By Lina Martinez

While some may think millennials are just living in their parents’ basements, they are actually becoming the largest group of home buyers. If you, or a millennial you love, is looking to buy their first home this spring, they will have some stiff competition. Alison Bernstein, founder of Suburban Jungle, says that with less homes on the market and home values up, millennials need to up their game and formulate a strategy that is different than the generations that have come before them.  

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Suburban Jungle's Bernstein has the following insight for millennials:


  1. Town-First Search Approach: Going shopping without a purpose is terrible! You leave with bags full of returns and regrets. Similarly, many buyers start looking at houses before they have done research on what town would be the best fit for their lifestyle. It is easy to upgrade a house but harder to upgrade a town!

  2. Don't Do What Your Friends Do:  Remember what mom said about your friends jumping off bridges? Just because your best friend lives in a certain neighborhood doesn’t mean it will be the right fit for you. Get your priorities in check: things like commute to work or proximity to family (or not ) BEFORE you chit chat with your BFF.

  3. Talking Ca$h Money: It is a no-brainer you need to have your finances in order before looking to buy a home, but what does that actually mean? Many areas have different real estate climates, so depending on where you are looking to buy your home, you need to be prepared for bidding wars, liquid markets, or spending above asking to secure your dream home.

  4. Don’t Get App Happy: While scrolling through real estate apps, looking at million dollar homes may be one of your favorite pastimes, but it is not actually an effective way to look for a house. Pretty pictures and algorithms can't tell you about the personality of the community. You must talk to actual humans to best understand all the dynamics from work at home moms vs. stay at home moms to where the best coffee shop in town is.

  5. All Aboard the Suburban Express:  Make sure to take stock of what city convinces you can’t live without (is take-out your jam, or a 24 hour pharmacy a must?) and try and find them in the suburbs. Suburbia has access to Uber, GrubHub, and 24/7 drug stores, fine dining and trendy workout gyms. You'll just need to do your research to find out which towns offer what. 

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