How to Buy a Home in Your 20’s
With all this capital appreciation in houses combined with wages rising not nearly as quickly, it can feel like you’re in a vicious circle. You save for a down payment, prices rise faster than your ability to save, you decide to save more, prices rise quickly and so on and so on. The millennial can feel fettered by this situation, however there are a few things one can do to escape.
Here are some tips to break your shackles:
- Purchase something smaller or in a less expensive neighborhood: You can live in a modest 2 bedroom in the West Village spending $4,000 a month on rent, or you can get a large 2 bedroom in Harlem for around $800K and spend $4,000 a month on a mortgage and maintenance. You just need to get that down payment, which brings me to my next point…
- Ask your relatives to help with a down payment: most of my younger clients get help from their friends and family for the down payment. One instance was a friend living in South Africa that stayed in NY for one month a year. The friend had excess reserves so she gave my client money for a down payment and asked their professional real estate attorney to draw up an agreement with equity. Simple, fair, and a win-win for all parties.
- Live below your means: in accounting there are inputs and outputs. In this fast paced world where people just see the happy façade of people’s lives, you’ll feel incentivized to keep up with the Jones’. STOP! You will not be any happier by spending frivolously when you don’t have it. Instead, sacrifice the short-term satisfaction for sustainable, long-term gratification. Initially you will look at it as a sacrifice but down the line you’ll see it as an investment in yourself and your future.
- House hack: this is a term for renting out a multi family home and living in one of the units, thus allowing someone else to pay for your mortgage and monthly carrying costs. The only issue here is in the hefty down payment.
Ultimately, I believe one of the greatest skills you can learn at a young age is asking others for money to fund your enterprises. Humans are wired for altruism—we want to help others, just not at our expense. Structure the ask in a win-win manner and you’ll be surprised how much others want to help!