90% of Millennial Home Buyers Are Willing to Take This Dangerous Risk

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  • It's difficult to know what shape a home is in without seeing it.
  • But most millennial buyers say they'd be willing to purchase a home based on a listing alone.

Have you contemplated it, too?

There's a reason millennials have struggled to buy homes. Many came into the housing market already saddled with debt. And now, they're grappling with record-high home prices.

Of course, the latter isn't unique to millennials. Rather, all buyers are being put in a position where they may need to stretch their budgets to purchase a place of their own.

But there's one move millennials in particular are willing to make in light of today's housing market. And it's a decision that could really backfire.

A risk not worth taking

In a new survey by Real Estate Witch, 90% of millennials said they would buy a house sight unseen. Because homes are selling at such a rapid pace these days, millennial buyers may be willing to put in an offer on a home based on a listing alone -- without actually going to view that home in person.

If you're thinking of going this route, you may want to revisit that choice. The real estate listings you see online are designed to present homes in the most favorable light. Real estate agents are experts at putting listings together, so much so they know all the tricks to make smaller spaces seem larger and outdated homes seem more modern.

As such, the impression you get from an online listing may not accurately reflect the state of the home you're looking to buy. And if you move forward anyway, you might end up regretting your purchase if your home is more cramped or dated than you wanted.

But that's not the only risk of buying a home without seeing it in person. You might also fail to spot costly repairs that could eat into your budget and force you to either raid your savings account or, worse yet, land in debt.

Imagine you're buying a home at the top end of your price range and have little financial wiggle room left after paying your mortgage each month. If it turns out your home needs repairs -- repairs you weren't aware of because you never scoped out that space in person -- then you could really end up in a bad spot financially.

Don't rely on real estate listings alone

Even if you're looking at a real estate listing that comes with a video tour, it's still not advisable to make an offer on a home or move forward with a purchase without touring that space and seeing it live. And while you may be worried that waiting to schedule a viewing will mean missing out on being able to buy that home, that's a risk you'll need to take.

Furthermore, if you're tempted to make an offer on a home sight unseen because the listing price is attractive, that alone should serve as a red flag in today's market. Real estate inventory is extremely limited these days, and homes are selling at higher prices than usual across the country.

If most homes in the neighborhood you want are listed at around $500,000, and you see an online listing for a comparably sized home for $425,000, that's reason enough to take a step back. And that's certainly not the type of home you'd want to make an offer on without seeing it in person.

It's great that technology can help you narrow down your choices when you're in the midst of a house hunt. But don't make an offer based on a listing alone. The next home you buy might be the biggest purchase you make in your life, and you can't afford to skip out on seeing it in person.

Our Research Expert

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