Millennials have a special connection with the real estate market. After a slow start when millennials reached homebuying age, they now rank as the most active generation in homebuying.

According to the National Association of Realtors, millennial buyers have led the real estate market in homebuying for six consecutive years.

No matter if you’re thinking about buying your first or second home, here are some helpful insights that can give you the upper hand in today’s competitive real estate market.

Strong credit score

If you increased savings over the last year or so, you might have also taken advantage to improve your credit score by paying off some debt.

Wherever you are in your credit journey, your momentum toward homeownership accelerates when you have a high credit score.

Improving your credit is a major tactic that will help you secure a mortgage with the lowest possible interest rate.

Get preapproved

The first major step, once all your financial ducks are lined up, is to get a preapproval through a mortgage lender.

With a preapproval, you can enter the real estate market with confidence. As a preapproved borrower, you will know exactly how much home you can afford and have financing secured and ready to go as soon as you submit an offer.

Good standing with student loan

The pause to student loan repayments is soon coming to an end. During the pandemic, the federal government created some breathing room for individuals with outstanding student debt.

As you prepare to apply for lending, remember the importance of being current on your student debt, especially if you opted in to the student loan moratorium.

Be inquisitive

In today’s fast-moving market, it’s natural to have a lot of questions about how to beat out the competition.

Also remember that everyone’s homebuying experience is different, given the complexities of the transaction.

That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted and reputable team and always ask them questions at every step along the way. By doing so, you can gain some peace of mind that you’re making well-informed decisions at the various steps of homebuying.

Employment history considerations

If you’re like many people, you took on a new job and perhaps entered an entirely new industry during the pandemic.

Being a new employee is not disqualifying for a loan. If you studied the industry of your employment, education counts positively toward employment history.

So while you have a new job or just started a career, you won’t necessarily need two years of work history to qualify for this lending requirement.