When it comes time to make the leap from renting to owning, many people wonder if it makes a difference depending on their age. We all know about the Baby Boomers – those born from 1946-1964 – the Gen X-ers – those born in the early 1960s to the early 1980s – and Generation Y or Millennials – those born in the early 1980s to early 2000s. But does home ownership mean something different to each age group?
Many experts can agree that owning a home or property is a good investment, but, in this day and age when jobs can continually move from city to city, does it make more sense to rent or own a home if you’re not able to stay put in one locale for long enough to get a return on that investment?
Homeownership can also mean different things for different age groups. For example, Baby Boomers might be in the best financial situation to handle expenses after retirement as they have no remaining mortgage, have the value of their home as a nest egg and they spend less on housing than seniors who rent.
Although owning a home can benefit people of all ages, specific strategies can affect you based on your stage of life. Here are some guidelines for approaching homeownership from the standpoint of Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and the Millenials.
Although they are the youngest generation, millenials have an inherent understanding of the advantages of owning a home. They know that they will need to save for their down payment, work on their credit score and are savvy about working with lenders to see what they can afford.
They also use the Internet to seek the advice of local real estate firms like Solutions that are up on the latest technology, and can also offer the best advice on how to approach the local real estate market and find the perfect home that fits their needs and at a great price.
They also know time is on their side. While the future of the economy and housing look positive, millenials also know there will be down years and they can prepare for them – while avoiding the ever escalating rental market.
To benefit most from the compounding gains of homeownership, millenials realize it is best to start sooner rather than later, assuming they can afford to buy today and qualify for a mortgage. They will most likely look at a 30-year mortgage rather than a shorter term one.
Gen X-ers know they are getting ever closer to retirement and so need to have an informed game plan when it comes to paying off their mortgages by the time they retire. With families, home improvements and college costs, the urge to refinance, especially with recent low rates, can be a strong one, especially if you can convert your 30-year to a 15- or lower year mortgage.
This generation, along with the Baby Boomers, was hit hard by the recent foreclosure crisis and is in the process of rebuilding. But Gen X-ers still have time to reap the longer-term benefits as they approach their peak earning years. Shorter-term mortgages would also enable them to retire while owning their homes free and clear.
This generation has to seriously consider their plans for retirement and if they line up with their remaining term on their mortgages. Baby Boomers are dealing with aging parents as well as looking at retirement homes themselves, and/or second homes if they can afford it.
Buying sooner rather than later will help them lock in today’s lower prices and mortgage rates while helping them get into their dream home sooner. Baby Boomers also have the benefit of the following generations that might be interested in purchasing their childhood homes so it might be a great time to sell and move to that dream second home even sooner.