Millennials are unprepared for buying homes even though they are eager to do so, and need the help of financial advisors to overcome home-buying challenges, said Dr. Francesca Ortegren, research associate with Clever Real Estate, a real estate research and data organization.

“A lot of millennials seem to be financially unprepared to purchase a home and they seem to be looking for any solution to allow them to own as soon as possible, occasionally to their own detriment,” said Ortegren.

According to the “2020 Millennial Home Buyer Report” compiled by Clever Real Estate, millennials do not have a good understanding of mortgages or loans and many do not have enough savings to buy a home. The survey included 1,000 adults, 45% of whom were millennials ages 19 to 35. The remainder were Generation X, ages 36 to 55, and baby boomers ages 56 or older.

“Advisors should ensure [their clients who want to be] homebuyers understand the different types of mortgage options and how interest rates and mortgage insurance and penalties would factor into monthly payments,”  Ortegren said.

On average, millennials answered correctly only 46% of questions on the survey that pertained to loans and mortgages.

At the same time, 25% of the millennials who said they want to buy homes this year had only $1,000 in savings. Another one quarter had more than $10,000 in debt, the report said.

“For millennials looking to purchase a home, the most important thing is to focus on saving for a down payment and for furniture, unexpected repairs, closing costs and all of the other expenses that come with a new home,” Ortegren said.

“Many millennials in our study indicated that they find it difficult to save for a down payment because rent is high, wages are relatively low and they’re dealing with student loan debt,” she added.

“Financial advisors should focus on getting millennials to save or put money into short-term investments that aren’t very risky if their goal is to own a home soon. That money should be accessible when they need it, even if they’re not earning a lot of return,” she said.

The percentage of millennials who consider homeownership to be part of the American Dream is decreasing rapidly. It declined to 70% this year, from 84% just a year ago, the report said.

In order to buy a home, a majority of millennials said they were willing to buy homes outside of city centers, to buy near highways and to delay marriage or children in order to become homeowners, Clever Real Estate said.

Millennials were three times more likely to receive help from family members for a down payment than older generations; and those who receive help expected $10,000 from family.

As in many other aspects of their lives, millennials are more likely to use social media rather than a real estate agent to find a house, the report said.