There seems to be a report daily of increasing student loan debts, an impending financial crisis, or anything else you can name that produces uncertainty. The media focus has been on millennials and how we seem to cause all of these financial woes with no understanding of its implications. In reality, there’s a huge gap in the education system providing financial literacy and fundamental business skills that are better learned through real-world experiences. We’ve all heard the phrase “you have to spend money to make money” which is a dangerous belief and would be better rephrased as “you have to invest money to make money”.
Affordability is the first concern that comes to mind when buying a home and getting into the real estate market. When compared to other real estate markets of similar sized metro areas, Dallas-Fort Worth has significantly more affordable homes with a median sales price of $310,000 in 2018. Niche ranked Uptown Dallas, Greenland Hills, and Lakeview Heights as the best neighborhoods for millennials with those median sales prices being around the $500,000 mark. If we’re having an honest conversation, that takes a majority of first-time homebuyers out of the market. Luckily, these Dallas neighborhoods are filled with condos and townhouses priced below $200,000 and are in Homeowner’s Associations that typically maintain the exterior of the condo from foundation to roof.
There is an abundance of opportunities to buy an affordable condo and rent it out in the future. Location matters, and the better the location, the better the chance you have of getting your home rented out and avoiding vacancies. For instant income, look into finding a roommate to cut your bills in half and allow you to focus on paying off other debts or making other investments quicker. If you have the flexibility of purchasing a home around $350,000, East Dallas and Lake Highlands are both great markets for finding duplexes. This allows you to have privacy while still being able to rent out the other half of your home.
It’s no secret that the northern suburbs of Plano and Frisco have become major corporate centers. These centers are drawing in employees from all over the country along with many college graduates and young professionals. Despite the appeal of Uptown Dallas, many of these individuals are choosing to have a shorter commute. Denton County has some of the most affordable real estate in North Dallas with many remodeled homes, like 2109 Breanna Way in Little Elm.
Besides being a major corporate magnet, Plano and Frisco have some of DFW’s best school districts. Both Plano ISD and Frisco ISD have attendance boundaries that stretch outside their city limits ranging from Far North Dallas to Little Elm, respectively. Real estate outside of city limits are typically cheaper and one of the best ways to bulletproof your home value. Homes in top rated school district typically hold their value, get rented out quicker, and sell for more than similar homes in lesser school districts.
Buying your first home can be daunting, however can be even more rewarding. Investing in real estate is a fantastic way to build long-term wealth and secure your financial future.