There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the Generation Y or Millennial home buyer has been absent from the market. However, the idea that Millennials aren’t buying or aren’t interested in buying homes is just untrue. In fact, though the number of first time home buyers is down considerably from the heyday before the crash, Gen Y home buyers made up about one-third of all residential real estate transactions in 2013. 

With Millennials defined as people who were born between 1980 and 1995, there are some very important things that could be keeping them from taking the plunge. First and foremost, these 19-to-34 year-olds are the most educated generation that has ever existed – and the most in debt from student loans, making down payments and mortgages tougher to get. A number of them aren’t interested in the typical “American Dream” of the big house in the suburbs and the long commutes to work, they want something more akin to a small apartment within biking distance of work. Even the ones who do want to buy have lived through the horrors of the foreclosure crisis and, as a result, are very, very cautious about making such a large purchase if they don’t think they can afford it. 

If you’re a Millennial and you don’t think you can buy a home for any of the reasons listed above and more, this post is for you. Read on for 5 pieces of advices for Millennial home buyers.

Don’t assume you can’t afford to buy. So you’ve got some college debt and you haven’t been able to gather a 20% down payment. You are not out of the game as far as buying a home, there are options that could help you. Some communities offer first time home buyer incentives; some mortgage providers do, too.  Low interest loans from the Federal Housing Authority help qualifying first-time home buyers to make a purchase with as little as 5% down. It’s not always a great idea to put down less than 20%, but if you’re credit-worthy and responsible, it could be a good choice for you.

Get someone on your side. Just because a lot of information on real estate and local homes for sale is now available on the internet doesn’t mean you should try to go it alone. Hire a professional real estate agent to help you navigate the process. They can help you identify neighborhoods and homes that would be perfect for your needs, wants and budget. They can also help direct you to first time home buyer programs and mortgage providers. They know the market and they know other people who can help you with the home buying process.

Use the technology available to you. Hire the professional, but use all the technology you want to help assist you with your search. There are websites where you can search for properties, apps that let you know when a house is for sale nearby and more. Use social media to stay on top of local real estate news that might impact you, keep tabs on your real estate agent and let your friends know that you’re looking for a house. 

Take your time. You may feel impatient for your home. After all, many people in the generations before you had a house by this time in their lives, right? But buying a home is likely the largest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime. It should never be rushed. Do your research, stick to your budget and make sure you’re buying for the right reasons. Don’t feel compelled to buy a home if it isn’t what you really want, and if you want one, don’t feel pressured to buy in a “hot” market just because it is trendy. 

Read the fine print. As the first “connected” generation, you have probably seen and agreed to hundreds of different Terms & Conditions for apps and internet sites. If you’re like many people, you’ve probably never read one all the way through. Don’t make that mistake with your mortgage and purchase agreements. Read everything and if you don’t understand something, ask your real estate agent. Many people who got caught up in the housing crash ended up in foreclosure because they didn’t understand how their interest rates worked. 

Buying a home is a personal choice. If you really want to buy a house, and you’re a Millennial, talk about it to professionals such as a real estate agent and mortgage providers. The bank can help you determine your loan eligibility, while the agent can help you locate a home within your budget. 

Are you ready to take the plunge? HomeVisor can help you find the right real estate agent for you!