Young, single and ready to buy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

By Christy Kim
Redfin Real Estate Agent

Priced out of Seattle’s inner neighborhoods, we’re seeing young singles shift their attention to North Seattle, where they can buy spacious homes at more affordable prices. Only five years ago, Queen Anne, Ballard, Wallingford and Fremont were some of the hottest destinations for young buyers. But median home prices there are now between $389, 900 - $527,500, forcing single millennials to look elsewhere.

Young buyers are turning to neighborhoods such as Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Maple Leaf, where median home prices are between $342,475 - $392,000. Another trend we’re seeing is young people getting away from the condo lifestyle. In addition to affordability, these buyers want more space and are attracted to North Seattle neighborhoods for their larger homes.

As a Redfin agent, I work with several young, single buyers (most of them under the age of 35) who are not waiting to get married or have children to buy a home. Female buyers between the ages of 25-34 make up 54 percent of single women looking for a home, compared with 53 percent of single men, according to a recent Redfin survey of 1,354 active homebuyers.

Young homeowners once moved within five years, but now many of them are looking for long-term investments. Buyers are telling me that they don’t want to relocate if they experience a lifestyle change. Instead, they want to grow into their homes.

If you’re young and looking to buy your first home, consider the following:
  1. Think about what you want in a house. There are a lot of homes, so deciding what you want will help you narrow down your choices. Think about your current lifestyle and how your home’s location will affect your commute to and from work.
  2. Explore your options. Refrain from dismissing a certain style house or neighborhood without actually seeing it. Having a good idea of what you want in a home and being flexible at the same time will help you fine tune your choices.
  3. Think about your short and long-term plans. Are you in a relationship? Do you plan to have children? These lifestyle changes can affect your options.
  4. Be realistic about home values. Rely on your agent to pull comparable home sales in a neighborhood so you can get an idea about home values.
  5. Be ready. If you find the home you want to buy, have your financing lined up and ready to go. 
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