Updated: Feb 25
For years, Millennials have had a reputation as “the generation that can never own a home.” While of course it’s not true for everyone, it’s estimated that 71% of Millennials worry they may never own a home. If the current pandemic has reminded us all of anything, though, it’s that things change - and quickly. Experts believe that the successor generation, Gen Z, are more likely to buy a home than their predecessors. While these differences are influenced by factors like student loan debt, rising property prices and the general state of the economy, we’re also seeing a boom in responses to these issues, such as the birth of the gig economy (flexible and contracted working, like Uber-driving, Airbnb-management, online consulting) or trade-based side hustles like doing hair or lashes.
Honestly, the doom-and-gloom outlook on home ownership may have been what pushed me to prove it wrong. I’ve always aimed to get things done early, so that I can relax later. I worked and paid my way through my living expenses in university and quickly came to the conclusion that that was not something I wanted to do forever without seeing any returns on it. While renting was the best option for me as a student in another country, I knew my heart was in The Bahamas, and I figured that if I knew I wanted to settle down here, why not get started as early as possible on building the foundations to give me some cushion for the rest of my life? Renting can be a great option for those who aren’t ready to commit to staying in one place, but I love stability-- almost as much as I love real estate. It was obvious that home ownership was the right path for me. So I set a goal to have enough saved for a down payment by the time I moved back home.
To help me with saving, I tried to avoid touching my Bahamian bank account while I was away at university. I earned in and spent from my student account and also worked summer jobs when I came home for breaks, allowing most of my summer money to go towards savings. Thanks to my main jobs, side hustles (Gen Z alert!) and picking up odd jobs to get as much extra money as I possibly could, I was able to save a few thousand by the end of my Master’s course. It wasn’t easy at all to save while having to cover expenses like rent, but I already had my mind set on my end goal (which was $10,000 overall as soon as possible), to make it easier to visualize. Not long after moving back home, I had already saved enough for my down payment. These were my main motivations that helped me to keep pushing knowing that it would be worth it in the end:
This was super important to me, as both a young adult and a woman. I believe that being self-reliant is one of the best insurances you can have, that can both propel you ahead in life and offer a safety net just in case things don’t go as planned later on.
I sleep better at night knowing that things are settled once my head hits the pillow. What better way to gain peace of mind than knowing that the pillow I’m resting on is under my own roof?
3. Generational wealth
I don’t have kids (yet) but this was also a major consideration of mine. I want to be able to not only pass down some great assets for my future family, but also offer them the independence and stability that was so important for me coming into adulthood. I may not live in my first property forever, but how great would it be to be able to gift it to my future kids when they’re in my position trying to get on their feet?
There were a few factors in my favor to be fortunate enough to be in the position to buy property at such a young age: I was able to work a lot as a student, I didn’t have any other family-based responsibilities yet and I was lucky enough to live back at home for a while as I waited for the sale to close (and now to finish building my first unit). Culturally, many Bahamians tend to live with their parents well into young adulthood - this is a great period to not only enjoy the time of not having major responsibilities (unless you are also contributing to household expenses), but also start thinking about saving up for future goals. If any of these points are relevant for you, then it may be a good time to start thinking about if a real estate purchase is something you want in the near future, and start planning how to get there.
Home ownership, especially as a young adult, is a huge and often intimidating goal to aim for; that’s why it’s important to have the right people on your team to help you get there. Having the right attorney, mortgage broker, and of course the right real estate agent can make a daunting process much easier to go through. Real estate experts at 1 OAK are here to give you the support you need to make the real estate decision that’s perfect for you - that’s a Major Cay!