ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - For first-time home buyers, it's going to be an intense house-hunting season as the real estate market is constantly changing.
For years, experts have forewarned millennials about becoming home owners but actually, it turns out many are diving in.
According to Kate Laborde, financial mortgage assistant at Red River Bank, "some people are buying a forever home for their first home and others are buying a true starter home," Laborde added, "I think the market now-a-days give options to both of those things depending on where people are in life."
In the article, "A Field Guide to Millennial Home Buyers" NAR.com claims, millennials are the largest group of homebuyers.
More millennial house hunters will jump into the market this buying season.
"Your monthly payment could be cheaper than renting in the long run or very close and when you're paying a monthly payment on a mortgage, you're investing in your home," said Laborde.
In January, Ellie Mae, a software company that analyzes mortgage data, recorded that millennials are now adding to the ranks of first-time ownership 45 percent of all purchase loans. That's up from 42 percent from the same month in 2016.
A shortage of available homes have driven up prices— especially starter homes that tend to fall within a first-time buyer's budget.
"People in a town like this can live in the heart of Alexandria and have options," explained Laborde, "but they can also live on the outskirts and have a lot of options and still work in the Alexandria or Pineville area."
But what do millennials need to know before making the big purchase?
For first-time buyers - experts say do your homework, determine your budget, and prioritize yourself.
Pre-qualifying, down payments, bond loans and closing costs should be among the check-list for first-time home owners, but one of the biggest concern millennials have is their credit score.
"We find a lot of millennials come in and have had maybe bad advice on credit or just don't have any credit at all," shared Laborde. "We have products in the bank, called saving secured loans that have a very small fee to start up with that can help people to build up credit and help people to buy a house just based on that."
2017 might be just the year for millennials to take the plunge and dive in to becoming a first-time home owner.