I don't generally enjoy sounding like some body's dad other than to the two younger people I'm responsible for but on this occasion I just may. It's not because I like sounding that way. I simply see a trend coming and hope to contribute to the conversation in a positive way.
There's a lot of industry talk as we head into Spring about a wave of millennials becoming home owners this year. I'm in real estate and obviously I think that's great. I also want that experience to be the best it can be for people of that generation not only this year but years from now when they sell that home. So on that note...here are my thoughts and best wishes to every possible millennial home buyer in 2015.
1) Get the right advocate. GET THE RIGHT ADVOCATE. GET THE RIGHT ADVOCATE. 'Well Greg you're in real estate of course you want me to use a Broker.' Not so. There are some brokers out there that I would tell you to run like the wind from so it's not about that. On a purchase of this size you don't know what you don't know and there are about 1000 things you don't know. You need everything from gentle candor to brutal honesty and someone you know cares about your success. You wouldn't go into a piece of legal litigation worth hundreds of thousands of dollars without the right attorney would you? Then why would you put yourself at risk with that much money without a great advocate? You clearly wouldn't. So don't.
2) Listen to your advocate. About once a year I'm out with first time home buyers. They seem oblivious to my frankness about the process, the homes we're seeing or other critical details about what we're trying to accomplish. They usually end up buying a For Sale By Owner backing up to a busy highway or a foreclosure without a home inspection without me or anyone else watching their back. They think they know better and what they end up doing is costing themselves a lot of money. Remember this is an investment as well as a life location choice. I'm not sure how many of you remember 2008, 2009 et all but there were plenty of us who were puckered pretty hard for a couple of years over how much money people lost. To some extent they bought what they loved without any consideration of the resale. I want you to love what you buy. I also want you protected. I also want you to get the biggest check possible when you sell that home some day. It is almost impossible for any average consumer to make this decision without great data and opinion about the resale. Listen to the person who represents you. You don't have to accept it blindly but that voice will be essential in your decision.
3) Try and have a little fun and don't be entirely overwhelmed. This process is stressful. You will lay awake nights before and after you close on your first home. That's normal. Trust that you have the right person helping you and let some of the normal stress pass by. Know that you are taking a big, exciting step in your life that will teach you a great deal about who you are and what housing direction you may seek in the future. Life's seminal moments are meant to be celebrated. This should be a happy time for you so through all of the pressure you may feel also try and see it for what it is. A great moment of personal accomplishment that will guide your future in many ways that will unfold as the months in your new home roll by.
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