3 Mistakes First Time Buyers Make

First-time home buyers are emerging as a bigger force in the housing market, helping to lift home sales. But getting approved for a mortgage, finding the right home, and staying within a budget are still posing some of the biggest challenges for first-timers.

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Gay marriage ruling: a housing game changer

Regardless of anyone’s personnal and political views on the subject, its impact will be felt. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision late last week to make same-sex marriages legal throughout the country could lift home ownership among lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender couples.

“As with other momentous social landmarks, this progress will trigger key milestones along the path to home ownership,” says Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. The LGBT community is “a powerful market segment that represents an estimated buying power of $840 billion.”

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Student loan debt stymies home sales

In the real estate industry, all eyes seem to be on millennials: Will they or won’t they buy homes?

New research from credit bureau Equifax suggests that student loan debt is what’s keeping many in this cohort from taking the plunge into homeownership.

Student loan debt among 20-somethings — the typical first-time buyer age group — has more than doubled in the last decade to $369 billion. The average debt load clocks in at just above $26,000, according to Dennis Carlson, deputy chief economist at Equifax.

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