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Field Guide to Working With First-Time Homebuyers

(Updated February 2015)

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 2015 is the year of the millennial when it comes to real estate. Millennials are at a critical demographic tipping point where their sheer numbers will naturally drive demand for more home sales. Most first-time buyers move into their first home when they’re between the ages of 25 to 34.” says Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com®. Get reading for the wave of millennials and first-time homebuyers with this updated Field Guide. (A. Siudzinski, Senior Information Specialist)

Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.

First-Time Homebuyer Characteristics & Concerns

First-time homebuyers still face challenge with mortgage process, (HousingWire, Nov. 13, 2014).

NAR annual survey reveals notable decline in first-time buyers, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 3, 2014).

NAR: Dearth of first-time buyers plagues housing; Share of freshman homebuyers at three decade low, (HousingWire, Nov. 3, 2014).

Share of first-time homebuyers hits 27-year low, (Wall Street Journal, Nov. 3, 2014).

First-time homebuyers abandoning the housing market, (CNN Money, Nov. 3, 2014).

Housing recovery missing key group: young-first time buyers,  (The Washington Post, Sept. 12, 2014).

Bigger downpayments add to first-time homebuyer blues, (National Mortgage News, Aug. 18, 2014). Q

8 biggest mistakes first-time homebuyers make,  (CNBC, July 17, 2014).

Obstacles abound for first-time homebuyers, (The Herald-Tribune, June 16, 2014).

Got cash?  First-time home buyers face tough market, (NBC Nightly News, May 15, 2014).

60% of first-time buyers put down 6% or less, (NAR - Economists’ Outlook, May 1, 2014).

The plight of first-time buyers, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2014).

Student debt may hurt housing recovery by hampering first-time buyers,  (The Washington Post, Feb. 17, 2014).

2013 First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers Survey, (California Association of REALTORS®).

Foreign-born driving first-time market, (National Mortgage News, Nov. 4, 2013). Q

Working With First-​Time Homebuyers

87 percent of U.S. homes qualify for down payment help according to Realty Trac and Down Payment Resource Analysis,  (Realty Trac, Feb. 3, 2015).

First-time buyers can now get a mortgage with only 3 percent down,  (The Washington Post, Dec. 8, 2014).

Best purchase prospects for Millennials,  (The National Association of REALTORS®, 2014).

The best advice for first-time home buyers,  (Realty Times, Aug. 27, 2014).

The 3 things first-time buyers want from agents, (Chicago Agent, Aug. 25, 2014).

5 mistakes first-time homebuyers make, (Daily Real Estate News/REALTOR® Magazine, July 21, 2014).

Interactive map: Where can renters afford to own?, (Housing Perspectives, July 17, 2014).

A checklist for first-time homebuyers, (U.S. News & World Report, May 23, 2014).

Realtor.com names top 10 markets for first-time home buyers for 2014 home buying season, (realtor.com, Mar. 27, 2014).

10 tips for first time home buyers, (Realty Times, Jan. 13, 2014).

How to market to first-time homebuyers, (Market Leader, Dec. 12, 2013).

64 tips from agents for first-time homebuyers,  (Movato, n.d.).

5 common first time home buyer mistakes, (REALTOR® Magazine, n.d.).

First-time homebuyer’s basics, (realtor.com®).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Buying a Home When You're Single, (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Home, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Home Buying for Dummies, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Home Buying Without the BS!, (Adobe eReader)

How to Buy Your First Home, 2E (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home, (Adobe eReader)

The Real Estate Process, (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Buying solo, (Chicago, IL: Penguin Group, 2005). HF 5438 Su6

Home buying for dummies, (Chicago, IL: Wiley Publishing, 2001). HD 1341 T98

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Field Guide to Millennial Home Buyers

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.