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A Gen Yer Shares Why She Bought Her First Home

Millenials, also known as Echo Boomers and Gen Y, are key to the housing recovery according to many recent reports. Approximately 62 million Americans are classified as Echo Boomers with 31 percent of them recently purchasing homes as stated at the recent Realtors Conference. ForResidentialPros interviewed Amy Schermetzler, an Echo Boomer who recently purchased her first home with her husband, Brad. She provides insight into why this generation is important to the housing industry.

ForResidentialPros: Why did you decide to buy?
Amy Schermetzler:
It was always the plan for us to buy our first home in 2012.  We currently live in a hip, urban area of Milwaukee that caters to young professionals (the Third Ward). While we love our current neighborhood, we have always known that it couldn't be considered exactly "family friendly," and having a family was also on our agenda. Brad also missed having a lawn! So the plan was always to buy this year. 

FRP: Did you consider waiting to buying? Why or why not? 
Originally, we did consider waiting. We really love living in the Third Ward, but also knew that the market right now is really a buyer's market. And with interest rates so low, it just makes sense to buy. Then, we found out we are expecting a baby (due November 2012), and that pushed our timeline up considerably. We knew that we wanted to be in a house before the baby was born.

FRP: What were the incentives to buy?
Low-interest rates and the "buyer's market." We knew we could be picky and get a lot of home for a little money.

FRP: What were your must-haves for your home?
We were pretty easy buyers. We wanted at least three bedrooms, two baths and a nice kitchen. That's it! And by nice kitchen, we didn't mean gourmet. We just didn't want to have to do a lot of work to any home we purchased, so we wanted something that was nice enough we could live with it for a few years.

FRP: Does your house have those must-haves? Anything you had to give up?
We got everything we wanted and more. After we first looked at the home, I said to our realtor, "There's not one thing I would change about this house." I think we were really lucky in that we were able to find a home that was well-maintained, with updated kitchens and baths. The owners were very serious about getting their home to sell quickly, so they did a lot of improvements right before they listed - and those ended up being major selling points with us! 

FRP: What surprised you about the home buying process? 
AS: That I didn't really enjoy it. Both Brad and I found it to be really tiring and I would certainly not describe it as "fun."  We looked at more than 25 houses and even needed to take a month off from looking because it was just so overwhelming at times. I'll tell you this - it's definitely nothing like what they show you on networks like HGTV.


"I think Gen Y is really getting out there now"


FRP: What did you like about the process? Didn’t like?
Pretty much the only thing I really liked about the process was our realtor, Brad Koenig of Your Local Home Team (First Weber) (@BradKoenig on Twitter ... that was how we found him!). He was amazing and talked us through the process step-by-step. It also helped that we really got along well with him (I think it's safe to say we will continue to be friends with Brad well after our transaction is over). We also really enjoyed working with our mortgage brokers. We used Accunet mortgage and would highly recommend them. They were really helpful and totally knowledgeable -and they didn't mind answering our 20,000 questions!

What I personally didn't like? Dealing with the financial stuff. Although we continue to be in a great position financially (which is something to be said for this economy) and knew we wouldn't have any problems with affording a home, it is still a huge "thing" to have someone else evaluating your finances, credit history, job, etc. In the long-run though, it's a good thing - we ended up having a lot of great discussions about how to further our financial goals.  I also didn't enjoy having to see so many homes. By the end, I just wanted to "find one." What my husband didn't like? My stress level during the whole experience, haha!

FRP: How long did it take for you to buy a home – start to finish? Was this what you expected? 
AS: We officially started our search in February 2012 and will close on June 15. This is actually a bit longer than I expected, and we saw many more homes than I thought we would. But then again, I thought the whole process would be a blast and it really wasn't that fun for me. 

FRP: Reports say Gen Y will drive the housing market recovery. That’s you! Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
AS: I agree. Brad and I are not alone amongst our friends in buying a home this year. Another couple we're friends with is closing a week after us. My best friend and her husband just re-financed, and several other friends are starting or in the middle of their home searches. I think Gen Y is really getting out there now, as home sales have increased in just the few months since we started looking. It's definitely still a great time to buy!

FRP: Do you have anything to add?
If you're in the position to buy a home, don't wait. I think the housing market has seen its rock bottom and prices and rates are only going to continue to rise as the market recovers. Yes, it's overwhelming. Yes, it can be scary. But the rewards are amazing. We are so happy to be closing on our first home and we can't wait to move in! 

How are you targeting this generation?