What Is the Best Age to Buy a House?

Here's what you need to know.
Written by Sonja Dalbey
Written by Sonja Dalbey

Successful Coldwell Banker Burnet realtor, Sonja Dalbey, has extensive experience buying and selling houses. Sonja's clients count on her expert real estate knowledge to help them buy the house of their dreams. Sonja has earned the Super Agent title, Awarded by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business.

Best age to buy a home

A big part of home ownership is feeling independent and responsible, including a good age or the best age to buy a house. Questions of what age you should be, or if there is a good age to buy a home, will certainly come up, especially for young home buyers. You should also consider an affordable home insurance policy.

Sonja Dalbey, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Burnett, emphasizes that for adults of all ages, it is important to consider how long you will stay in the home, along with the stability of your income. This guide offers a closer look at the various parts of home ownership, and how age might be a factor, along with financial stability.

Young Adults and Home Ownership

Although the thought of owning a home can be tempting for younger home buyers, there are specific situations and possibilities to consider. For example, says Dalbey, "If you are going through a transitional period, it may be best to rent until you know you are at a place where you plan to stay for a few years." She advises recent graduates and job seekers whose dream home might require relocation to avoid making such a large purchase until they know that they will be in the area for a while.

However, young adults shouldn't put off buying a home if they are able to afford it. "If you have a stable job and you plan to stay in the area, it may be a wise investment to purchase a home," Dalbey explains. She continues, "The goal is for your income to rise with pay increases, and your mortgage payment to stay stable."

For young adults, knowing that you can afford the house and any costs that come with it, such as mortgage and maintenance, is essential. A survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that, compared to other age groups, adults ages 34 and younger scored themselves the worst in terms of personal finance knowledge. 

Of all the survey participants, 48 percent graded themselves a C or lower. Issues such as debt, saving for retirement, paying health and other living expenses, and simply feeling societal pressure to start a family can lead a young adult to purchase a home on a whim, only to pay the price later.


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Older Adults and Home Ownership

As an older adult, you may have extra responsibilities, such as kids and pets, not to mention a steady job and community involvement. When it comes to home ownership, you probably have different priorities than younger adults, too. For adults of any age, one of the most important questions is simply whether or not you can afford to move into a new home. 

You may be looking for an upgrade, or are finally looking for a home to call your own after years of renting. Before you make the leap, however, there are various considerations to keep in mind.

For older adults, issues such as having school-aged children or a desire to be in a maintenance-free environment can sway their home buying needs. Those with children may want to purchase a home in a specific school district, where they intend to stay for an extended period of time and raise a family.

 Adults who want lots of options and no added maintenance, which is not available in a standard home, tend to gravitate towards urban condos and townhomes for the easier style of living they generally offer, particularly for retirees.

From young to old, Dalbey encourages home buyers of all ages to make the leap as long as circumstances and prices are right. She says, "If you plan to stay for a few years, and have a stable income, buying a home can be a wise investment." Although prices are beginning to climb, Dalbey notes that interest rates "are still very good, so it is a good time to buy if you are in the right situation!" 

Aside from good interest rates, you need to make sure that additional costs, such as homeowners insurance, can be affordable as well. An independent agent is available to provide you with more information on the types of insurance available to you, and how much you can expect to pay.

When it comes down to figuring out what age is best to own a home, the answer depends more on financial stability and life circumstances rather than a specific age. From young to old, responsible and financially secure adults are at a good age to buy a home. The best age to buy a house comes down to whether you can afford the house payments and have a solid credit history, and are sure that you will be committed to living in one area for at least a few years.

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