How to buy your first home after 40

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    By Caroline Banton/GOBankingRates

    The median age of home buyers has increased from 39 to 44 over the last five years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    Although over-40 first-time home buyers face concerns that younger generations do not, buying a first home at any age is an opportunity to manage finances, and it can be a step in preparing for retirement. Finding a trustworthy real estate or financial advisor can alleviate the concerns associated with such a financial commitment.

    "One client that I worked with purchased her first home in her early 60s," said Bruce Ailion, a broker with Re/Max in Atlanta. "She was insecure, and buying a home was a very big step for her. When it came time for earnest money, she invited me to her home and took cash out of the pillows of her couch. She did not have faith in banks."

    People over 40 have less time to pay off a mortgage before they hit retirement. They might have significant expenses in other areas, such as college fees for children, or they might have simply held back in committing to a home purchase. Homeownership can stabilize housing costs, avoid incremental rental costs and provide tax benefits, but it can also bring property taxes, insurance payments and maintenance headaches. Challenges can include finding the right financing and getting a down payment together. Individuals should sit with a trusted financial planner, determine retirement goals, do the math and ensure the best decision.

    Click ahead for some tips on how to buy a home later in life.

    This article, How to buy your first home after 40, was originally published on GOBankingRates.com.

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