The news is filled with stories about millennials being too saddled with college loans to afford a home. But the facts speak differently.
According to The Research Brief, a publication from real estate industry professionals, millennials “led home purchase activity” in 2017 for the fifth consecutive year, making up 36% of all buyers. Approximately two-thirds of first-time buyers in 2017 were millennials.
Interestingly, these buyers are now leaving urban centers for the suburbs. “As home prices in urban areas have appreciated faster than those in the suburbs, millennial buyers active in the market are reversing a trend of moving to the core,” notes the report. “For the third straight year, more than 50% of homes sold to this generation during 2017 were in the suburbs.
“…Over the next five years, the young adult population in downtown cores is expected to fall by an average of 0.7% each year, compared with annual growth near 1.5% since 2000.”
Despite the encouraging news that millennials are buying homes, all is not rosy. This age group still has the lowest rate of homeownership of all age segments, with a little more than 35% of those under age 35 owning a home. This represents a drop from approximately 43% at the time of the Great Recession.
The limited supply of homes listed for under $200,000 and rising interest rates will negatively impact their ability to buy homes in the future. “Younger millennials are also just entering the workforce, and delays in other major milestones, such as marriage and having children, will contribute to a large share of these individuals choosing to rent over the next few years,” according to The Research Brief.
THE KEY TO AVOIDING LOCKSMITH SCAMS
You’ve locked yourself out of the house and need a locksmith. You frantically scroll through your smartphone, looking for a company to help. And soon, you’re paying $1,000 for a job that should have cost $100.
You’ve fallen prey to a little-know scam: fake locksmith ads online.
According to Costco Connection, scammers create false ads to attract their victims. “The ads typically tout a low-price service call—for example, $15 or $19. The address they use may be fake or belong to another business or location.” When you call, you’re connected to a call center that dispatches a worker. Upon arrival, the worker tells you that the job will cost much more than the estimate you were quoted. What’s more, he only takes cash.
To avoid falling victim to this scam, Costco Connection offers these tips:
Find a locksmith before you need one: Use your network of friends to find a trustworthy company. This will ensure you aren’t taken in by a fake company at a desperate moment.
Check with the Association of Locksmiths of America (ALOA) and the Society of Professional Locksmiths (sopl.us). Both organizations certify locksmiths and offer a search tool online to locate someone who is legitimate in your area.
Buy a roadside assistance plan for lockouts. This way, a reputable company will provide the locksmith when you find yourself locked out of your car.
Ask for a locksmith’s license, registration and insurance.
Confirm the price of the job before a locksmith gets started. Be sure the estimate is in writing and on business letterhead. Also, request a receipt on business letterhead that includes a detailed list of parts, services and the locksmith’s address and phone number.
Pay with a credit card. This way, you can dispute an unfair charge.
Call police if the locksmith becomes threatening or intimidating.
Photo Copyright: Unsplash.com