Mar 7, 2017

There are more first time buyers entering the real estate market. What do first time buyers need? “These buyers face more challenges than the buyers who have dominated the market for the last five years,” writes Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist, in his latest column at®. “First-time buyers are more than three times more likely than a repeat buyer to say that they lack the funds for a down payment. Likewise, they are 2.9 times more likely to be held back because they are subject to the terms of a lease. And they are 2.7 times more likely to say that they need to improve their credit score.” They need a lot of advice, education, and support. For example, surveys show that many first-time home buyers believe they need 20 percent down to buy a house. In fact, the average down payment in the U.S. through September is 11 percent. Lenders offered up loan options that require just 3 percent or less down of the home’s purchase price.

First time buyers need education about the importance of credit scores. More than half – 53 percent – of potential home buyers say student loan debt is hindering their chances from buying a home, according to the annual housing survey conducted from NeighborWorks America. But survey researchers say that better awareness of down payment assistance programs and student loan debt counseling may help these potential buyers. The survey found that 71 percent of Americans were unaware or not sure about down payment assistance programs; 77 percent of those with student debt said they had never heard or were unfamiliar with loan counseling programs from nonprofits. Source:®