CARMEL, Ind. - The American dream of home ownership has become an afterthought to many renters across the United States and right here in central Indiana.
Stagnant wages, rising rent prices and debt are just a few of the obstacles facing renters from making the move to home ownership, according to Access National Mortgage Loan Officer Mark Kuchik.
"We have to meet a certain minimum credit score for them to quality," Kuchik said.
Kuchik said while the housing market is booming and home prices are going up, there are still a lot of Hoosiers that are unable to break into the housing market and start building up equity.
“Home ownership is an investment. It helps you grow your net worth. Each year you are going to see your home appreciate in value," Kuchik said. "No matter what you’re going to pay somebody’s mortgage and I look at it, 'do you want to pay your landlord’s mortgage and get him closer to retirement, or would you rather pay your own mortgage and get yourself in a better place for retirement.'”
Michael Saiia is one of those renters who would like to move into a home, but just isn't in a position to do so.
“I have some recent, within the last five years, some heavy medical debt," Saiia said. "It’s very hard and there are lenders who don’t’ want to get involved because I don’t have 10 or 20 percent down so that’s definitely been an issue.”
Saiia, who lives in Carmel, finds himself in a similar position as of a lot of renters who give a large portion of their paycheck to their monthly rent and struggle to develop any savings. He's also saving money for an art business he's starting.
“I pay more than a lot of people do for their mortgage," he said. "The fact that I am paying huge amounts for rent and having zero equity and zero assets as a result of that it’s definitely kind of a thorn in my flesh."
Kuchik said there are options for millennials looking to break into the housing market including zero-down options and down payment assistance programs.
He's hosting an event at Champs Thursday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. for interested home buyers to look at their options.
If you can't make that, he said the best option is to contact a realtor or loan officer to find the best plan for you.