If you ask older people about today’s crop of younger folks, many would have you believe that young people don’t have the fortitude and financial wherewithal to settle down and buy a home. Buying a home requires planning, discipline, and financial stability. Traits that many seniors and Baby Boomers don’t really think young people have these days.
But that image of Millennials as selfie-obsessed and screen-addicted oafs, content to live in their parents’ basements while they figure themselves out for the rest of their lives? That’s not an accurate portrait.
The fact is, the leading edge of the Millennial cohort are now in their early thirties. Despite many leaving college with massive student loan debt and entering the job market at the height of a recession, many older Millennials are reaching a point in their lives where their finances are in decent enough shape to purchase a home. (Just in time, too. There are some serious reasons that this year is the year to hop off the fence and become a homeowner.)
To be a homeowner, you don’t need to have all of your student loans paid off. You need to have your debt-to-income ratio at a manageable level. Young would-be homeowners don’t need to have loads of money in the bank, either. Homeowners need enough wiggle room in their budgets that a broken pipe is an inconvenience, and not a tragedy.
Just like everyone else, Millennials shouldn’t consider buying homes if they’re not financially prepared to take on homeownership. But as it turns out, many Millennials are ready: last year, half of homebuyers were born after 1980. As more Millennials stabilize their careers and finances, we can expect that number to increase.