Ideal Age for First-Time Home Buyers

Apparently the magic number for first-time home buyers is 28. That’s the average age that most Americans think a person should be when they buy their own home, according to a new Bankrate.com report conducted  last month among a sample of 1,001 respondents.

This may be a bit optimistic in practice, at least for buyers in today’s market. The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found the median age of first-time buyers was 32 years old for the second year in a row.

The Bankrate study did find some differences in opinion between genders and regions of the country. While a quarter of men think people should strive to buy their first home by age 25, just 12 percent of women say the same.

Source: “Americans reveal ideal ages for financial milestones,” (July 18, 2018) Bankrate.com

The Biggest Hurdles to Home Ownership

With mortgage rates still near historical lows, why aren’t more home owners making a move? Housing analysts blame student loan debt, overly strict lending standards, and lost equity as the leading culprits behind a sluggish housing recovery. But what do home owners say?

Mortgage information site HSH.com surveyed 786 home owners at the end of 2013 about their experiences when it came to finding and financing their home. The top six biggest hurdles to home ownership were identified as:

  1. Home prices (flagged by 23.5% respondents): Rising home prices are not just difficult for young home buyers. Home owners aged 50 to 59 reported the highest incidence of struggling with higher home prices.
  2. Down payment (22.9%): Those aged 18 to 29 reported the least trouble with down payments, while home owners aged 30 to 39 and 50 to 59 reported the highest incidence of down-payment struggles.
  3. No issues (20.9%): A significant portion of respondents said they don’t face any hurdles to home ownership, with older home owners reporting fewer hurdles than their younger counterparts.
  4. Credit score: 12.8%
  5. Interest rates: 12.6%
  6. Property taxes: 7.3%

Source: “Survey: What’s the Hardest Part of Affording a Home?” FOX Business (July 2, 2014)