TAMPA (FOX 13) - In the market for a new house? Millennials certainly are. The generation known for renting instead of buying is suddenly in the game. And that is a game changer.
After years of experts saying Millennials aren't interested in owning homes, now, according to the National Association of Realtors, they make up the majority of home buyers in the United States.
Who better to talk about what Millennials mean to the market than a millennial realtor?
Nick Sakkis and his mother, Katherine work together. We asked him why Millennials get a bad stereotype.
"I think Millennials have a lot of options that the GenX-ers or Boomers didn't have. They can work remotely so the idea of putting down roots in one place might not appeal to a lot of them, so that's where the disconnect comes in," Sakkis says.
Many in this age bracket - born between 1981 and 1997 - chose to rent in their twenties, or maybe live with mom and dad a little longer than usual. So this new influx of consumers on the market changes the real estate market for the rest of us.
"There are a lot more buyers on the market, especially in the [$200,000 to $300,000] price point so it puts a lot of competition in that range," says Sakkis.
Financial analysts say not to underestimate the impact of a generation that's been putting all their resources toward education and career until now. Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's chief financial analyst says "a lot of those Millennials who were reluctant to buy because of student loan debt or career mobility will look in their 30s and - by virtue of those investments in education and career early on - will be able to skip right over the starter home."
That makes the market even more competitive, so if you're in the market for a new home, be prepared for a bidding war.
"It's not all about price.Offering $10,000 over list price doesn't cut it. There are many terms and conditions that may make it more attractive to sellers," Katherine Sakkis said.
She has more than two decades of experience selling homes in the Bay Area and she says tech-savvy Millennials have done their research and know what they want.
"The home search with the Millennial is shorter than with most, maybe half a dozen tops honed it down that much," she explained.
The question is - can they get it? Realtors say the key is to know your options.There's a range of assistance for new homebuyers. With the Freddic Mac's Home Possible Program, for example, you can put as little as one percent down. And the Florida First Time Buyer Assistance Program is available in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, offering up to $15,000 toward your down payment.
McBride says, "you couple that with the availability of low-interest mortgages, it's not a matter of having 20 percent down for first-time buyers. Those low down payments are a lifeline."
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