Gen X comes in second with 26% of the market. That means that your most likely target demographic as a seller is the Millennial generation. Read on and check out the infographic below to learn some of the key characteristics millennials are looking for in potential homes.
Millennials were born between 1980 and 2000 and range in age from 18 to 37. The median household income for millennials is $88,200, slightly below the market average of $88,800. Married couples are the most likely to purchase a home, followed by single women and unmarried couples; single men are the least likely demographic to purchase a home.
Millennial Homebuyer Concerns
Although only 68% of millennials view their starter homes as stepping stones to their dream homes, 82% say buying a home is a priority. The generation’s biggest concerns about purchasing a house are the costs of buying and maintaining a home and the time it takes to take care of a home. Since millennials are slower to marry than previous generations – and because both partners often continue working after marriage – millennials have less free time to put into cleaning and repairing their properties.
Updated Kitchen and Bath
On the same token, 75% of millennials want new appliances; if your property has appliances more than a year old, you should upgrade for maximum appeal.
As smarthomes become more prevalent, homebuyers are growing more conscious of a home’s WiFi compatibility. Ensure that each room has high-speed WiFi and plenty of plugs to charge devices.
Ideally, homes targeted toward millennials should be located in the suburbs and close to public transportation. More than half of this generation is buying homes in the suburbs while only 15% are purchasing in urban areas. Additionally, 65% say that a convenient location to their job is a key factor in choosing a property.
Young people today don’t need formal dining rooms; at parties, people tend to drift from the kitchen to the living room, making an open floor plan the most desirable layout for entertaining. Additionally, millennials are looking for smaller homes than their parents and an open concept lessens the space wasted on walls and makes rooms feel larger.
Make Them Fall in Love
This generation is all about maximizing space; while they want the option of having dining rooms, offices, and spare bedrooms, they don’t necessarily need them available at all times. If your rooms can easily shift purposes – say, an office that doubles as a spare bedroom or a dining room that converts to a workspace, young buyers will be thrilled.
Millennials’ ideal home is a 3 bed, 2 bath with a minimum of 1000 sq. ft. of living space. With lower incomes than their parents and more student debt, millennials can’t afford the extra square footage of a McMansion, nor do they want to pay for space they don’t need. Instead of building a bigger home, make sure you utilize all the space you have, including attics, basements, and side yards.
Growing up with sites like Pinterest and Instagram, this generation is especially adept at recognizing good design. They want high-end finishes like quartz countertops, stone detailing, and hardwood floors. Choose white or light-colored paints; create contrast with black detailing and stainless steel appliances. Select features that are sleek, modern, and high-tech for the most “Instagrammable” home.
Real Estate Marketing to Millennials
High Quality Photos
For millennials, the first screening of potential homes occurs online, not at open houses; 99% searched for potential properties online and 75% did drive-bys after finding a home they liked. Stage your home and hire a professional to take your listing photos.
Not only are video walkthroughs a great feature to add to your online listings, but VR marketing is growing in popularity; 71% of millennials view VR favorably.
Tech Trend: Drone Footage
Drones provide more effective marketing than traditional photos; with these devices, you can capture sweeping aerial views of your property that show off the exterior, the neighborhood, and the landscaping.
Flipping Houses 101: Hiring A Photographer To Take Listing Photos
Fix And Flip Goal #1: Maximize Profit
When it comes to real estate investing – fix and flip or fix and rent – the goal is always the same: generate the highest return on your investment.
Home improvements do more than make your house more livable and increase your family’s comfort level. They also have the side effect of boosting its value when the time comes to sell. Although making any improvements throughout your house can impress potential buyers, there are some that typically are more worthwhile investments than others.
For instance, converting a spare bedroom into a home office might have been a good idea for you, but someone else may not want to spend for that renovation if he or she would rather have the original sleeping space. This is why it’s a good idea to consider the resale value before undertaking any project.
Some projects will make your property attractive to interested homebuyers, but others could hurt your chances of selling. A rule of thumb to follow is that increasing the amount of living space is almost always a benefit to anyone looking to sell a house. Kitchens and bathrooms could probably use a bit of a makeover, as well.
