Buying your first house can be a challenge (thanks, Captain Obvious!), and buying a home as a relatively young Millennial can be even more difficult. So, how can it be done? Does it require a high-flying job on Wall Street or with a next-gen tech firm in Silicon Valley? What about down payments? Does it require a decade of saving or borrowing from parents? Instead of a five-step plan or a list of “top 10 tips”, check out this article highlighting the journey of an actual Millennial who bought her first home by age 25. Emily Brown isn’t a wealthy socialite or dot-com genius – she’s an accountant living in Cleveland, OH, with a $50,000 annual salary and a home of her own. Her path may not apply to everyone, but it does provide clear steps that just about anyone can follow to help get closer to making homeownership a reality. For instance, Brown made a point of avoiding the pricey downtown life (think parking and high rent) for a fixer-upper in the suburbs. So, while she may miss out on after-hour socializing with friends at trendy bars, she will enjoy having her tenant (her duplex-style home came with a renter) pay her entire mortgage.
Other ways Brown improved her ability to get a mortgage at such a young age include paying her student loans down aggressively and even opening an IRA (instead of a 0% bank CD) with $100 she saved from an ice cream shop job at eighteen. Additionally, as soon as she started her job as an accountant, she started socking away another $250 per month in that IRA, plus another 6% of her salary in a 401(k), which her employer is matching (can you say “free money”?).
Her story is worth reading – check it out here.