ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — The American dream of owning a home has been a nightmare for many millennials.
Palm Beach County’s fierce real estate market makes it nearly impossible for this age group to not only find a home, but also buy one.
A young couple from Royal Palm Beach, living with their parents, are aware of this, watching a dream fade away day by day.
“It’s scary when you look at these prices,” says Rebecca Lucatero, 26.
Lucatero and her husband, Erik, realized their dream of owning a home and pursued it.
“The closer you get to where everyone is, the higher it gets,” Erik Lucatero said.
Then came reality. House after house, offer after offer.
“It’s just infuriating. I just don’t know how we’re supposed to move on and create the life we want with the circumstances that are unfolding right now,” Rebecca Lucatero said.
Both are millennials who are part of a growing trend in Palm Beach County real estate.
They are overpriced and expelled.
Research group data “Filter purchase” shows that only 9.1% of West Palm Beach homeowners are under 35, which is well below the national average.
“If you’re a millennial and you’re getting a mortgage right now, it’s really tough because we’re in the hottest market our generation has ever seen, and you’re up against cash buyers” , said real estate agent Holly Meyer Lucas.
She walked us through the agonizing process for this generation and the frenzy when a house hits the market.
“It’s really tough. This one, we already had 14 bids on it, and of those 12 are snowbirds with money,” Lucas said.
In fact, she said that six months ago there would have been 40 offers, which is a sign that buyer fatigue might be setting in, benefiting millennials.
Another sign is how long a home is on the market.
Lucas said not to give up.
Many factors contribute to its length of stay in the market.
“If you’re a millennial and you see a house that’s been sitting around for 10 days, don’t assume it’s overpriced or not a great house,” Lucas said.
For the Lucateros, it became very frustrating and looking at the market inventory became depressing.
“If we try to imagine that, we’re just going to start feeling bad,” Erik Lucatero said.
“It’s sad because I feel like at our age we’re not where we’re supposed to be at all,” Rebecca Lucatero said.
It’s about a young couple representing many millennials who have the goal of simply owning a home for the first time in their lives.
However, they realize every day that this is unrealistic when competing in one of the most aggressive markets in the country.
“Everyone wants to be a dreamer but at some point you have to let go to live that American dream of pursuing what you want to do, but you have to sleep on someone’s couch,” said Rebecca Lucatero .
The Lucateros are considering moving to Georgia. Many others like them are moving to areas like Port St Lucie, where more affordable housing can be obtained.
Lucas said areas in Martin County such as Palm City, Hobe Sound and Stuart, as well as developments in St. Lucie County, are where young families are opting.
In fact, she said the city of Indiantown just approved 800 homes priced below $400,000, which will help ease the burden.
Lucas offered some advice for millennials looking to buy a home in this tough housing market:
Work with a good agent.
Use a compound agent in your specific region who knows about early inventory. She said many homes are sold off the market because sellers don’t want the frenzy, so a good agent will know those properties.
Get pre-approved for a loan
Get all your paperwork done early so when a home comes on the market, you can hand it directly to the buyer knowing that time is critical.
Work with a local lender
Strong local lenders can be better than big banks because listing agents often call the lender to see how qualified you are for a loan. When it comes to getting hold of someone, a large national bank tends to be more difficult, Lucas said. It is easier to work with a local lender.
Look at a fixer upper
Look for houses that are not turnkey. There are offers for properties that require cosmetic work. Renovations can be done over time and over years, which can work to your advantage.