For these and other ideas about how to boost the appeal of your home, take a look at the accompanying checklist. It contains some tips for getting the most out of your property by investing a bit more.
Ah, Anchorage. The jewel of Alaska. This gorgeous city spans for 1,961.1 square miles (5,079 square kilometres) which makes it the fourth largest city, by land, in the US. And within these 1,961.1 square miles, you'll be able to find goods schools, ample job opportunities, gorgeous sights of nature and many other things that make Anchorage such a beautiful place. Is that all? Of course not. Let us go over all the things that make moving to Anchorage a great idea for anyone looking to settle down.
What makes Anchorage awesome
You might be thinking that I'm praising Anchorage for something that it is not. Well, let me disillusion you by mentioning the fact that Anchorage won the All-America City Award four times. Yes, four times (1956, 1965, 1984, and 2002). Not to mention the fact that it was named the most tax-friendly city in the US by Kiplinger. So, clearly, there are a lot of awesome things in Anchorage which make it clear why it is so appreciated. But, before you sell your home and move to Anchorage, let's see what's so great about it.
If you haven't heard about the beauty of Alaskan wilderness before, well now's the time. It is actually quite hard to describe how beautiful Alaska is. From jaw-dropping sights too beautiful creatures that roam it, it is truly something to behold. And what better way of doing so then by moving to Anchorage. By living here you'll have the glory of Alaska's nature an hour's drive away. So, if you or your family like to spend time in the great outdoors, there is no better place than Anchorage. But know that Alaska's nature can be dangerous just as it is beautiful.
According to the 2010 census, Anchorage has the population of 291,826. And, while 66% of the population is Caucasian, those 291,826 are culturally quite diverse. This is due to the fact that the US government had problems with not enough people living in Alaska. So, in order to make the state more enticing, they provided good living conditions which a lot of people found worth moving for. This made people from all around the US move to Alaska, regardless of their cultural heritage. Therefore, if you want to raise your kids in a diverse environment, or you would like to meet people from different heritages and cultures, moving to Anchorage is the right move.
Another weird fact that you might stumble upon is that there are more people living in Anchorage than in the rest of Alaska. Some of the contributors to this are decent schools, good living conditions, and various work opportunities. But, the biggest reason has to be the climate. Don't get us wrong, Anchorage is cold and you need to prepare yourself for living in a colder climate. But, luckily, it is located near the sea, which offsets the cold climate quite a bit. This leads to Anchorage having a moderate subarctic climate with winter temperatures between 11 and 23 °F (-12 and -5 °C) and summer temperatures between 52 and 66 °F (11 to 19 °C).
Moving to Anchorage
All of the aforementioned facts are reasons why moving to Anchorage is a great decision for anyone looking to start a family. If you are looking for a calmer town where you'll be able to easily find a job and a place to live, then look no further. But, moving to Anchorage may not be as easy as you might think. Alaska is, after all, quite a bit separated from the rest of the US. And if you are moving from Canada, you will need to deal with international moving procedure. So, if you want to make Anchorage your home as soon as possible and start enjoying the benefits of living here, here is what you need to do.
Finding a place to live
The first thing I advise you to do is to find the place where you will live in Anchorage. Luckily, you can find the type of household that suits you perfectly by looking online. Once you do that you need to visit Anchorage. I can list the benefits of moving to Anchorage for days. But, unless you visit it and witness them in person, you will never know what living in Anchorage is going to be like.
Once you have visited Anchorage you need to find reliable movers to help you relocate there. Our advice is to look for the best cross country moving professionals in Alaska. They will be able to plan your relocation so that it is efficient and that it costs you the least amount of money. Other movers may claim that they are able to do so properly. But only experienced movers have the necessary tools and knowledge to move you to Anchorage. Remember, you will need to cover a lot of ground and you might even need to utilize a plane or a boat to transport your possessions. These things require the right tools and skilled hands.
