Right now, Millennials are the most active generation on the market: they made up 37 percent of all homebuyers in 2018. More than half of first-time homebuyers are in their twenties and thirties. If you’re a Millennial , here are some things you can do to seal the deal on your first home.

Pay Off Student Loans and Get Pre-Approved for a Loan

It’s much harder to save for a house if you’re still paying off student loans. That’s why it’s important to create a savings plan early on to make your home ownership dreams come true. This may mean you’ll have to cut back on luxuries and pay a little extra forward, so you’re that much closer to owning a home. It’s always a good idea to get your finances in order before you take the leap. To get pre-approved, you need to show proof of your income and have savings in place to pay the down payment. Save up 10 to 20 percent of the mortgage before you start the process.

Narrow Down Your Search Radius Early

It may be a good idea to establish your must-haves. Do you need two bedrooms but feel that you can live without a pool or large backyard? It may not seem like it but creating a list of three to four must-haves makes your search easier and eliminates listings you don’t even need to consider. Figuring out your must-haves also allows you to narrow down your locations. If a neighborhood is out of your budget, you won’t even have to consider it in your search.

Decide Whether You’re Buying a Starter Home or a Forever Home

It’s always a better idea to buy a home that you can see yourself in for five or more years. You may have every intention to move on up to a bigger home, but market conditions change. It’s essential to buy the best property you can with the budget you have available, even if you plan to grow your family and settle into another home. When you sell your home, you’ll lose six to seven percent in equity, so it’s better to buy with a longer timeline in mind.

Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

When you’re buying your first home, the worst thing you can do is get Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Programs like these charge interest on top of your mortgage to reduce the risk you’ll default on the loan. Although it might feel like a safety net, you’ll only end up paying even more on your house.

So with all this in mind, you can now safely look for your dream home. And while you’re here, we suggest looking through our listings to see if something picks up your interest!