support from our family (and especially my Realtor mom!) to make this happen. Read on for some insider tips on purchasing a home in your 20's.

1. Work with a Realtor

Specifically a Buyer's Agent! A Buyer's Agent's job is to work directly for you as the buyer and operate solely based on what is in your best interest. They do not have any obligation to the seller or to the Listing Agent. It is never a bad idea to hire a Realtor - you have nothing to lose, as Realtor commissions are not paid out of your pocket, so you may as well have someone who is working for you to find you the perfect home.

2. Talk to multiple lenders/mortgage brokers

Compare home loans, and do it early! Comparing mortgage rates and getting pre-approved before you're ready to jump on a home will help to speed along the process. Talking to different lenders and brokers is recommended because they may be offering different loan programs and may have different rates and fees. You also want to work with someone you feel comfortable with, so finding the person that communicates in a way that you jive with is always a plus! 

Be aware that you can get low mortgage interest rates through USDA loan. It's a program of US Department of Agriculture which aims to assist home buyers with low to moderate income. If your home is an eligible area, then maybe you want o avail of the USDA loan. Check usda eligibility to explore the areas that are covered under this program.

3. Save Money

I wish we had saved longer before purchasing our home. We qualified for an NC Buyer's Program that helped us with closing costs, in exchange for a commitment to stay in the home for 15 years, but we really didn't factor in all the other expenses that would need to be paid (i.e. closing fees, earnest money, due diligence, inspection fees). This doesn't even account for general moving expenses. Will you hire movers? Are there repairs needing to be made to the home that are being done on your dime? Do you need new items for the home? It's better to have saved much more than you need at the end of the day than to run out of money and find yourself scrambling.

4. Make a List of Your Must-Haves

You should make a list of things you cannot live without in your new home. If you're purchasing a home with a partner, they should also make a list. Compare each of your lists and decide what features are truly important to you in a home and what you are willing and able to live without. For example, we wanted a big backyard, but it didn't have to be fenced in. We wanted all the bedrooms on one floor, as we anticipated growing our family. We wanted a dedicated laundry room, but we compromised for a laundry closet (but it's on the second floor with all of our bedrooms, so that was a bonus!). Try not to get hung up on things that can be easily changed, such as paint color. Think of things that you definitely can't change, like the location. Decide what is important to you and stick to it.

5. Be patient

Buying a home is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes it takes months of searching before you find the perfect home, and even then, often you have to put in multiple offers on a few different homes before you're accepted. This is especially important to keep in mind as a young home buyer who may not have the most attractive loan options. Just try to remember this isn't House Hunters. You likely won't find the perfect forever home after just three open houses. 

Are you thinking of buying a home? Have you had great success in the past? Share any tips you have with us in the comments or on our MBP socials! 

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