The First-Time Homebuyer Dilemma: What’s the least risky choice – the career, the spouse, or the home?

The First-Time Homebuyer Dilemma: What’s the least risky choice – the career, the spouse, or the home?
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Past generations, The Silent Generation and the Baby Boomers, followed a more defined order of events before becoming first-time homebuyers. Get an education, find a great job, find a spouse to get married and settle down, and then buy a house to start a family. Life was simpler, it appeared, when this path was followed, but times have changed.

A great book by David Brooks, “The Second Mountain,” describes this order as the first mountain. In “middle age,” many are not fulfilled with their job or spouse, so they search for a second mountain to climb. Millennials, born in 1981-1996, watched as many of their parents became disillusioned after divorce or career burnout, and as such, they have delayed making this same order choice. However, this has also delayed the purchase of the house for many as they feel that a career and spouse should be part of the home purchase. This is a bad programmatic order to follow.

This reminds me of a programmer friend years ago who was an initial employee with numerous stock options at a startup dot-com company that went public and was wildly successful. He watched his net worth climb to well over $100 million in his early 30s. He made a program for his stock broker to sell the stock at preset intervals and quantities and he bought over $10 million of real estate with it. This was a very smart move, but he did not plan to sell any stock as the price of the stock went down. You can guess that as the stock started to drop, and he watched this stock fortune drop to less than 5% of its original value, over $100 million of paper profits were lost. His fortune dwindled, but he learned an expensive lesson of being too narrow minded.

So how does this relate to the first-time homebuyer?

Buying a home is an exceptionally good investment in the United States. From the time that the FHA formed and became part of HUD in 1965, homeownership and the availability of high leverage home loans with 30-year amortizations allowed for over 50% of families to own a home. Thus, the housing industry became a key economic driver of the economy.

The median home price in the U.S. in 1965 was approximately $20k. Today in the U.S., that median price is approximately $430k, and approximately $350k in Dallas. The prices of homes have increased much faster than inflation, and faster than wages since 1965. Today, with inflation on the rise, a home is a great hedge against that. So, in other words, waiting makes the home less affordable and as a result, your wealth potential decreases.

  • So, let us revisit the three major life choices facing a younger, first-time homebuyer:
    Choose a career – your current job may be a stepping stone, as may be your current career path, so live and learn and with the fast-moving technological age. Expect to change companies or careers until you find the most perfect match.
  • Choose a spouse – this is the most complex, and David Brooks in “The Second Mountain” has a whole section on this tough decision.
  • Buy a home – by far the easiest choice if you think of the first home as an investment and less of a perfect dream home. You’ll want to make money when you’re young, especially if you want to one day raise a family, so start early and be wise.

At Grenadier Homes, we build high-quality, best-in-class DFW townhomes perfect for the first-time homebuyer. Townhomes are usually priced much below other new detached homes in the immediate area. Additionally, DFW townhomes offer both low maintenance and significant savings in utilities, insurance, property taxes, and maintenance, making them very affordable to own and thereby a great investment option.

Grenadier’s DFW townhome locations are always superb, and our neighborhoods are special in feel and look with lots of outdoor spaces for real community gathering. They are in terrific DFW master-planned communities such as Meridian at Southgate in McKinney, Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Mira Lagos in Grand Prairie, and Woodbridge in Wylie.

With rents on the rise, now is the time to make a real estate investment as a first-time homebuyer. Explore the many Grenadier Homes Townhome communities and our available DFW townhomes on our website and contact us today to start your homebuying journey.

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