Beyond Finances: Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

               Beyond Finances: Tips For First-Time Homebuyers

PR Newswire

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., June 6, 2013

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent
PulteGroup Home Index Survey by national homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc., the
parent company of Centex, more than half of renters aged 18-34 say their
intention to buy a home has increased in the last year. While their
intentions are in many ways driven by personal, aspirational reasons – more
space, family stability and the pride of homeownership – the low mortgage rate
environment, increasing rental costs and scarcity of desirable rental options
makes homeownership an even more attractive proposition for many.

"The propensity for young adults to test the waters of homeownership continues
to increase and has become more evident as renters are seeing the overall
value of owning a home," said Deborah Wahl, senior vice president and chief
marketing officer at PulteGroup, Inc., noting that more than 50 percent of
millennials reported that the desire to own/build equity was the primary
reason for purchasing a new home. "However, beyond finances, it is important
for potential buyers to take several other factors into consideration."

As a homebuilder providing reliably built, smartly designed and affordable
housing, Centex, the leading builder for first-time and value-conscious home
buyers, offers the following tips to first-time homebuyers looking for the
right housing match:

  oKnow Your Financial Situation – Start saving for a down payment and talk
    with mortgage lenders about available loans well in advance of your
    purchase. Understand there are special federal, state and locally
    administered financial programs for new homebuyers, such as FHA and HUD
    loan programs. Additionally, it's important to take into account other
    factors beyond your mortgage, including homeowners insurance and property
    taxes. By doing your homework, you will know what you can afford and
    comfortably make a decision about this important investment.
  oCompare Owning vs. Renting – Buying can be smarter than renting from a
    financial standpoint, but it has other advantages, as well. Owning a home
    provides you with a great deal of freedom and decision-making autonomy.
    No more will you have to worry about the noisy neighbor upstairs or
    accidental scratches on the wall from decorations. You'll have the power
    to select paint colors and plant flowers throughout the yard. Also,
    houses tend to offer more storage space.
  oWeigh New vs. Used – If you want to choose the floor plan and customize a
    home to fit your needs and lifestyle, building a new home may be the right
    choice for you. Popular options new homes offer today include more open,
    larger spaces, master bedroom suites, island-centric kitchens and bigger
    outdoor living space. Customizing a new home also provides the
    opportunity to design your home and include amenities that meet the needs
    of your growing family – if that's in your future. Additionally, new
    homes can be up to 30 percent more energy efficient and often come with a
    builder warranty. If you're handy and don't mind a fixer upper, resale
    can be an attractive route as well.
  oExamine the Location – Consider your surroundings when deciding upon where
    you want to live next. If you plan to start a family, research the local
    school district and other family offerings such as nearby parks and
    community centers. For fun, test out the local retail scene and
    entertainment options to see if it caters to your lifestyle. If you're a
    commuter, determine if the area is supported by adequate public
    transportation or provides easy access to major highways. Many in the
    housing market also care about ensuring they still live within close
    proximity to family and friends, as only 21 percent of homeowners are
    willing to move away from their families.
  oSelect the Right Builder – If you decide on a new home, select a builder
    who has experience in the type of home and in the location you want. Make
    sure they have a history of building quality homes and are financially
    stable. Moreover, how easy are they to work with? Some builders today
    have gone digital to enhance customer service and help buyers stay on top
    of the latest with their new home. Look for on-line design centers that
    can help you make important design decisions, for example, or portals in
    which you can stay up-to-date on how your new home is progressing.
    Lastly, take time to check their references and talk to past customers.
  oConfide in Trusted Sources – More than 90 percent of home shoppers today
    are plugged-in to the internet and use it as their main source of
    information. While this is particularly true with millennials, don't
    forget to seek advice from two trusted groups: real estate agents and your
    personal network, including your parents. Approximately 60 percent of
    millennials say they would rely on both sources, as each has extensive
    experience in purchasing homes and can provide personal guidance toward
    the successful purchase of their home.

"With third party data showing that 90 percent of millennials plan to purchase
a home at some point in their lives, it's important first-time homebuyers have
access to the right tools and information to ensure their first home purchase
is one they are proud of for years to come," added Wahl. "With many options
to choose from, starting from a point of knowledge will go a long way towards
achieving their dream of homeownership."

About Centex
Centex, a national brand of PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), helps first-time
homebuyers put themselves in a better place. Centexbuilds consumer inspired
homes and communities that balance smart design and affordability with a
friendly, enjoyable buying process. For more information about Centex, visit


Contact: Brendan Griffith, Office: 312-819-5720,
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