If you're like most homebuyers, you're not taking any chances. You want to own a home, but you've struggled to save for a down-payment. You waited until you were 31 years of age to buy a home, and plan to stay there at least 10 years. You believe that buying a home is a sound investment.
Like other buyers, your dream of owning a home was delayed by student debt of $25,000 or more. You worked to bring your debt down until you were earning over $69,000. You improved your credit scores so you could qualify for a fixed-rate loan, knowing that today's artificially low rates won't last forever.
You'll take advantage of today's easier loan qualifications and put down between six percent and 14 percent of the purchase price. As a first-time buyer, you'll purchase a 1,620-square-foot home at $170,000. If you're a repeat homebuyer, you'll purchase a 2,020-square-foot home costing over $246,000, because you're older (about 53 years old) and earn nearly $99,000.
You'll go with a government-insured loan, either FHA or VA loan with low or no down-payment requirement. You'll use your own savings for a down payment, but you'll also accept money from family or friends, and tap into other investments to come up with the down payment. You're likely to be a repeat buyer, using the proceeds from the sale of your home to make your down payment.
You're more likely to be married than single. You're using the equity from your current home to help you get into a better home. You may be looking for a property that will accommodate aging parents as well as your children.
From the time you begin your home search, you'll spend about 10 weeks before you find the home you'll ultimately buy. You'll search the Internet for homes using your phone or tablet to see how far your money will go, then call a real estate agent to help you. Tight supplies in most areas will keep you frustrated, and more than one or two homes may slip through your fingers before you find the right home and make an offer in time to prevail over other buyers.
The home you buy will likely be a detached single-family home built in 1991 with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It will be located in a suburb or subdivision about 14 miles from your current residence. You'll choose the home for its neighborhood location, its affordability and its convenience to your job.
These are the characteristics of most buyers who purchased a home in 2015, according to the National Association of REALTORS