The Millennial House Hunt: Finding the Right Home

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This is part three of The Millennial House Hunt, my series on what I, as a millennial care about and look for when shopping for a home. Over the past week, I’ve walked through the home buying process through the eyes of a millennial first-time home buyer. Between finding the best website for my search needs to locating the best city and neighborhood (go 49ers!); it’s been a productive few days.

In the midst of virtually wandering any millennial’s dream neighborhood perusing current listings, I found myself drooling over a few million dollar loft spaces before smacking myself with the reality stick and sorting the listings by price.

Good news and bad news. The bad news is that it turns out millennials can’t hardly afford anything in Mission District. The good news is my listings search has just been filtered down to less than a handful of possibilities.

I investigate the most expensive listing in my price range, an open plan loft with floor to ceiling windows. It’s small, but it is wondrous. I use Better Home and Garden Real Estate’s affordability calculator before I am faced with the numerical truth. Even with a hefty down payment, the monthly payments would be more than $3,000 each, not including utilities or any other costs. I consider bank robbing as an alternative income stream, and am forced to conclude I cannot afford the Wonder Loft.

I look at the bottom of the pit. A fixer upper for sure, one bedroom though. My millennial mind set of instant gratification (imagine moving into an apartment that’s ready to move into) is now in conflict with my need to live in the trendiest neighborhood possible (location, location, location). The latter wins. The listing is at $209K, it needs a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new floors, and new curtains. But that’s what Ikea is for. I’m committed.

In a matter of a week, I’ve walked through the home shopping process with a millennial mindset. Some of the most important setbacks we ran into were finding good search filters and websites for neighborhood information, finding the best neighborhoods for a millennial within hip and trendy San Francisco, and finding a home a millennial could afford.

What’s next? After dropping off my boxes, I fully intend to check out the neighborhood. Who knows, maybe I’ll blog about finding the best local bagel store - millennial style.