The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies released its annual report, showing that a large portion of Millennials feel unprepared financially to pay a down payment on a home. However, that could be about to change.
Millennials may be delaying homeownership for now, but the next 10 years will show a shift in that trend as the Millennial-headed households are expected to increase by 2 million households per year.
In all, Millennial-headed households are expected to grow from 16 million in 2015 to about 40 million in 2025, according to the report.
With so many people entering the housing market at once, it’s important for Millennials to remember a few key tips before searching for a first home.
Farnoosh Torabi, a personal finance expert and Chase Slate financial education partner, listed three things in an email to HousingWire that Millennials need to do to feel financially empowered before searching for a home.
1. Learn your score ahead of time. The highest FICO score is 850, and although mortgages are available even to those with FICO scores in the lower 600s, the best mortgage rates go to those with scores of at least 760 or higher. It is important to know your score before you apply in case you need to make improvements to your credit.
2. Check for errors. Just reviewing your credit score may not be enough. You also need to review your score for errors. If there are any mistakes, it’s easier to get them fixed now than when you’re in the middle of trying to qualify for a mortgage.
3. Discuss credit with your partner. If you plan on buying a home together, it may be beneficial to look at each other’s scores in advance. If one of you needs better credit, then you can focus on addressing that before applying together. You can also take out a mortgage using just the stronger credit score, however that could mean that you qualify for a smaller loan.
About 67% of Millennials, those between 18 and 35, say they are motivated to improve their credit score by the desire to buy a home, surpassing Gen Xers at 53%, and Baby Boomers at 52%, according to the Chase Slate 2016 Credit Outlook.