First-time home buyers, more than any other demographic, stand to benefit the most in today's real estate market.
In fact, a recent survey commissioned by Move.com reveals that 23 percent of adults plan to purchase a home in the next five years and that more than half of them (53.5 percent) will be first-time home buyers.
Consider that every time a renter buys a home, they make possible a chain reaction of transactions worth many times more than the actual value of the home they purchase. Because first-time home buyers aren't selling properties, they don't put new homes on the market when they buy. As a result, first-time homebuyers reduce real estate inventories and allow existing owners to trade-up or relocate.
The growing number of first-time homebuyers suggests that conditions are finally attracting buyers back despite the critical picture in the overall economy.
In the past, high prices and large down payments made buying a home for the first-time difficult. The right mix of attractive listing prices, tax credits, improved financing and a wide choice of properties seems to be attracting the first-time buyer.
For first-time home buyers looking to be players in today's real estate market, Move.com offers the following tips:
- Research Your Market. All real estate is localized and the key to a successful purchase is to know the market. In fact, the real estate market is so localized that prices among similar homes vary greatly even between neighboring towns.
- Make a list of what you want. Let your realtor know your criteria in order to find homes that meet your needs. You can go to Realtor.com to view homes that fit your specifications. This will give you an idea of what is possible in your price range and in the location you prefer.
- Get pre-approved. Although not a final loan commitment, a pre-approval letter can be shown to listing brokers when you are bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the ability to go through with a purchase. Lenders can be found in the finance section of Realtor.com.
- Make a decision. Once you find the best home that fits your needs, take action. Home buyers often hesitate, and this could mean you miss the best home that meets your needs. If you have chosen a good mortgage broker and a sharp realtor, you should have the facts to make the right decision.