In a recent story published in the Wall Street Journal and excerpted by Business Insider, the findings are sobering to those of us on the later end of the "baby boom" generation. As a refresher, I'll mention that spectrum runs from the years 1946 to 1964. My brother Glenn and I are 16 years apart and fall into both ends of that 18 year span.
While Glenn and I can agree that we grew up thinking that more IS more when it came to our dreams of home ownership over the years, it is clear that my offspring have different ideas. Millennials just don't want the same types of homes us baby boomers did.
"Millennials and baby boomers make vastly different lifestyle choices, from marriage and family to how they spend their money. The two generations have different tastes in homes. Millennials aren't buying the large, elaborate houses built by boomers in Sunbelt states." The Wall Street Journal has reported.
Boomers are looking to downsize, but millennials aren't interested in their homes.
I see that glaringly apparent in my youngest daughter, a self-declared minimalist. Whereas I purchased my first home in Hamden, Connecticut at age 24, and saw home ownership as a stepping stone to "bigger things," she could care less at this point in her life. Living for right now means she shares an apartment with 4 others in an upscale area of Boston and lives for world travel, meaningful experiences and a Whole Foods shopping cart. She does not equate "acquisition" with true happiness, and that includes a home of her own. Whereas I felt a home "grounded me," on the road to adulthood, she says the life of a wealthy nomad is her key to happiness. Home ownership is not a selling point. My guess is that sentiment is founded in the fact that she has student loan debt to pay off and entry in the Boston housing market is out of reach... so why bother wanting what you can't have, right now? And what looks like rebellion of the old ways is just millennial economic common sense. Millennials may want homes deep down, the economics are not there for them to obtain the dream.
But when they DO PURCHASE, what they want is very different than generations before them.
"Homes built before 2012 are selling at steep discounts — sometimes almost 50%, and many owners end up selling for less than they paid to build their homes," Candace Taylor wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
"These days, buyers of all ages eschew the large, ornate houses built in those years in favor of smaller, more modern-looking alternatives, and prefer walk-able areas to living miles from retail," Taylor wrote. "Design trends have shifted radically in the past decade," Taylor wrote in The Journal. "That means a home with crown moldings, ornate details and Mediterranean or Tuscan-style architecture can be a hard sell, while properties with clean lines and open floor plans get snapped up. "In addition to their love of open floor plans, millennials are known for being partial to minimalist, low-maintenance designs and sleek, discreet appliances."
Scratching my head, will sturdy, dark stained, knotty pine ever be "hip" again?
There is a development in the greater Myrtle Beach area that is worth a look, or two or three if you are searching for compact living, new construction and a community with plenty of fresh air space. Engineered for all generations and incredibly appealing to millennial, first-time home buyers and young families I would love to show it to you.
"A true urban village community. In one perfect place, you can shop at the country’s best local and national retail stores, have a fabulous meal, see the latest movie, stroll by the lake or take a quick bike ride to the beach." In my opinion, the millennial urge to have it all may have met its match and the young at heart generation (70+) can skip to their beat and keep up with the grand kids.
For more reading, check out the story links below.
Photo Credit: The Market Commons
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