The term “millennial” may be used to refer to “the youth of today,” but that’s not exactly an accurate application anymore. In fact, today’s millennials are mostly in their late 20s and early 30s – they’re adults with advanced degrees, careers, and full lives. While they may be well into adulthood, however, they’re well behind previous generations when it comes to home ownership. That being said, a growing number are biding their time, saving up for their dream home, and many of them are finally ready to buy.
A Big Decision
There are a number of factors that have delayed home ownership among millennials, including the housing crisis and economic downturn, lower wages, and the expanding gig economy, but that’s not all. Millennials are also more likely to be transient because of job insecurity, and they’re willing to consider a wider variety of places when deciding where to call home. Instead of just living where they were born or where they went to college, millennials factor in affordability, culture, employment options, and more when deciding where to live. When you don’t have a lot of stability, you might as well go where you have a greater chance of thriving.
Build Or Buy
The big decisions don’t stop once millennials decide where to live. There’s also the choice to build their dream home or buy an existing property. For those looking to make the most of their budget, though, one good option is to choose a bundled plot with new construction. This offers the greatest possible degree of control over the location and home design with a shorter timeline to move-in. On the other hand, after years of renting, buying a home offers greater value, brings tax benefits, and lets you save money over the long-term. Saving up for the down payment can take time, but moving between rentals every year or two is also pricy.
Budget, Trends, And Finding A Balance
Like any other group, house hunting millennials have widely varied budgets and interests, but like everyone else, they’ll all need to strike a balance between the two. Unless it’s built completely from scratch, there’s no such thing as the perfect home – and even then, it’s hard to really know if a house is perfect until you’re living in it. There are, however, several home styles that are especially popular among millennials, including classic pre-WWII homes, like Greek Revivals, Tudors, and Colonials, Mediterranean-style homes, and mid-century styles like Cape Cod homes.
As for what they don’t want, almost anything that appears to have arrived straight from the 1970s or ‘80s – think shag carpeting or anything avocado colored – is a no go. Sure, the older homes may require a little more structural work, but more recent homes that have fallen out of style will need a complete interior redesign and that’s going to cost money to tackle, too.
Millennials don’t have the time, skills, or inclination to go the DIY route with home renovations, which is why so many are waiting to find their dream homes, but having finally saved up, more are on the road to ownership. And while it may have taken them a little longer to become homeowners than the generations before them, they’re ready now and weighing their options carefully.