Millennial Home Ownership

martinis and your money

Millennial Home Ownership

I’m continuing Millennial Money Week on the podcast today by talking about millennial homeownership with my friend Lauren Bowling of L Bee and the Moneytree. Home ownership, no matter how old you are and when you achieve it, is a huge decision to make. You don’t want to base decisions solely on emotions but also measure them against your goals and other dreams.

Lauren purchased a home at age 26 with the expectation that she and her then-fiancé would live in it after they got married. She put a nice down payment on the purchase and began a $68,000 renovation three months before their breakup. While her situation didn’t turn out so bad – she nets about $400 a month in renting it out to tenants – Lauren realizes some mistakes were made and wrote a book about it, The Millennial Homeowner: A Guide to Successfully Navigating Your First Home Purchase.


What are we drinking?

Lauren — Red wine

Shannon — Malbec

Podcast Notes

  • Lauren says her book takes you through the thought-process of becoming a homeowner.
  • Shannon says people often don’t think about the extras of homeownership besides the down payment.
  • Lauren recommends that first-time buyers not renovate their home.
  • You can go through the home-buying process and not learn a thing.
  • If the bank and a realtor are the only two sources you have for buying a home, find a different resource.
  • Shannon tells all her clients to have a $10,000 contingency fund for their home because you never know what will popup and those unexpected costs add up!
  • 5 years, which is the recommended amount of time to stay in a home, is a very long time.
  • Lauren advises to buy a home for the situation you are in right now, not the situation you think you will be in in the future.
  • Shannon & Lauren agree that student loan debt is deterring millennials from purchasing a home.
  • If you are going to spend money, Lauren believes purchasing a home is a good investment.
  • She likes the security homeownership provides her as a single woman.
  • Shannon says if you pick a smart property and make all the right decisions in advance, you have flexibility down the road to make creative choices with your home.
  • Lauren says her biggest mistakes with purchasing her first home include taking on a $68,000 renovation (the cost of the home!) and not having enough saved for unexpected costs.
  • TAKEAWAY: Homeownership, at any age, is a huge decision to make. Take the time to review your situation and your options and use resources, like Lauren’s book, to help you analyze if it’s the best decision for you!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite show to binge watch right now?
  2. What is your biggest spending weakness?
  3. If you didn’t live in Atlanta, where else would you live in the world?

Connect with Lauren:


The Millennial Homeowner eBook

The Millennial Homeowner Book/Workbook bundle




Do you own a home? Do you wish you didn’t own home? Do you want to own a home?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


  1. I think many factors go into owning a home. I’m not afraid of sweat equity and home ownership is WORK. But I think it comes with rewards too. I’ve become a landlord and operate my one SFH as a business now. It works for now. I rent where I live now and I hope to move back into my house in 8 years when it will be paid off. There are a lot of risks over the next 8 years going into that and it will need new windows and a furnace & A/C, but I know that and I am planning for that now.

    You really can buy a home without knowing much of anything about the home or the buying process. I was pretty shocked how easy it was to purchase. I bought back in 2006 before the melt down and that was when agents were giving homes away and mortgages were easy to get if you had a heart beat and a SS#.

  2. We have made a couple bad decisions with home ownership over the years. For many, it is a very good idea to wait until things are pretty stabilized before taking the plunge into home ownership. I cannot imagine the amount of stress on buying a home, planning for a wedding, and starting a major home renovation all at the same time! That’s insane!

  3. This is such a great podcast because so much of it is so true. Home ownership is one of those things you don’t really learn about until it’s time for you to buy a house, and at that point it’s all new to you so you’re more likely to make bad financial decisions. I think the point about not making renovations as a first-time homebuyer is such a fantastic bit of advice. I don’t think when you’re new to something you should really be taking on that much responsibility and stress right off the bat. So much great information here for first-time homebuyers and you make some excellent points that’s good to keep in mind.

  4. Great advice on home ownership. I’d definitely save as much as I can to be ready for the house I want to buy. Thanks Lauren for those tips.

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