This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Beyond Finances: Tips For First-Time Homebuyers





BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  According to a recent PulteGroup Home Index Survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc., the parent company of Centex, more than half of renters aged 18-34 say their intention to buy a home has increased in the last year.  While their intentions are in many ways driven by personal, aspirational reasons – more space, family stability and the pride of homeownership – the low mortgage rate environment, increasing rental costs and scarcity of desirable rental options makes homeownership an even more attractive proposition for many.

"The propensity for young adults to test the waters of homeownership continues to increase and has become more evident as renters are seeing the overall value of owning a home," said Deborah Wahl, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PulteGroup, Inc., noting that more than 50 percent of millennials reported that the desire to own/build equity was the primary reason for purchasing a new home.  "However, beyond finances, it is important for potential buyers to take several other factors into consideration."

As a homebuilder providing reliably built, smartly designed and affordable housing, Centex, the leading builder for first-time and value-conscious home buyers, offers the following tips to first-time homebuyers looking for the right housing match:

  • Know Your Financial Situation – Start saving for a down payment and talk with mortgage lenders about available loans well in advance of your purchase.  Understand there are special federal, state and locally administered financial programs for new homebuyers, such as FHA and HUD loan programs.  Additionally, it's important to take into account other factors beyond your mortgage, including homeowners insurance and property taxes.  By doing your homework, you will know what you can afford and comfortably make a decision about this important investment.
  • Compare Owning vs. Renting – Buying can be smarter than renting from a financial standpoint, but it has other advantages, as well.  Owning a home provides you with a great deal of freedom and decision-making autonomy.  No more will you have to worry about the noisy neighbor upstairs or accidental scratches on the wall from decorations.  You'll have the power to select paint colors and plant flowers throughout the yard.  Also, houses tend to offer more storage space.
  • Weigh New vs. Used – If you want to choose the floor plan and customize a home to fit your needs and lifestyle, building a new home may be the right choice for you.  Popular options new homes offer today include more open, larger spaces, master bedroom suites, island-centric kitchens and bigger outdoor living space.  Customizing a new home also provides the opportunity to design your home and include amenities that meet the needs of your growing family – if that's in your future.  Additionally, new homes can be up to 30 percent more energy efficient and often come with a builder warranty.  If you're handy and don't mind a fixer upper, resale can be an attractive route as well.
  • Examine the Location – Consider your surroundings when deciding upon where you want to live next.  If you plan to start a family, research the local school district and other family offerings such as nearby parks and community centers.  For fun, test out the local retail scene and entertainment options to see if it caters to your lifestyle.  If you're a commuter, determine if the area is supported by adequate public transportation or provides easy access to major highways.  Many in the housing market also care about ensuring they still live within close proximity to family and friends, as only 21 percent of homeowners are willing to move away from their families.
  • Select the Right Builder – If you decide on a new home, select a builder who has experience in the type of home and in the location you want.  Make sure they have a history of building quality homes and are financially stable.  Moreover, how easy are they to work with?  Some builders today have gone digital to enhance customer service and help buyers stay on top of the latest with their new home.  Look for on-line design centers that can help you make important design decisions, for example, or portals in which you can stay up-to-date on how your new home is progressing.  Lastly, take time to check their references and talk to past customers.
  • Confide in Trusted Sources – More than 90 percent of home shoppers today are plugged-in to the internet and use it as their main source of information.  While this is particularly true with millennials, don't forget to seek advice from two trusted groups: real estate agents and your personal network, including your parents.  Approximately 60 percent of millennials say they would rely on both sources, as each has extensive experience in purchasing homes and can provide personal guidance toward the successful purchase of their home.

"With third party data showing that 90 percent of millennials plan to purchase a home at some point in their lives, it's important first-time homebuyers have access to the right tools and information to ensure their first home purchase is one they are proud of for years to come," added Wahl.  "With many options to choose from, starting from a point of knowledge will go a long way towards achieving their dream of homeownership."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,304.33 +38.34 0.22%
S&P 500 2,012.14 +0.78 0.04%
NASDAQ 4,582.1530 -11.2720 -0.25%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs