Technically speaking, by some standards, I am a Millennial. (shh, don’t tell anyone). For years I have listened to many experts and theorists’ telling me how insane this generation was and because of all the mixed information out there by these experts, I didn’t even realize I was one until someone pointed it out to me.
But I would guess you could say that I am not the stereotypical profile of one. I was a little different than most. I was done with college at 19. (Yes, I am pretty much a genius) I accidentally got into real estate immediately following college. So I guess what’s different about me is that I had the knowledge to do what I needed to do to attain homeownership. It was in my face 24/7. I spent the first couple of years feeling kind of unworthy in my real estate office until I finally bought a home at 21. So, I imagine you are wondering how I did it.
I hadn’t lived with my parents since I was 17 (they were eager to move on to their empty nester phase) So I didn’t have the option to “live in my parents basement”. What I did do was the following:
- I lived in a home with several roommates for close to 2 years. My rent at the time I think was like 600 with utilities. Yes, my roommates were annoying at times and they did the typical college partying thing. (I swear I was a complete angel) But its what I had to do at the time.
- I lived small. I allowed myself 20-30 bucks a week for groceries. A loaf of bread, lunchmeat, a box of cereal and RAMEN. (Admit it! You know you did the Ramen too)
- I worked A LOT! I was working at a title company and I had a few part-time gigs. This is also how my sleeping disorder began. I got used to working through sleep. I still do this today.
- I SAVED my money. Every cent I made outside of my budgeted items went into savings
- I didn’t go out and party. (I was underage….It was illegal for me to do so. Seriously I was an angel)
- I didn’t shop. This will account for my many years of poor fashion choices.
- I created a mindset of wants vs. needs. I wanted to buy a new shiny car but my pile of junk car with a loud muffler was still running. So I didn’t NEED a new car. This accounted for my second mental condition causing severe anxiety about spending any money whatsoever.
- I paid off my student loans. In a year. Notably I had gotten 3 years paid for but my last year still accounted for $16,000 in tuition. I paid twice what I needed to until I received a big tax refund and paid it off completely.
- When I turned 21. I met my husband…well ex-husband now but I guess this story is in the past, so I will roll with it. I got pregnant and BOOM. I was forced into serious “adulting”. We bought a home immediately. No I didn’t plan on buying yet but I was prepared for it. And you know what??? IT WAS AWESOME! I felt like the coolest 21 year old ever!
I know I have seen reports out there as well that over 80 percent of millennials want to buy a home. When you look at the percentages, you do also have to consider the size of our generation. It’s predicted to be at 75.3 million by the end of 2015. I also recently read that millennials accounted for 32 percent of homebuyers and they were the LARGEST percentage of homebuyers. You know what other crazy factoid there is regarding this? 82% of them used real estate agents. Crazy considering their use of technology. Why would they need us?
So what’s the point of all of this? I was lucky to end up in real estate and obtain the knowledge I needed to prepare myself for homeownership. This biggest problem I see with many of the non-homeowner millennial is that they don’t believe they have the current ability to own. But thy do however, have a strong desire to. I know there’s plenty of Millennials out there as agents and I know many of you are killing it as far as getting them on board. But lets step it up! Offer seminars to college students, tap in to those financial planners you have relationships with, bring in your loan officers and create a new and higher level of first time buyers courses. There is so much you are not doing that you could. To my fellow Millennials: Let’s prove the experts wrong. If I can do it, you can too!