Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may be wondering what’s happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.

Here are three things that can help give you the information you need to confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.

1. Consider All Options When the Number of Homes for Sale Is Low

Today, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. When that happens, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums (condos) and townhomes can be an excellent way to increase your choices. According to Bankrate:

“Townhomes often cost less than single-family homes of a similar size in the same location.”

In another article, Bankrate also says:

“Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses.”

Condos and townhomes are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.

2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think

Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:

One of the biggest misconceptions among housing consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”

Data from NAR shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):

Three Tips for First-Time Homebuyers | MyKCM

Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought.

There are also down payment assistance programs available for many buyers. Not to mention, some loan options require as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options.  To get more information on how much you may need to save and the help that’s available, talk with a professional.

3. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Advisor Throughout the Process

Finally, no matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional.

If you’re just starting out, they can help you with the initial steps, like educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved. Once you’re ready to begin your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help your offer stand out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Knowledge is key to succeeding on your homebuying journey. Knowing market trends, what you need for a down payment, and what options you have as a buyer today can give you the confidence you need to buy a home. Let’s connect so you have an expert on your side who can help you navigate the homebuying process.


Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

Worried About Home Maintenance Costs? Consider This

A buyer’s home warranty benefits both buyers and sellers, as it helps the seller close the deal while providing the future homeowner with peace of mind that they’ll be… Read more

House Flipping: The Quick Guide

House flipping is a dynamic journey through real estate, blending creativity, strategy, and profit. Nowadays, you can find many players in this market—from seasoned re… Read more

What Is Going on with Mortgage Rates?

The Fed decided to start raising the Federal Funds Rate to try to slow down the economy (and inflation) in early 2022. That rate impacts how much it costs banks to bor… Read more

The Best Way To Keep Track of Mortgage Rate Trends

Rates have been volatile and you may be wondering why? The answer is complicated because rates are affected by so many factors, including what’s happening in the broad… Read more

San Francisco Market Update - April 2024

In San Francisco, home prices haven’t been largely affected by rising mortgage rates after the initial period of price correction from May 2022 to July 2022. Since Jul… Read more

East Bay Market Update - April 2024

In the East Bay, low inventory and high demand have more than offset the downward price pressure from higher mortgage rates, and prices generally haven’t experienced l… Read more

Prepping Your Home For A Successful Sale

When you're ready to sell your home, doing a little preparation beforehand can potentially help your home sell quicker and for a higher price. 

San Francisco Market Update - March 2024

The median single-family home and condo prices rose meaningfully from December 2023 to February 2024, up 14.1% and 17.9%, respectively. Year-over-year prices also appr… Read more

East Bay Market Update - March 2024

Mortgage rates increased in February, but their strong effect on the market may be waning.

Let’s Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.