How to buy a home when you're 23

By Laura Kapp

August 2017

By the numbers, my niece Amy is a typical Millennial: she’s 23, she graduated from college 2 years ago, and she pays $321 in student loan debt every month. Her interests include bike riding, guitar, Saturday brunch and beer tastings. She’s a sales manager for an international food distribution company and she rents an apartment in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan.

One thing that is not typical about Amy: she just bought a house. With lots of news coverage about how Millennials can’t afford to buy homes, it might seem like Amy is ahead of the curve. I asked her why and how she did it.

Saving money was the biggest reason.

“My friend Mike just bought a house and his mortgage is $300 less than his rent! When I heard that, I was definitely interested. Plus, I need a tax deduction!” Amy said. She currently pays $1,440 a month in rent.

She already saved enough for a 5% down payment.

Amy tapped into a financial calculator to figure out if she should buy now or wait to save for a bigger down payment. “My dad really wanted me to save enough to put 20% down. But I showed him that it could take me 8 years to save that much money! In that time, I could build up $63,000 in equity or spend $140,000 in rent payments,” Amy explained.

Student loan debt was an advantage.

Amy has been conscientiously paying her college loan every month since she graduated in 2015. “My loan officer said that because I have been paying consistently, it worked in my favor and boosted my credit score. She also said that I can obviously stay focused and live within a budget,” she said.

Credit history started when she was 16. 

Thanks to her mom’s advice, Amy applied for a credit card when she was still in high school, used it and then paid it off every month. Amy’s credit score is now 771.

Private mortgage insurance was her friend. 

Amy explained, “Okay, one of the reasons my dad wanted me to save for a 20% down payment was so I would avoid paying private mortgage insurance. Maybe I could have put more down, but I didn’t want to deplete my savings. What if something breaks in my new house? Or what if I want to buy a new sofa? So PMI helped me buy my house with only 5% down.”

2 years after this story was published, Amy relocated for an exciting job opportunity. Read about how she sold her Grand Rapids home and purchased a new one in Pittsburgh.

Jasmine Straughter

i lovehow yall break it down


This was very helpful and informative


This was very helpful and informative

Terry and Georgia

This was the best decision we have ever made. And we are loving our new home. Terry and Georgia

Wilfredo Blanco Romero

Very helpful in my future Decisions to purchase a Jome.

Linda Davidson

I am wanting a home that I can call my own and just enjoy my family and friends. I would love to be able have family gatherings for the rest of my life!!

Erwin Peralta

information helpful.

Jasim Alawad

Owning a home creat more stability for family

Ariel Delgado

I learn a lot with the all information, this was very helpful


So the answer is "already have money saved to buy a house" lol

Tyesha Williams

This information was very helpful. I cant wait to become a homeowner

carol hunt

information helpful

Jason van geldren

The session was very helpful and a lot of things that I forgot about over the course of the years thank you

Tina Burton

The study guide was very informative.

Dorothy Langley

I learn a lot thanks for the information you supplied it was interesting thank you

Weigh In

Readynest reviews all comments to ensure a respectful dialogue, so your comment may take a day to appear. We do not post inappropriate or abusive comments. Read our commenting policy

Laura Kapp is the former creative director of the writing and design team at MGIC. Now she works from her 1958-ranch-style home, accompanied by dust bunnies. Her messy home office proves the saying, “Creative minds are rarely tidy.”
We use cookies on this site to enhance your experience. By continuing to use this site you agree with our use of cookies.    Privacy Policy    accept