The BMO Harris 2015 First-Time Home Buyers Report shows that first-time buyers have boosted their budgets by 24 percent to an average of $238,935 from $193,197 last year. Meanwhile, the average down payment dropped to 13 percent from 16 percent. Seventy-seven percent of first-time buyers have made significant lifestyle cutbacks to save for a home, up from 72 percent last year. Additionally, 52 percent of first-time buyers are willing to engage in a bidding war and make an above-asking-price offer, compared to 47 percent of repeat buyers; and 26 percent of first-time buyers expect parents or other relatives to assist in their purchase. The report indicates that first-time buyers increasingly are planning ahead, with 78 percent expecting to be preapproved for a mortgage before looking at homes. | Read More