• Millennials posses a sense of intelligence and creativity that, if applied correctly, will build sustainable wealth through homebuying.
  • Small multi-family homes between one and four units are ideal properties for first-time millennial homebuyers and are eligible for FHA financing with low down payments.

I know — buying a first home before 30 is a crazy idea.

First of all, who wants to buy a new home right now? The market prices are inflated, the mortgage interest rates are rising, who knows what’s going on with the government…all of these factors contribute to an overall sense of hesitation for any age of homebuyer.

And currently, the “almost 30 and successful” bracket of Americans have come to accept and almost prefer spending their hard-earned cash on quality foods, the latest designer trends and memorable experiences.

I get it. Instant satisfaction is absolutely an option, and just the notion of delayed gratification makes most millennials reach for their iPhones — itching to leave a poor Yelp review. Why sacrifice today’s enjoyments for a potential (and unpromised) future gain? #yolo

Beyond paycheck-to-paycheck

Well, in my last article, when we established that 30 is basically here already, I argued that bringing in mass cash flow just to fund an equally expensive lifestyle is insanity.

Paycheck-to-paycheck is not how many millennials prefer to live. We are the emotionally intelligent and the creative. You can channel that millennial sense of intelligence and creativity to your clients’ finances to not only bring in cash flow, but to build sustainable wealth, too.

A creative option for qualified millennials

First order of business: Set an intention to purchase a home.

Start by suggesting a small multi-family home between one and four units. These types of properties are still considered residential homes and are eligible for FHA (Federal Housing Administration) financing.

An FHA loan is federally insured and has a low minimum down payment, as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price, with the option to wrap closing costs into the loan.

These loans are ideal for millennials because they’re designed to help first-time homeowners get into their first home, and are readily available for single family homes, duplexes, triplexes and quads.

Loan amount limits vary by county, but go up to $1.2 million in Los Angeles. Click here for more details on FHA lending limits.

So now let’s do some homework: $1.2 million for a 4-unit property in Los Angeles would require a $45,000 deposit and stellar credit score.

Rents in neighborhoods that have four units for $1.2 million range between $1,800 and $2,700 per month.

At a median rent rate of $2,100 per month, from three of the four units (because your client will have to occupy one of them), you bring in $6,000 per month and break even every month with the estimated mortgage payment.

Option 1: Success! Stop here. Your client lives (almost) rent-free and has increased net worth to over $1 million. Bravo!

Option 2: Your client is living rent-free, has upped his net worth and now wants to get the most out of the property.

Instead of renting per unit, advise him to rent per room. Short-term guests pay higher rent and will give him the flexibility to renovate and increase the value of the overall property on his own terms.

Either way, he now possesses a nifty new tool that few millennials have the discipline to build: leverage.

Your client controls an entire piece of property and the equity it holds, and thus far has only put down a fraction of the total value. From here, there are a multitude of options — such a second mortgage as the down payment for more investments.

Getting started is the challenge. But this is where millennials have the upper hand.

The slate is clean, credit score untouched and opportunity abounds. Plus, millennials really do have direct access to the influencers and stakeholders that can provide the necessary means to your financial goals.

Encourage your clients to lock in their goals, map out their courses, equip themselves with the means to get there and get started.

Sharron St. John is a real estate agent with the No. 1 team in the world, the Lucido Agency at Keller Williams. Sharron covers real estate, investments, and wealth building for Millennials. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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