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Renee and her dog GordieYou’ve probably heard that millennials (young adults, roughly 18-30) aren’t buying homes. They’re opting for the city life. You know the trendy, loft style high rise in a metropolitan area in easy walking distance from their favorite coffee shop and cute, local boutiques. A place where they can bike to work and not have to worry about rush hour.

I’d heard those stories, and truth be told, I’m one of those millennials. My apartment is exactly two blocks away from the coffee shop I visit nearly every morning (really, I’m in there so often they’ll have my drink ready for me when I walk in) and a quick 15 minute bike ride from my office. It’s great, and I don’t have to worry about maintenance and yard work.

I understand the appeal of renting instead of buying, especially as a young professional with a busy schedule. However, I read a US News story about how millennials are actually dominating the housing market. According to them, young adults make up 68 percent of first-time homebuyers.

So I got to thinking, who are these people and what makes them buy in to this idea of owning their own home right now? I put my feelers out and found a handful of millennial singles and families who took the plunge into the exciting adventure of home ownership.

Renee Senyk is a 26-year-old purchase liaison for a title company, and one of those millennials who recently bought her first home. I sat down with her to ask her a few questions about her home buying journey and here’s what she had to say.

What made you want to buy a home?

I was living in the city and I loved it! But I recently bought a dog and I wanted him to have a house. I also wanted my own space. I lived downtown for a year-and-a-half – and it was great, but I wanted more for my money. I knew buying a home would be a great investment.

How long were you searching?

I searched for about two months. When I came across this house it had only been on the market for one day. I put in a strong offer and I got it!

Confessions of a Millennial Home Owner: Renee Senyk - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

What were some of the must-haves on your list?

Character! I wanted wood flooring and unique touches like built-ins.

I also wanted something that didn’t need a lot of work. The house had a finished basement, which was a main selling point, and I loved the subway tile in the kitchen and in the bathroom, too. The red door might have helped, gotta love a pop of color.

How long did it take to close?

I went with Quicken Loans and Title Source for my transaction. It took just over a month to close.

What was your biggest concern going into the home buying process?

I’d say the maintenance things I didn’t deal with in my apartment. You know, worrying about broken pipes and backed-up toilets, the unsuspected things that would now be MY responsibility….I can’t just call a landlord.

Confessions of a Millennial Home Owner: Renee Senyk - Quicken Loans Zing Blog


What was the hardest part of the process?

WAITING! For me it was different. Some people get to close and move in the next day. I unfortunately had to wait 60 days! The sellers wanted to wait till their kids were out of school. It definitely taught me patience and gave me time to think about how I wanted to decorate.

What was the best part of your home buying experience? 

I worked with a great mortgage company who made it a smooth and easy process. I have to say there’s nothing like that first night, when you’re dead tired from moving and you’re sitting in YOUR living room thinking, “Wow, this is mine!”

Confessions of a Millennial Home Owner: Renee Senyk - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Do you have advice for other young house hunters?

When you’re looking for a house, look for properties within your budget. The worst thing you could do is become housebroke, living paycheck to paycheck. Be patient, it might take a little bit to find your home, but don’t stress out and DON’T SETTLE.

This a 30-year commitment. Kind of a big deal! Make sure you have enough money on hand. You really need to consider closing costs, moving expenses, necessities for the house and the unexpected inconveniences like a broken washing machine or water pipe.

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned that the American dream is still possible! There are so many programs out there to help our generation afford a home without putting down our life savings. An FHA allowed me to put down 3% and have a lot more liquid cash for the house and savings.

It looks like owning your own home in your 20s is possible! And Renee isn’t the only one doing it! Thousands of millennials are making the switch from renting to owning. If you’re done with renting and want a place of your own, text “AMAZE” to 26293 or contact us here to get the process started!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. No way I am ever buying a home. You buy a home to die in, and I got a lot of living left.

    Want to see misery? Go watch your boomer or gen-xer driving 2 hours every day to work to a job they hate to pay a mortgage they cant afford.

    No thank you. I will rent for life. As I explain to the elderly I deal with: Yes, I can afford a house, yes I have a wife and child, no I will not buy a house. You bought your overpriced wood house that makes you commute 2 hours a day and means you will never be able to take a higher paying job for life. That is your mistake not mine.

    1. Thanks for your response, Tyler. I agree with you to a point: You should never purchase a house that you can’t afford. But since interest rates are currently so low, in many situations, the monthly cost of a mortgage is the same or less than the monthly cost of rent. Furthermore, owning a house allows you to gain equity, while you don’t gain anything from paying rent. The idea is to make the purchase of a home work for you, rather than against you. Here’s a handy calculator that will help you compare the cost of the house and the long-term cost of renting an apartment. In some cases, you’re completely correct. It makes more sense to rent. In other cases, owning a home can be a great building block to your financial foundation.

      Not everyone bought a house that is overpriced, and not everyone makes a two-hour commute to a job they hate. And buying a home doesn’t mean you’re strapped down for life. You can always resell (thereby taking out your equity for a new house) or turn your current property into a rental. In fact, renting out homes is a great way to create passive income on a monthly basis. When done correctly, the ROI is likely to outpace the stock market.

      Again, I think you bring up some great points, Tyler. And being wise with our money is an important discipline we should all strive to learn. Fortunately, there are many ways to make the most out of what we’ve been given.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Mr. Brandt! You’re right! But I hear that Renee is thinking about repainting everything this weekend. I think she said she wanted to paint it all a darkish plum – kind of like the color of raisins. I’m sure she’ll have the same amazing painting staff come back for round two. Thanks again for your input, Mr. Brandt, and have a happy Thursday!

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