GREAT NEWS! According to recent reports from the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeownership in Los Angeles is steadily rising. Despite increasing home prices, stats show over 50% of homes in an average designated neighborhood are owner occupied.
Not so great news… Los Angeles’s homeownership rate is still one of the lowest in the country. And specifically, millennial homeownership seems to be particularly affected, as LA boasts the lowest rate among adults under the age of 35 (le sigh).
To be fair, millennials are not simply anti-homeownership, but rather most do not have adequate (if any) money saved for a down payment. Others have never even thought about the possibility of owning a property when their salaries barely help cover their rent + utilities.
Nevertheless, it can be argued that aside from avocado toast, owning a home is still part of the average millennial’s American dream.
SO… below I’ve provided a few key points to think about when working towards making the successful leap from renter to homeowner.
- Start Saving. Any little bit you can shave off of your paycheck and throw into a savings account, DO IT. I know it’s tough with sky high rental prices and the constant allure of matcha lattes, but it can be done.
- It’s OK to Ask for Help. Go ahead… ask your parents, your grandparents, or your sweet Aunt Sally if she would like to help you with a down payment on a home. What’s the worst that could happen? Aunt Sally says no. If anything, she will be happy you’ve asked her to contribute to something financially responsible as opposed to a donation to your Coachella fund.
- Location, Location, Location. I know, you’ve heard this phrase a million times, but it really does ring true. Think about where you want to live, and why you want to live there. Chances are, other people want to live there for similar reasons. And what does this mean? The chances of your property appreciating at a faster rate are much greater. This might mean you will need to sacrifice space. But when it comes to homeownership, starting small in the right neighborhood can provide a big pay off in the future.
- Get your finances in order. Pay off as much debt as you possibly can before even beginning any type of home search. Many people start perusing Zillow well before meeting with a mortgage broker and it turns out they will need to look in a completely different price range from what they originally thought. No point in getting your hopes up on a particular property before knowing exactly what you can afford. Especially in this HOT market.
- Call Me! Let’s be honest, TEXT ME. But really… if you think you might be ready to buy in 1 month, 1 year, or 5 years, I’m happy to help with advice and long-term planning. I’ll even treat you to a delicious match latte with a side of avocado toast.