Home Buyers Come in All Shapes and Sizes!

Who Are Today's Home Buyers?

What does today's modern family look like? Increasingly, it may be a Mom, Dad and one or more adult children. Or, it may be a young couple with a single parent sharing the home and the expenses. The traditional American family still exists but there are more variations than were common in decades past. Another very common variation includes couples who are willing to sign up for a 30-year mortgage before they say, "I do," to each other.

In the post-war era all the way through the 1970's there was a life stage associated with traditional home ownership:

1. Go to college or a trade school

2. Get a job

3. Get married

4. Buy a house

Now those steps are less clear. Many adults go back to school for 2nd degrees or advanced degrees even later in life. Many adults are waiting until their late twenties and early thirties to get married. Many are considering home-ownership at an earlier age or participating in some manner in their parent's home ownership. Some juggle multiple jobs and others are work-from-home entrepreneurs or telecommuters.

What does that mean to a sales associate showing a home?

• Listen carefully to fully understand the needs of the home buyer. If they juggle multiple jobs they probably want a turn-key solution. If they work from home they have to be very happy with the home they purchase. If they are a mixed-generation family, separate living areas may be key.

• Pre-qualification is more important than ever. Multiple people with mixed income streams require more attention from a lender. Educating the home buyer to understand the value of having the lending in place before even looking is critical.

• Make sure everyone involved is on board as much as possible throughout the home-buying process. Maybe you're working with a young couple; they love the house on 123 Happy Life Lane. They look at it a second time and then they say, "Well, we won't know until Mother looks at it, too." Suddenly you meet Mother who has some game-changing opinions. The sooner you can meet and talk to all of the players the better your chance of finding this family the right home.

The good news is that more people are enthusiastic about home ownership at all life stages than ever before!



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