Discover what is holding back first-timers and learn how to help them overcome their homebuying issues.

Infographic: The Anatomy of a First-Time Buyer


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

First-Time Homebuyer Characteristics & Concerns

Nearly Two-Thirds of Millennials Have New Home Buyer Regrets, Survey Finds (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jun. 5, 2021)

“In general, the survey found that the older the buyer, the less likely there were to be misgivings about their purchase after the fact. In all, 64% of millennial home buyers (ages 25-40) have some regrets about their purchase compared with just 33% of baby boomer buyers (ages 57-75).”

6 Things You Should Know About First-Time Homebuyers (McKissock Learnng, Sep. 16, 2020)

This article addresses characteristics of first-time homebuyer properties, types of loans available, tax perks, attitude towards negotiation, marketing strategies, and preparing for questions of first-time homebuyers.

Liberty Street Economics First-Time Buyers Series

In this series of posts, a better measure of first-time buyers is introduced and the dynamics of this group is examined over the past seventeen years. In the next post, the characteristics of first-time buyers is described. The series concludes by examining the sustainability of homeownership for first-time buyers.

A Better Measure of First-Time Homebuyers [Part 1 of 5] (Liberty Street Economics, Apr. 8, 2019)

Who’s on First? Characteristics of First-Time Homebuyers [Part 2 of 5] (Liberty Street Economics, Apr. 10, 2019)

The Sustainability of First-Time Homeownership [Part 3 of 5] (Liberty Street Economics, Apr. 12, 2019)

Is the Recent Tax Reform Playing a Role in the Decline of Home Sales? [Part 4 of 5] (Liberty Street Economics, Apr. 15, 2019)

Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home? [Part 5 of 5] (Liberty Street Economics, Apr. 17, 2019)

Working With First-​Time Homebuyers

How Agents Can Help First-Time Home Buyers (REALTOR® Magazine, Nov. 9, 2020)

“Your job as an agent is still to make sure your buyer doesn’t make a big mistake. You still need to follow through on all of the necessary due diligence even though the buyer has been put in a position to make an immediate decision. This is about them, not about you.”

How First-Time Homebuyer (FTHB) Loans Work (the balance, Jul. 29, 2020)

“First-time homebuyer loans are designed to make homeownership accessible to first-time buyers, especially those with lower incomes. They may offer benefits like down payment or closing cost assistance, loan forgiveness, help with lender fees, or deferred payments. Programs are usually offered by your state or locality and may have both income and purchase price restrictions. These loans might not be the right financial choice for every buyer, even if it is your first time purchasing a home.”

First Time Home Buying (realtor.com®)

The homebuying process is broken down into five parts: getting started, which includes establishing a price range; balancing budget and home size, process details, which includes warranties, contingencies, and insurance; the closing process; and myths and truths, which includes what real estate agents do and who pays for what during the process.

The Everything Guide to Buying Your First Home (HouseLogic)

This article shows not only the major steps taken during the home-buying process, but also explains the relationships and experts needed along the way. There is also a handy infographic that outlines the home-buying process from start to finish.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask (eBook)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Home (Audiobook, eBook)

The Essential First-Time Home Buyer's Book (eBook)

The Everything Homebuying Book (Audiobook, eBook)

Home Buying for Dummies (eBook)

Home Buying Without the BS! (eBook)

How to Buy Your First Home (eBook)

Next Generation Real Estate (eBook)

The Real Estate Process (eBook)

A Survival Guide for Buying a Home (eBook)

The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Buying Solo (Chicago, IL: Penguin Group, 2005) HF 5438 Su6

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