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Is It Time for Young Families to Buy a Home?


We have reported that almost six million adults between the ages of 25 to 34 are currently living with their parents. That number reflects an almost 50% increase since 2003. These young adults are now being advised to jump into homeownership.

Who are the people selling them on the American Dream? Their parents! It seems that parents of some adult children are strongly suggesting that their children take advantage of the low cost of homeownership available today. Some moms and dads are helping financially and are even co-signing for the mortgage. Middle age parents who have owned a home understand its true value. A home has always been a good long term financial investment. However, homeownership also has many other benefits.

In Fannie Mae's most recent National Housing Survey, they asked the question directly: Is this a major reason to buy a home?

The study broke up the answers into financial and non-financial reasons. The top four reasons and six of the top ten reasons were NON-FINANCIAL. The top four are below:

  1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide a good education.
  2. You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe.
  3. It allows you to have more space for your family.
  4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space (renovations & updates).

Should this surprise us? Aren’t these the same reasons our parents bought their home? Aren’t these the same reasons we purchased our home? These are the same reasons parents have suggested their children buy a home. They want the same things for their grandchildren that they believed to be important for their children.

And today, the cost of homeownership is at all time lows:

J.P. Morgan

“The numbers on housing have an important message for American families today, and particularly younger families setting out on life’s great adventure: Five years ago, at the peak of the home-buying euphoria, it was emphatically a time to rent. Today, when home ownership is depreciated more than ever before, the numbers tell us it is a time to buy.”

MSNBC.com

“[S]omeone who plans on staying put for seven years would come out ahead by about $9,000 if they bought a median-priced home rather than being a tenant in a median-priced rental.”

HUD

“Homes today are more affordable for average families than they have been since 1971. Median-income families today have nearly double the funds needed to purchase the average home.”

Bottom Line

Now that the economy is beginning to show signs of stabilizing, people are getting back to the core values that families have always embraced. Homeownership is definitely high on that list. And today, from a financial standpoint, it may be the opportunity of a lifetime.

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6 Responses to “Is It Time for Young Families to Buy a Home?”

  1. Sally Cashman February 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm # Reply

    It’s wonderful to be in close proximity to your parents, where you can help them check on them, do things for them, and most of all, love them. And if you have children of your own, it’s nice for them to have a special bond with their grandparents – something I never had growing up because mine lived so far away or had passed on. I think this wonderful balance is healthy for families and works when you are CLOSE to them, not necessarily living WITH them. The dynamics change with the latter. If the timing is good and your folks are willing to help with a new home, it might be the best thing in the world for everyone. ♥

  2. John Slocum, Vancouver February 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm # Reply

    Today certainly looks like an excellent time to purchase an affordable home and start building equity.  The combination of low prices and low home loan rates hasn’t  been seen before and it is hard to imagine it lasting!

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