The Average Age of First-Time Home Buyers

The Average Age of First-Time Home BuyersPersonally, I am nowhere near thinking about buying a house. Lauren is still in school and we have no real need for much more space, so any home purchase for us is far off in the distance. Plus houses are freaking expensive!

The biggest thought on my mind about housing right now is that moving is a pain. Just thought of having to getting all of our furniture into a new place is scary. For the first time, I would pay someone not to have to deal with the removals.

But I started thinking about the future and wondered when I should start to get serious about buying our first home. Not that following what others are doing is a great strategy for making important life decisions, but knowing what others in my situation are doing is definitely helpful. The more information, the better.

First Time Home Buyers Are…

According to the 2009 American Housing Data survey, the average age of first-time home buyers was 34, while a report put out in 2012 by the National Association of Realtors estimates the average age for first-time home buyers at 31.

So we’ve got a good 6-9 years ahead of us before we fall slightly behind our cohorts. Hopefully it won’t take that long, though we’re pretty far away from buying anything. And in Los Angeles,   housing is crazy expensive, so buying a place of our own would mean having to leave the neighborhood we currently live in. The age at which we’ll buy our first home depends greatly on where we’ll live. If we wanted to stay where we were, we’d probably need to wait many more years to save for a down payment. But the idea of paying rent for 10 years doesn’t sound all that inviting.

31-34 sounds exactly when I’d expect people to be purchasing their first home. After graduating college around age 22, people either go to graduate school or find an entry level job. It’s not until people reach 26 or 27 that they find their groove, are able to pay off student loans, and start saving for a house.

According to the US Census Bureau, the average age of men who married for the first time in 2011 was just under 29 years old and just under 27 for women. Without a family, most people aren’t considering buying a house, and after a few years of making progress paying down debt and saving for a down payment while earning two incomes, they’re ready to purchase that first home.

Readers, at what age did you purchase your first home? When do you plan on becoming home buyers?

23 Responses to The Average Age of First-Time Home Buyers

  1. I purchased my first home (a condo) at the age of 24. I moved out of that and my wife and I purchased our home (her first) together, she was 25 and I was 32. So I guess both her and I were young :)

  2. Kevin @ RewardBoost says:

    I just moved into my first house at the young age of 27. My fiancee is 25.

    However, I should note that I was approved for a $140,000 mortgage when I was in college (2005, I was 20 years old) and I almost bought a condo. Looking back I’m 100% sure I wasn’t qualified to buy a house and I’m certain it was people like me who caused the housing crash.

  3. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    That age makes me feel better! My husband and I are 27 and nowhere near buying – we still have 1-2 moves before we get to our “forever” city. I guess I thought the average would be in the 20s, but perhaps I’ve been too influenced by PF bloggers.

  4. Pauline says:

    I move around a lot so bought my first rental at 22, then at 28 a second property where I lived for less than a year and is now rented. At 32 I bought the current house I live in, and hope it will last a few years.

  5. Nick @ AYoungPro.com says:

    Like Money Beagle, my first home purchase was a condo, though mine was at the age of 23. We are currently building a new standalone home at the age of 28, so I guess I’m ahead of schedule. :)

  6. Michelle says:

    We bought our first house when we were 20. I know, super young! The market was good for buyers though so we wanted to do it. :)

  7. krantcents says:

    My wife and I bought our first home at 25 and 26 respectively.

  8. kathleen says:

    31. I’ll close in a month or so!

  9. We were 23 and 25! :) We put 15% down, not 20, but the interest rates were low, and so was the mortgage, and I didn’t want to move with a newborn.

  10. We were 33 and 29 respectively, so right around the average. We had been living in San Diego, but would’ve been later for us to buy there as real estate was just too expensive…as you well know from living in LA. We’re in the Midwest now, where prices are much more reasonable.

  11. Tiffany @ Extraordinary Reasons says:

    I know I’m an anomaly. I was 21 when I bought my first condo (I’m 23 now, so not that long ago). I’ve heard of kids buying younger. I was super lucky though, cause my parents put aside money for me for college and other such things. I stretched that money by working, getting a scholarship, going to a public university, and living super frugally (I still do). Home ownership is definitely an experience in and of itself, but I have no regrets and it’s given me the real estate itch :)

  12. I purchased my first home before I was twenty five and my second home just a couple years later. First home will now be a rental property and make me money!

  13. Joe Turner says:

    In the UK its slightly different perhaps, although it is currently changing due to the fact no young people can afford to raise the 10-20% deposits required. It used to be, everyone purchased houses young, now every other house is rented in my neighbourhood.

    I purchased my house Winter 2007, when I was just 24. I’m glad I did now. Yes the market crashed soon after, and I’ve made no real money from values increasing, but I’ve now got a killer interest rate on my mortgage (2.5%) and well on the way to having a 1/3 of it paid back.

  14. Crystal says:

    We bought our first home in 2007 when I was 24 and my husband was 23. Then we bought our current home late last year when we were both 29. We just paid off the first house (I’m 30 and he’s 29). But we didn’t have loans to pay back from college. That is probably a big factor of at least our first home purchase.

  15. Jeremy Norton says:

    I am still 25 and I am still quite far from that average age. Though, as early as now, I want to save more so I can probably have the down payment before I turn 30. Well, hopefully.

  16. Mira says:

    It’s amazing how young people are able to buy their own property these days! I am already late since I’m turning 30 this year and I’ve no property under my name. I want to but I think it is not necessary now since we’re staying at my in-laws house. We still can’t afford to pay the down payment or even the monthly payments. But then, I know the moving part and it really is a pain! Something I don’t want to experience again in a few years.

  17. SarahN says:

    My 2 cents worth: I’m now 28, been working in ‘career’ for four years and have owned my ‘condo’ (apartment) for a year. I own it alone. I put down 18% of the $465k asking price (Sydney, Australia), and the price is about 405 times my income.

    What is different about Australia vs US is school debts. The maximum mine could have been would be $30,000 and is automatically deducted from your salary once you earn over a threshold (it’s part of the taxation, as you don’t take out debt with a bank, but with the govt). Admittedly, I paid a lot of that upfront, so didn’t have debt repayment after my second year working.

    It’s not my forever house, but all property appreciates (one hopes, at least), and it suits my needs for the foreseeable future. With a partner and kids in my future, I would sell it for a house (or a bigger apartment).

  18. Jake Erickson says:

    I’m surprised that the age is that high. My wife and I purchased our first home at the age of 22 (2 years ago) and have thoroughly enjoyed being a home owner. Our mortgage amount is about what we’d be paying to rent, but we’re getting a heck of a lot more space/privacy for the same price. Although, we’ve been pretty lucky that there has not been any large expenses that have popped up with our house.

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