Bakersfield is the third best market in the country for a millennial to buy a home. That's according to a new study from the personal finance company Smart Asset.
23 ABC talked with a couple of millennial homeowners about it. Millennial are in their 20s to early 30s. They told us buying a home just makes more sense than renting.
Roy Tinoco lives in East Bakersfield and said, "Investing in yourself instead of someone else's future is the best way to go."
Danny Bebout lives in Northwest Bakersfield and said, "It's something in your name, it's something you can have for the rest of your life. It's something that you have value in and do whatever you want with."
Jacob Marquez has been a real estate agent for over a decade. He says he's seeing the same trend as the Smart Asset study which says millennials are buying homes in Bakersfield.
"They have a roommate that offsets the payments," said Marquez.
Marquez said the average Bakersfield home costs about $225,000 dollars with a standard 30 year mortgage of about $1,550 a month. And the average rental home in Bakersfield costs about $1,475 a month. Marquez said at a close price it's better for millennials to buy instead of rent.
"Real estate in the long-term is a fairly good investment. So if they buy something now to get their foot in the door over the next five to ten years or so, they're going to have a lot more equity, paying it down and having more equity which is like the cherry on top," said Marquez.
Marquez added it’s easier for millennials to buy a home in Bakersfield because it's one of the most affordable markets in California and because they could qualify for first-time buyer loans. He says they need two years tax returns and sixty days worth of bank and pay statements and a down payment between 3.5% to 20%. However, for first-time buyers the upfront money could be less.
"A millennial can move in with a minimal down payment of up to $1,000 for a deposit. If they were to qualify for a grant," said Marquez.
For millennials like Tinoco and Bebout, who are both on the older end of millennials and just sold their first home to buy their second houses, they say it's a sense of pride to buy back into Bakersfield.
"I was 25 years old you know, it's a big deal when you know, you've been renting all this time and you're moving into your own place and saddle up and pay the big boy bills," said Tinoco.
"My family's business is here, it's just where I grew up and where I want my kids to grow up," said Bebout.
Maruqez said millennials are mainly buying in the $180,000 to $200,000 price range and they're buying all over Bakersfield, not just in one specific spot.