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Advice for First-Generation Home Buyers

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

In 2022, I wrapped up the year with the best gift to myself, becoming a homeowner. As a first-generation professional, I always had the goal of one day purchasing a home; but at times the goal seemed too far from reality. One of the biggest roadblocks for me was the down payment and saving the extra funds as a single mother to make the big commitment of a large home loan.


At the beginning of 2021, I made some big changes in my actions and my mindset to help me reach the goal of becoming a homeowner. I leaned uncomfortably into learning about loans, investments, and saving plans, and started to create a clear plan that was achievable. I was the first among siblings and friends to buy a home, so my close resources were limited in building knowledge about what steps to take.


This article will help give you advice as a first-generation home buyer on ways that you can take action into becoming a homeowner.


Tip #1: Know your Goal

This was the easiest and hardest step for me at the beginning! We often hear from others on how much we should need for a deposit, closing costs, and much more, but are they professionals?


I would advise you to call your bank’s home loan line and provide them with a goal range for a home and ask what would be needed to purchase a home. They will be able to run your numbers, including your income-to-debt ratio and how much closing costs, savings, and deposit is needed. You don’t need to run your credit until you are ready to show that you have what is needed to finalize the loan.


When I called my credit union, I learned that my goal was 18k; including deposit (3.5-5% for first-time home buyers), closing costs, and reserves (money that needed to be in my account for an emergency).


Now that I had my number, I knew my goal and I created a bar graph and hung it up in my room to have a daily reminder and keep me motivated.


Here is a Goal Setting and Action Planning Workbook to help you achieve your goals.


Tip #2 Increase your Income

To meet your home fund goal, you will need more resources and income to help you apply for that home loan. It is easy to get overwhelmed and think about having to work more and “hustle” to get the money you need to purchase a home.

Here are some tips on how to increase your income:

  1. Renegotiate your salary: You are already working, might as well get paid your worth and not have to take on another job.

  2. Sell on Poshmark: You probably have a lot of things that you don’t use or need within your own closet! I started to resell the items I already owned and that money went straight into my home fund. Poshmark is my go-to for buying & selling fashion and more! Sign up now with my code CINDYALVAREZ741 to save $10 on your first order. Hurry—this code is only valid for a limited time!

  3. Use your Skills for Profit: Think outside the box, what skills do you have that can be replicated for others? What do you do at work that you can do on your own and sell to the community? This can include online courses, digital downloads, and much more.

Tip #3 Don’t talk yourself out of your goals!

Somewhere on your journey of becoming a homeowner, self-doubt is bound to creep in. Being first-gen and chasing our goals can seem like a daunting task and unrealistic.


Stay focused on your goal and limit your self-doubt by not validating the thoughts that say:

  • You can’t do this.

  • You are too young.

  • What happens if you can’t keep up with the payments?

  • Do you really want to be responsible for improvements and upgrades?

  • Renting is okay, you don’t need a home.

The truth is that a home is an investment and can create generational wealth for you and your family. You deserve to reach your goals and there is no need to talk yourself out of it for fear that you won’t become a homeowner.


One step at a time.


Tip #4 Communicate your Goal

One of the first things that I did was set up a family meeting, with my significant other and my son to discuss my plans to move forward with focusing on my home fund account. This helped develop an understanding of why we would cut back, not commit to all engagements and start minimizing our purchases.


I really enjoyed getting my seven-year-old son involved, as it helped build accountability and it kept him involved in goal setting. My son was so thrilled about the goal, that he even set his own goal of $300 for items for his new room.


I think that it is important to share your goals with others so that they have an understanding of why you can’t be everywhere and say yes to everything.


Don’t be afraid to speak out about your goal and manifest it into reality!

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