Millennials are becoming a major force in the housing market. According to a Consumer Reports' survey, nearly three-quarters of Americans between 18 and 34 said they'd like to buy their own home.
Things like high rental costs and student debt can make it especially difficult for millennials to save for a down payment. But fortunately, Consumer Reports has found some resources to help.
Like many people her age, 25-year-old Sarah Bollert was tired of throwing away money on high rent, and wanted to own her own apartment.
"I felt like the rental market was just going to go up in price and I was just going to spend a lot of money without a return on investment," she said.
But even with a steady job, she didn't have enough for the 20 percent down payment - what's required to avoid high payments and costly mortgage insurance.
She was able to get a combination of low and zero-interest loans to help with her up-front costs.
"These programs are really intended to bring people into the housing market who really have the basics in place. They just need a little extra something to get them into housing," said Tobie Stanger, Consumer Reports Money Editor.
Find out about available programs at DownPaymentResource.com. There, you'll also learn about opportunities for educators, firefighters, and those in other professions
Another resource for low-to-moderate-income borrowers is a new mortgage called HomeReady. Applicants can report rent from roommates or tenants as income.
Joan Carty, who helps homebuyers get low and zero-interest loans, says it's important for counselors to work with applicants so they understand how much they can afford.
"We are pretty straightforward with them because nobody is doing anyone any favors if they put them into the housing market and buy a home, and they can't sustain it," she said.
No matter how you plan to pay for your home, Consumer Reports says first-time buyers should make sure their credit record is as good as possible. That will help you get the best deal, no matter who your lender is.
First-time buyers may also reach out to parents and other relatives to borrow money to buy a house.
But Consumer Reports cautions that they should make sure they don't run afoul of IRS guidelines.
For more information on funding a down payment, visit: ConsumerReports.org
Consumer Reports: Funding a down payment
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