I hesitate addressing the article to first time home buyers because that can be anyone — someone who is 19 and just came into cash or someone ready to retire on the beach and get away from apartment life in the city. And it DOES make a difference as to how you spend your money at different ages.
The younger you are in general, the more flexibility you will have in the type of property in which you invest. And a home IS an investment. It is far easier in your youth to borrow money once you have established a baseline of credit. Lenders like you because they see your earning power as beginning vs diminishing.
The other advantage to early homeownership is you are not necessarily bound to certain areas because of children or parents or medical needs, etc. You are freer to explore inner cities and more industrial or more transitional properties. Look to areas that are transitioning and for something into which you could put a little sweat equity.
If you are doing a loan product, you will need to prepare to hold onto the property for at least two years so be sure you like it well enough to live there yourself. If you can hang on for 5 or more years, generally speaking, you will see larger gains in equity and prepare you for your next step. For some savvy buyers, their first purchase is something well within their budget, they save their cash for a down payment on something larger down the road and hold onto their first purchase as a rental property. Dream big and find a way to make those dreams reality!