Dogs are Important to Millennial Home BuyersDoesn’t a good headline make you check out the rest of the story? Certainly telling you that Mortgages are Going to the Dogs is going to make you think all kinds of bad thoughts, right? Actually, it’s good news!

Millennials List Dogs As Major Factor in Home Buying Decision

You heard that right! In an online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage, 33% of millennial-aged Americans (that would be 18-36) responded that more space or an actual yard played a major role in deciding to purchase their first home. Score one for Fido!!! The puppy was ahead of marriage (or an upcoming marriage) at 25% and the birth (or expecting) of a child at 19%.

Now before you think these people have “gone to the dogs,” the desire for more living space (66%) and the potential of building equity (36%) were top of the list. But, those surveyed that have never purchased a home….have got Fido in mind. 42% said that their dog, or the desire to get one, is a key factor as they look to buy a home in the future.

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” said Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.” Smith went on to say, “Millennials are trending toward homeownership. Demand among millennial-aged, first-time homebuyers is robust, and we expect them to continue adding strength to the housing market.”

Important Steps For First Time Home Buyers

Here are some tips to consider for the First Time Buyer

  • Expenses — While you may have been thinking about closing costs and a down payment already, remember you will have moving expenses too. You may have utility deposits if you’ve never had them in your name before (say water!) and the cost of a rental truck or if you decide to pay someone to help you move.
  • Be Organized With Paperwork — As you get ready to do the step below, you will be asked for various documents. Now’s a good time to get organized with copies of tax returns, bank statements, W-2’s and proof of funds for any gift you may have been given.
  • Get Pre-Approved — Whether you have a lender, or use one of our Team Lenders, you want to get a pre-approval for your mortgage. The lender will use the above information, along with your credit report so they can determine your qualifications for your mortgage. During this process, you may find out you can afford MORE, or LESS than you thought. This is an important number for your real estate agent (ME) to help find you the home or condo you are looking for. And you’ll need a copy of that pre-approval to attach to your offer.
  • Knowing How Long It Takes — You want to have a realistic timeline for the home buying process. You certainly don’t want to have given notice on your apartment (if you were renting) and then not be able to close on your new home on time! Some lenders CAN make it all happen in 15 days….if the planets are aligned correctly. In a condo purchase, that may not be a realistic time frame, as HOA letters ( a statement from the HOA about the account for the condo) can take 10 days to receive. I work with Buyers and say 30-45 days, but certainly we ALL work to make it happen sooner. But if the Lender is asking you for additional documentation, you have to respond and get to them ASAP to keep the timeline moving.

Millennials Consider Dog when Buying a Home

 A note about the survey — Survey Methodology:The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage from June 28-30, 2017, among 412 U.S. adults ages 18-36, among whom 248 purchased their first home and 135 have never purchased a home. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


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