(Washington Post) Will this be the year that millennials finally start buying houses? This is the question the real estate market seems to ask every spring.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the level of first-time buyers has been suppressed since 2011. But last year, the share of first-time home buyers — which likely includes many millennials — grew to 35 percent, a 3-point increase over 2015 and getting closer to the historical norm at 40 percent of the market.

Washington area real estate agents are reporting that potential buyers for this year’s spring market include members of the first wave of the millennial generation. Those are the ones entering their early- to mid-30s who graduated from college right as the recession took hold. As a result, they have had a hard time finding work that paid enough to cover their student loans, rent and saving for a down payment.

As the economy recovered, so did these early millennials. Now they are building careers that can more realistically support homeownership. With increased financial stability, these millennials are also at a stage where they are more likely to get married and start families, a time in many people’s lives when they get serious about settling down and buying a home.

If you’re a millennial in Washington and think this might be your year to buy, here are a few things to keep in mind: . . .  (read the rest)