Today I want to debunk a myth about millennials. This is the generation born between 1980 and 2000, the children of the baby boomers. The media tells you that millennials are renting rather than buying homes, because they don’t qualify for loans due to student debt.
Last week one of my clients, Ashton, sold his home that he lived in for the past 5 years. He walked out of the closing with a $57,478 check. Ashton is 28 years old. He’s smart, and in some ways a typical millennial. He’s into tech and comics.
The First Home Purchase Story – No Money Down
Five years ago, at the age of 23, Ashton purchased this first house in the Southern Orchards neighborhood near Children’s Hospital. The house was part of the Healthy Homes program to revitalize Inner City Neighborhoods.
The purchase price was $104,000. As part of the Healthy Homes program, Ashton received forgivable down payment assistance. As long as he would stay in the house for 5 years, he did not have to pay it back. Similar programs still exist today. In addition, there was a partial tax abatement, which reduced property taxes to $346.18 a year.
Ashton qualified for the loan by himself (without a co-signer). He had a good job in IT. Two years earlier he finished a 2-year professional degree in programming. He worked for UPS at night, so he didn’t have any student debt.
Owning & Selling Your First Home
Southern Orchards is a neighborhood in transition with a mix of vacant homes, rentals and beautifully remodeled properties. Ashton’s home was completely rebuilt on top of an old foundation, so it was essentially new.
To reduce his monthly payments, Ashton invited friends to move in and rent some of the rooms. Having “tenants” in your house creates challenges, but it also teaches responsibility and pride of ownership, and helps pay for the mortgage.
Before we listed his house, Ashton had it completely repainted and new carpets installed. It looked almost like new, which is essential to getting offers quickly. When I listed it and launched my 4-day marketing blitz, we received multiple offers above list price within a day. Ashton sold the house for $160,100.
What Could Have Gone Wrong?
No one can predict how home values will improve. Ashton got a little lucky by the fact that Children’s Hospital attracts many employees to the neighborhood. Potential buyers loved the fact that the house was in walking distance to their jobs.
Southern Orchards is still transitioning. If you grew up in the suburbs you may not be comfortable living on the edge of an inner city neighborhood.
How You Can Help Your Millennials
I like to share Ashton’s story, because I want to debunk the gloom and doom that’s spread by the media. Millennials have a real opportunity to create wealth by buying a home instead of renting. Home ownership also teaches them invaluable life skills.
Be patient. Home values may not always increase quickly. You have to be prepared to take care of your home and make improvements. Sometimes, parents may have to co-sign or help with the down payment on the loan.
In the long run, owning a home is one of the best ways to build wealth for the younger generation. Please share this story with your friend, kids and/or parents. I would love to tell more stories, like Ashton’s, and help you become successful homeowners.
Call or text me at (614) 975-9650 to find out how I can help you!