When it comes to buying houses, millennials know all about what they want from an ideal home (outdoor space + DIY options, obvz) and, according to a new study by NerdWallet, they’re in a better place to purchase a millennial dream home than they might realize. While those born in the ’80s and ’90s get a pretty bad rap when it comes to money (ok, so maybe millennials aren’t the most financially savvy group), this analysis actually found that the median age for first-time home buyers is the same as it was 40 years ago, which means 31 years old is *still* the magical home-buying age.

A common misconception is that millennials actually *prefer* renting (or living with their parents) to buying, but the reality is that since millennials assume they can’t afford the down payment on the house, they tend to postpone even looking for one to buy. The reality? Many millennials can actually afford to buy homes, they are just “unaware of the different financing options that exist.”


What most millennials don’t know is that buying a home can start with a lot less investment — about 30% of all homebuyers put down three percent or less on the cost of the home. Obviously debt and credit scores play a big role in scaring off millennials, but according to the study, credit scores are getting more lenient. And debt-to-income ratios are actually at healthy levels, with the majority of 25–34 year olds making enough money to cover the cost of the median mortgage. Even those with pesky student loan debt might have the option to refinance their loans at a better rate, or qualify for income-based repayment.

The study summarizes: “Millennials — and first-time homebuyers in general — should never just assume they can’t afford a home. The first step to owning a home is knowing how you can finance it, so you should always research your options.” Bottom line: Homeownership could be much closer than you think. Get to your bank and start asking questions, y’all!

(h/t Nerd Wallet)