Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 2, 2024

Young adults embracing change: Home Show offers path to homeownership

In a challenging economic landscape marked by record-high inflation rates, rising interest rates and increasing housing costs, young adults are defying the odds and stepping into the realm of homeownership.

The National Association of Home Builders reports the share of young adults aged 25-34 living with their parents has decreased to 19.1%, reaching a decade low. This shift indicates a positive post-pandemic trend of young adults embracing independent living despite economic challenges.

Customarily, young adults up to age 35 compose approximately half of first-time homebuyers, making their choices pivotal for household formation, housing demand and the overall housing market. The recent decline in the percentage of young adults residing with parents is a promising sign for the real estate landscape. The present 19.1% translates to 8.5 million young adults seeking independent living arrangements.

Interestingly, historical data from NAHB/Wells Fargo’s Housing Opportunity Index suggests the rising share of young adults living with parents pre-pandemic correlated with worsening housing affordability. Conversely, improving affordability was associated with a declining share of young adults continuing to reside in parental homes.

However, the post-pandemic world has disrupted this correlation, with young adults forging ahead into independent living despite challenges in housing affordability and the rising cost of living.

For young adults aspiring to purchase a home, several key considerations can pave the way for a successful venture. Financial preparedness is paramount. Establishing a budget, saving for a down payment and maintaining a good credit score are crucial steps.

Exploring first-time homebuyer programs, whether at the government or local level, can also provide valuable assistance through down payment support or favorable loan terms.

Understanding diverse mortgage options and aligning them with individual financial goals is another vital aspect, requiring consultation with mortgage professionals for optimal insights.

Affordability should take precedence over the allure of a dream home. Considering factors such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs ensures a realistic and sustainable investment.

Before finalizing a purchase, a comprehensive home inspection is critical, as it can identify potential issues and safeguard against unforeseen expenses in the future. Additionally, building an emergency savings fund is wise, considering the unexpected expenses that might accompany homeownership.

For those eager to delve into homeownership or enhance their current living situation, the upcoming 57th annual Tri-State Home Show offers an invaluable opportunity. Scheduled for Feb. 16-18 at the Chattanooga Trade Center, the event unites industry experts, real estate professionals and home improvement specialists in an effort to provide attendees with insights into the housing market, information on financing options, and practical tips for home maintenance and improvement.

Whether embarking on the journey of purchasing a first home or seeking ways to enhance an existing living space, the Tri-State Home Show, sponsored by EPB Fiber Optics and J103 Radio, presents a comprehensive platform for navigating the complexities of homeownership.

For more information on the upcoming Home Show and links to help you navigate your first steps into home ownership, visit homeshowchattanooga.com.