There are many reasons why the millennial generation – young adults in their 20s and early 30s – are either having trouble buying a home or have decided to delay their purchase. Recent troubles in home purchasing have left many millennials feeling discouraged and wondering if they will ever become homeowners. Many experts are also worried about the lack of homes being purchased by millennials, because the housing market is fairly dependent on young first-time homebuyers.
The census bureau has reported that only about 36 percent of Americans below the age of 35 have become homeowners. Despite the fact that this number is so low, at least 90 percent of millennials would rather buy a house than continue to rent. If the percentage of millennials that would prefer to own their own home is so high, then why is the percentage of actual homeowners so low?
Why millennials are not buying
One major factor is the trickle down of expensive college educations. As the price of college continues to rise, more students are forced to take on the load of student debt. Millennials rack up student loans throughout their college career, not realizing that it will one day affect their ability to purchase a home. This is especially sad because the mortgage on an average priced home is cheaper than renting an apartment in most cases.
While student loans provide recent graduates with the advantage of establishing their credit history, they can hurt them when it comes time to apply for a home loan. Lenders consider an applicant’s debt to income ratio as part of the loan application. A hefty student loan can greatly hurt what the bank views as an ability to make payments on a mortgage.
This is particularly true for someone that has private student loans, because private loans tend to have higher interest rates and shorter payment terms, meaning that their monthly payment is much higher than that of someone who only has government student loans. Another problem that people run into is multiple student loan payments. If you are making five $70 dollar payments to separate lenders as opposed to one $150 dollar payment to one lender, you weaken your ability to prove that you can afford to take on a mortgage payment.
If that is not enough to worry about, there is still the fact that you have to save for a down payment. Many millennials barely have a savings account, much less a 20 percent down payment. Those who do decide to buy will rely on their parents and other family members to help with the expense of their down payment.
Another reason why millennials are having trouble buying homes deals with the job market. The country is finally making its way out of one of the biggest recessions we have seen in a long time, and finding a job can still be difficult for some people, especially for those who are new to the job market and lack experience. While a college degree can help get one in the door, it still does not warrant the pay level that many millennials need in order to cover their student loans and a mortgage.
It might take a little time, but, hopefully, we will start to see more millennials buying homes sometime in the near future. If you have trouble buying a home and would like credit counseling and loan information, contact Maureen Martin.