If you take a look at national home values over the last decade, you will not be shocked that few millennials are able to afford down payments in recent years. Yet, homes continue to sell, and first-time homebuyers are scrambling to make down payments by whatever means possible.
As Bankrate mortgage analyst Deborah Kearns told MarketWatch.com, “[Millennials are] having to be very creative and diversify the ways that they’re coming up with their down-payment and closing cost money.”
One of these ways, according to a Bankrate housing survey, is dipping into retirement savings–a scary concept to financial advisers. Thirteen percent of millennials say they will use retirement savings to fund down payments, compared with just 8% of Gen Xers and 7% of baby boomers.
It is possible that millennials feel as though they have more time to recover the lost retirement savings after they buy a house, as they are still relatively far from retirement age. And although 13% is far from a majority, it worries financial analysts, who advise keeping retirement savings intact no matter what.
Among those millennials who do not yet own a home, the largest barriers to home ownership include: income too low (52%), cost of living too high (45%), and remaining student loan debt (23%). View the Bankrate survey infogram here.
It’s no surprise homebuyers are struggling to make down payments in high-cost residential areas of California. In Dana Estates alone, the median home price was $615,000 in 2018. See below for the Dana Estates market report for 2018Q1 through 2019Q1.
So what should you do if you still want to buy a home? Kearns advises that you leave your retirement savings untouched. Instead, carefully estimate what size mortgage you can afford and then start a savings account specifically for your down payment and closing costs.
And as always, consult a financial adviser before making large shifts in your budget. Even if you can afford it, protect your future by making informed decisions. Buying a house is a big decision, but that alone should not keep you from taking such an important step. Owning a home is possibly the most effective way you can build wealth and root your life in a community.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced real estate broker on your side helps protect your interests and ensure you make the best possible decisions. We are dedicated to keeping on top of the real estate market and keeping you informed of changes. You can rest easily knowing you made a well-informed decision based on experience and insight into the Concord California market.