Once you've found the right movers to help you, you need to deal with moving preparations. Best Cross Country Movers can advise you on how to prepare yourself for moving to Anchorage and they can even provide moving preparation services to make the whole ordeal easier. But, the one thing that you absolutely need to remember is that you need to start your moving preparations as soon as possible. The moment you decide that you are moving to Anchorage, start preparing. There are multiple articles and guides written that can make your relocation both safer and cheaper. But, in order to utilize them and easily move to Anchorage, you need to start on time.
Home ownership is the foundation of the American dream, and often, a mortgage is necessary to make that dream come true. Finding the right mortgage loan is arguably just as important as finding the right property. You’ll be paying off your mortgage for years, and the best terms can save you thousands of dollars over time.
This guide explains how mortgages work, the basics of mortgage fees and the mortgage process, and the different types of loans available. You’ll get an overview of the top mortgage lenders in the United States so you can find the best deal for your loan.
U.S. News conducted an in-depth review of leading direct mortgage lenders. Research was based on program availability, customer satisfaction ratings and qualification requirements. Because each consumer has different needs, the top finishers in several key areas were chosen.
Quicken Loans is a nationwide mortgage lender with several mortgage options. Known for customer service, the lender has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and received a rating of five (among the best) in the 2018 U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study.
Mortgage types offered: Conventional, jumbo, ARM, VA FHA, refinance
Minimum FICO credit score: 580 (FHA), other loans vary
A major financial institution serving homeowners nationwide, Bank of America has good customer satisfaction ratings. The bank has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a J.D. Power rating of four, which is better than most.
Mortgage types offered: Conventional, VA FHA, refinance, home equity
Minimum FICO score: 620
Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 100%
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 55%
Loan amounts: Up to$5,000,000
Total closing costs: Varies
J.D. Power overall satisfaction rating: Four out of five
Guild Mortgage serves homebuyers nationwide with multiple mortgage options. Mortgage shoppers can choose from conventional or agency loans with this lender, which has an A+ BBB rating and a four out of five J.D. Power satisfaction rating.
Mortgage types offered: Conventional, jumbo, ARM, VA, FHA, USDA, refinance
LoanDepot was established in 2010 and since then has financed more than $70 billion in mortgages. It offers FHA, conventional and other mortgage options. Borrowers may qualify for a loan with a FICO credit score as low as 580.
Mortgage types offered: Conventional, jumbo, ARM, VA, FHA, home equity
Fairway Independent Mortgage was established more than 20 years ago and has funded more than $50 billion in loans. The lender has excellent customer satisfaction ratings and offers most mortgage products, including USDA loans.
Mortgage types offered: Conventional, jumbo, ARM, VA FHA, USDA refinance
Minimum FICO credit score: 580 (FHA), other loans vary
Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 43%
J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Five out of five
How Mortgages Work
When you take out a mortgage, you borrow money from a lender to buy your home. A mortgage is a secured loan with your home as collateral, so the lender will hold the title to the property until the loan is paid in full. You will make payments on the loan each month, including interest, until it is paid off. At that point, you'll hold the title and own your home outright.
When you choose a mortgage, you have four major decisions to make: the lender, loan type, loan term and interest rate type.
Types of Mortgage Loans
There are two major types of mortgage loans: government-backed and conventional. Government-backed mortgage programs offer guarantees to lenders that reduce their risk and can make it easier for borrowers to qualify for a mortgage. Conventional loans do not offer the same guarantees but may have lower interest rates.
FHA loans. The Federal Housing Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, offers loan programs that make it easier for homebuyers to qualify for mortgages. The FHA doesn’t lend money; instead, it insures mortgages and reimburses lenders if borrowers default on the loan.
With government backing, it’s easier to qualify for FHA loans than conventional ones. You could qualify with a lower credit score and a smaller down payment, as little as 3.5%. However, you need to pay the FHA an upfront fee of 1.75% of the loan amount, plus annual mortgage insurance for at least 11 years. With these fees, FHA loans can be more expensive than conventional ones.
