4 challenges first-timers face in 2018

March 01 2018

Every potential homebuyer has something specific in mind when they begin searching for a home. Some want a quiet, small-town atmosphere, while others prefer the excitement of the big city. Where school districts matter to some, others may be more interested in the nightlife. But one thing every potential buyer wants is an affordable option.

That's where it gets tricky. Finding an attractive home that suits one's lifestyle is hard enough, but affording it is another matter entirely. Let's look at four obstacles that tend to intimidate homebuyers in 2018:

1. A shortage of affordable homes -- Finding an affordable home is a difficult hurdle to clear, especially for the first-time homebuyer. According to Experian's 2017 Homebuyers Survey, affordability is the real issue. Strong demand and limited inventory have driven prices up across the board.

2. A lack of education on the homebuying process -- Many first-time homebuyers are under the impression that a 20 percent down payment is non-negotiable when buying a home. But there are state programs and other options that can help make buying more affordable.

3. Student debt -- While wages have stagnated, college costs have continued to rise. This means younger homebuyers are burdened with student debt that previous generations didn't have. It's not that millennials don't want to own homes; they just don't think they can afford them.

4. Bad credit -- According to Experian, 43 percent of potential homebuyers are having a tough time obtaining home loans. Nearly 30 percent cite poor or limited credit history as the problem.

Are your clients facing these challenges? Talk to them. See what's on their minds. This will help you provide the education and resources needed to help them complete the journey to homeownership.