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Buying a Home Is Still an American Dream — Here’s How to Make It a Reality

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Think millennials don’t care about owning a home? Think again.

The latest U.S. Housing Confidence Survey (HCS) confirms that this generation, along with a growing percentage of non-white Americans, has more confidence in the housing market than the rest of the population does.

Turning that confidence into action could lead to a great future for the housing industry. And despite the current market’s difficult climate, gaining approval to become a homeowner is simpler than one might expect.

Confidence vs. Reality

The HCS found that 65% of Americans aged 18 to 34 believe the American Dream goes hand in hand with owning a home. This is just slightly higher than the 64% of baby boomers (age 65 and up) who responded similarly. Meanwhile, 70% of Hispanic respondents, 64% of Asians, and 63% of African-American participants agreed with the idea.

That’s a lot of hope for an industry that appears to some as increasingly more difficult and complicated to enter. Rents are rising as incomes are staying flat, and this is keeping millennials in rental situations for longer than previous generations, as they postpone making major life decisions and lack the funds for a down payment.

But even in the midst of chaotic financial markets and wavering confidence from investors and consumers, the U.S. housing market has stayed resilient. Explains Terry Loebs, founder of research firm Pulsenomics LLC, “Housing confidence has increased in every metro area surveyed over the past two years and fueled the market recovery.”

And according to Zillow’s Chief Economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell, today’s optimism could help create tomorrow’s stability. “These Americans represent the next generation of U.S. homeowners, and for homeownership to eventually become a reality, it has to start as a dream.”

Take the First Steps

If you’re an aspiring homeowner (millennial or otherwise), you can take a couple quick steps to see what your odds are of landing that dream home in the first place.

The most important first step is to check your credit score. You can check two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com. Your credit score will determine whether you can get approved, as well as your interest rate and how much house you can afford. The pre-approval process consists of providing necessary documentation (e.g., pay stubs, tax returns, W-2 forms) to your lender.

Depending on your results, once you check these two items off your to-do list, you’ll be that much closer to transforming your homeowner dreams into reality.

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