5 Tips for First-time Home Buyers

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—When 28-year-old Kevin Druce completed the purchase of his first home in Albuquerque, New Mexico in March, he didn't factor in the cost of landscaping.

"You don't realize the small things you'll need like landscaping when you buy a house for the first time," said Druce. "I've dipped into my savings, because the backyard was just dirt. I've planted grass and trees and installed a patio."

The three-bedroom home is costing Druce $223,000 purchased with a 3.5% down payment of $9,000.

"I thought it was a smart investment since I'd spend the same amount on rent," said Druce, who is a flight paramedic. "Why not have a mortgage? I'd like to own multiple properties in the future as a retirement set up. My fear is that there won't be any social security retirement income for me when I retire."

Druce is among the more than 50% of renters aged 18 to 34 who reported that the desire to own and build equity was the primary reason for purchasing a new home.

"The propensity for young adults to test the waters of homeownership continues to increase and has become more evident as renters are seeing the overall value of owning a home," said Deborah Wahl, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at PulteGroup, a builder.

The low mortgage rate environment, increasing rental costs and scarcity of desirable rental options, makes homeownership an even more attractive proposition for many millennials.

In fact, about 90% plan to purchase a home at some point in their lives, according to Pulte.

"It's important for first-time homebuyers to have access to the right tools and information to ensure their first home purchase is one they are proud of for years to come," added Wahl.