A 2013 MacArthur Foundation survey determined that more than 70 percent of renters hope to be homeowners some day. However, with wages stagnant in recent years, would-be buyers have had to get creative in achieving this dream. Co-buying between relatives or friends has been one emerging trend, as multigenerational homes are becoming increasingly mainstream. A recent Pew Research poll found that 57 million Americans — or about 18 percent of the population — lived in such households as late as 2012, versus 28 million in 1980. The trend makes a lot of sense for both the older and younger generations, observes Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. He states, “We’re getting a Baby Boomer generation that is aging and wanting to downsize.” At the same time, he adds, Millennials “might not have saved quite enough because we’re post-Recession, and [they] might have college debt weighing on [them].” Some parents are buying homes and then charging their adult kids rent to live in them. Another way to afford homeownership is to obtain down payment assistance. FHA loans, in particular, enable buyers to qualify for a mortgage with as little as 3.5 percent down. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae recently launched their own low-down payment programs. Additionally, there are those with the flexibility to move to cheaper parts of the country — especially those who are in hot real estate markets that have priced them out. Zillow calculates that the median home value at the end of December eclipsed $1 million in Manhattan and San Francisco. Communities in such as states as Arizona and Texas, though, are seeing huge influxes of buyers thanks partly to lower home prices. | Read More

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