Main content

What Do Young Families Need to Do Before Buying Their First Home?

by Jeff Ogden
Senior Vice President of Production at Gershman Investment Corp

For loan officers who want to excel with millennials, understanding young families’ home-buying needs is crucial. Many millennials are at an age where they may have one or two younger children to consider in the process. When this is the case and they’re purchasing their first home, there’s a lot for them to think about. The more aware you are of these things, the better you can help prospective clients from the very beginning of their journeys. Here are some of the most important things young families should think about before diving into the home-buying process:

Consider a Homeowner Education Class

The more informed you are, the smoother the process tends to go. Especially when you’re thinking about how buying a home will impact your family, you want to get as much information as you can ahead of time. Taking a course will give you an overview of what to expect and help you prepare ahead of time for the many stages of the homebuying process.

Get Realistic About Finances

Young families often have a lot of new expenses. It’s important that they take the time to assess these expenses and future expenses, including things like childcare and extracurricular activities. Creating a budget for your family is different than creating a budget for yourself, and younger families should be sure they’ve given this adequate attention before diving into the process. You want to have a strong sense of where you’re at so that you know what you can afford going forward.

Clarify the Needs of Your Family

Young families often decide to buy a home to meet the many needs of their family. It’s essential that homeowners get clear on these needs and prioritize the most important ones. Otherwise, the house-hunting process can be chaotic and exhausting. Is finding the perfect neighborhood for your kids top of the list? Perhaps somewhere with great schools? Maybe you want to be close to relatives. How many bedrooms do you need? What kind of space do you want for your kids? A playroom? A backyard? Make sure you know the difference between your wants and needs. Know which things are great but can be sacrificed and which are your must-haves.

Look Ahead

In addition to considering your family’s current needs, you also want to look ahead. Families needs can change significantly over time, and you want to choose a house that can grow with you. Are you anticipating more children in the future? You’ll want to consider that when it comes to space, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. Perhaps you have a baby now, but how much space will a five-year-old child require? Looking ahead to the ways in which your family may change is key to making a decision that fits long term.

For any homebuyer, and especially for young families, preparation is key. If you want a smooth process that leads you to a decision you feel confident about, getting started on these things ahead of time is the best strategy. Is there anything else you’d recommend to young families considering buying their first home? Please share your thoughts!