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More young adults holding off on home ownership

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Tyler (KYTX) -- More young adults are putting off becoming homeowners--making apartment and duplex occupancy rates soar.

Jackie Champion and her husband Hugh rent a South Tyler duplex. Like many couples, they've talked about whether or not to become homeowners.

"We've weighed the pros and cons because we know a lot of times a house payment can cost us less," Champion said.

But they've decided to hold off for a few years with so many things uncertain.

"It's just a big financial commitment. It takes a lot of planning, and then you're kind of tied to one place. Our careers may change, our interests may change, and we may want to live closer to one of our families," Champion said.

Jackie also enjoys the fact that as a renter, she doesn't have to deal with unexpected repairs.

"The refrigerator went out a few months ago and the landlord came over and replaced it. We don't have to worry about any of those things," Champion said.

Her mentality mirrors others in the 25 to 29 age bracket. 

"I think people are taking longer to graduate college. Careers obviously play a factor," Kelvin Woodfin, owner of the Tyler Lending Group, said.

Woodfin says the average age for people shopping for a home in his experience is 38 to 39 years old. He says if you're thinking about it to get the ball rolling. "Start that pre-qualification, pre-approval process. Go through the financial rundown to see what options you have," Woodfin said.

He says sometimes people think home buying is harder than it is.

"You can often purchase a home with 0 down or 3.5% down," Woodfin said.

The Champions hope to shave off a bigger chunk than that. "We're hoping to save around 15% for a down payment," Jackie said.

That will make future mortgage payments manageable, and first-time homeownership that much sweeter.

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