For years now, housing leaders have focused on dissecting millennials tastes ans preferences to deliver the perfect housing product. However, now that they are starting to purchase, motivated by marriage vows, the focus needs to shift. How can we create the right education and lending tools to help them purchase the right home and keep it.

Here come the millennial home buyers. Finally.

For the past decade, since the Great Recession forced so many Americans to put their lives on hold, the world of real estate has been praying for the arrival of millennials on the home-buying scene, to begin buying, selling, fixing up and financing property.

It has been quite the waiting game. When I first started writing about real estate, the average age of a first-time home buyer was about 26. Today, it’s nearly 33. Over the past 25 years, we’ve watched millennials wait an extra seven years to buy their first home.

There are lots of explanations for the millennials’ home-buying delay:

  • Millennials who graduated from college in 2008 to 2012 found a weak job market
  • Many of them moved home instead of moving out with a friend (or by themselves) and renting their own place (typically a precursor to home buying)
  • Roughly a third of them are still living at home
  • Older millennials watched as parents lost jobs, tapped their 401(k)s to survive, and took jobs that paid less (and often didn’t offer benefits), and their families struggle to make ends meet. Millions of homeowners couldn’t sell when they needed to and lost their homes to foreclosure, destroying credit histories and confidence.

And when you lose confidence in yourself and your ability to pay the bills, it’s awfully hard to make the commitment to buy something as large and as permanent as a house.

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