How To Buy A House In Your 20's

I'm a firm believer in not wasting too many years of income on rent. It makes sense to begin the real estate investment as soon as possible for many reasons. A few of which include the equity gained and pride in home ownership. Here are seven basic steps to get you to home ownership in your twenties!

1. Talk to a lender

A talk with nearly any Realtor will show you that the first step in the home buying process is talking with a lender. All it takes is a quick 10 minute conversation about your income and monthly debts to get you pre-qualified. Most Realtors can't or simply won't show you any properties until you have been pre-qulified. This is out of caution for you, we don't want you to fall in love with a house whose mortgage you are not comfortable with!

2. Determine a budget

This may seem too similar to the first point, but just because you were approved for $250,000 doesn't necessarily mean you would be comfortable with that mortgage payment. Talk with your lender about what the mortgage would look like month to month.

3. Have a time frame

When does your lease end? Be sure to give yourself enough time, of which can differ depending on the current market. Ask your Realtor about the typical time frame needed to close on a home. This leads me to my next point...

4. Find a Realtor

Interview Realtors until you are comfortable. Think about how long it takes till they call you back. If they don't return your call at the beginning, can you count on them when paperwork needs signing at closing? Work with someone who dedicates the time and energy to helping you find your first place.

5. House Hunt!

Once you find a Realtor, go tour some homes! Spend some weekends touring open houses and new construction so you can tell your Realtor the characteristics you prefer in a house. Begin to narrow down your preferred location and ask your Realtor to send you any listings in that area.

6. Find an ideal house in your budget (Have realistic expectations) 

Note I didn't say "find your dream house!" This is your first home purchase and you will surely have to sacrifice on a few things. You love the area of town, so can you do without the mudroom or two car garage? You have the rest of your life to climb the real estate ladder. Make sure this first purchase meets your needs, covers a few of your wants, and most of all is a sound investment.

7. Let the Realtor do the rest!

Just as you are the expert in your field, Realtors are the expert in theirs! Consider their recommendations when it comes to offers and let them fight for you during the negotiation process. They are there to make it as easy as possible, so let them help!