But programs like the FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance program could help you finance a fixer-upper, offering funds in your mortgage to pay for renovations and improvements.
Bob Blackhurst, Realtor with BHHS Fox & Roach Real Estate Agents & Associates in Greenville, Delaware, finds these loans come in handy for many of his clients. “Housing inventory is tight, and it’s not easy to find properties in perfect condition. The FHA 203(k) loan program is a great tool to have at your disposal.”
VA loans. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a loan guarantee to help active-duty members of the military, veterans and their surviving spouses qualify for mortgages. There are zero-down-payment VA loans, and lenders may charge a lower interest rate compared to conventional loans. However, funding fees are higher the smaller your down payment.
State and local mortgage programs. State and local governments often have their own mortgage programs to help people buy homes. There are programs that help first-time buyers, encourage buyers in underdeveloped areas and support public sector employees such as firefighters and teachers. Check with your state or local housing department to see what programs are available in your area.
Conventional mortgages aren’t part of a government program. They’re a contract between homebuyers and private lenders. These loans can be more difficult to qualify for because they don’t have a guarantee if you default. However, they don’t have any rules limiting who can apply.
Conventional mortgage lenders typically require a down payment from 5% to 20%, though some offer loans with a down payment as low as 3%, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you have a down payment of less than 20%, your lender will likely require you to buy private mortgage insurance, which pays the lender if you default.
Loan term. Loan term is the length of your mortgage, or how long you are scheduled to make payments. Mortgage loan terms are usually 15 or 30 years.
Your loan term significantly influences how much you pay per month. With a longer mortgage term, your monthly payments are smaller because you have more time to pay the loan back. However, a longer term will cost more in total interest, and long-term mortgage interest rates are usually higher than short-term ones.
For example, compare a $200,000 mortgage with a 15- or 30-year term. Each loan charges a 3.5% interest rate. With the 15-year mortgage, the monthly payment is $1,430 with $57,358 in total interest. With the 30-year mortgage, the monthly payment is $898. However, the total interest is $123,312, more than twice as much as the 15-year loan’s interest.
Interest Rate Type
Fixed rate. A fixed-rate mortgage keeps the same interest rate throughout the entire term. Your monthly payment will always stay the same, and it is easy to budget. You will know exactly what your mortgage payments are going to be for the entire term and won’t have to worry about costs going up. But you can't benefit if market interest rates fall unless you refinance.
The monthly payments on a fixed-rate mortgage are typically higher than the initial monthly payments on an adjustable-rate mortgage. Lenders charge higher interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages because they can’t increase your interest rate later. Over time, the payments on an adjustable-rate mortgage could go higher, but they will generally start lower than on a fixed-rate mortgage.
Adjustable rate. The interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage can change over time, which means your monthly payments can change depending on market interest rates. Adjustable-rate mortgage interest rates are based on a benchmark rate, such as the prime rate. When these rates go up, the interest rate and monthly payment for your mortgage go up. When they do down, so will your interest rate and monthly payment.
Adjustable-rate mortgages have rules for how often the interest rate can change. For example, on a 5/1 ARM, you'll keep the same rate for the first five years and adjust only once per year after that. Similarly, 3/1 ARMs keep the same interest rate for the first three years and can adjust once per year after that. Each adjustment has a cap and the loan have a lifetime cap on how much your rate can increase overall.
Before signing up, calculate how much the payments would be if the ARM hits the maximum rate under the lifetime cap. Consider whether you can still afford the loan payments even in the most expensive scenario.
U.S. News Survey: Most homebuyers are well-informed before obtaining a mortgage, but many aren’t doing enough research.
U.S. News conducted a survey of U.S. mortgage holders to identify how well homebuyers are researching mortgage loans. Overall, homebuyers know what they’re getting into. They’re typically spending more than an hour researching home loans and comparing at least two mortgage lenders, including comparing APRs and closing costs. However, there are many homebuyers who don’t spend enough time researching home loans or comparing lenders.
More than half of respondents spent at least one hour researching home loans.