Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 29, 2016

Millennials should enter the housing market now

Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

Chris Mabee

With the economy and housing market still recovering in Chattanooga and surrounding areas, some potential first-time home buyers may be hesitant to invest in a new home. Yet there are several reasons why now is a great time for millennials and other first-time home buyers to start building their American Dream.

Interest rates are low: Today’s historically low interest rates are helping first-time home buyers find affordable housing options. Average weekly interest rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage have remained under 4 percent for most of 2016.

Large down payments are not necessary: While lenders are looking more closely at borrowers today than in recent years, there are options for purchasing your first home without a 20 percent downpayment. For example, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans to first-time home buyers with downpayments as low as 3.5 percent. However, these loans require mortgage insurance.

New homes are built to fit your lifestyle: Designed to accommodate today’s busy lifestyles, new homes – including urban condos and single-family homes – feature open floor plans, flexible spaces, low-maintenance materials, and other amenities that appeal to younger buyers.

Technology makes house shopping fun and easy: Today’s tech-savvy home buyers use mobile apps to quickly gather all of the key information on a property and to see extensive photos from their cell phones or tablets. If you’re just beginning your search, Realtor.com is a popular app because it generally contains the most accurate information gathered from more than 800 local MLSs (multiple listing services). There also are several free mortgage apps to help you determine how much you can afford and to compare real-time rates from multiple lenders. Popular mortgage calculator apps include Zillow and Trulia.

Owning a home can help young families build wealth and combat rising rents: For most Americans, homeownership is a primary source of net worth, and is an important step in accumulating personal financial assets over the long term. As the housing market continues to recover, property values have begun to grow again. In fact, home values were up 6.3 percent nationally in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the first quarter of 2015.


For more information on resources for first-time home buyers in the Greater Chattanooga area, contact Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at info@HBAGC.net.