What it means to be a homeowner in Millennial America – Guest Editorial
Millennials in North America look at their own economics and priorities totally differently to any previous generation. Lifestyle and household finance blogger Kristina Marshall looks at what assets mean to America’s young generations.
By Kristina Marshall, a renowned lifestyle and financial blogger focusing on trends and tips for financial independence within American households.
The face of homeownership has drastically changed in the last 50 years. What was once the ultimate American dream for our parents and grandparents is now just an option for many millennials. Here are some significant trends we’re going to see from millennials when it comes to homeownership.
- Delayed homeownership
Unlike the previous generation, millennials are less likely to form independent households. In this economy, it’s hard to build enough wealth for a home. As a result, millennials delay homeownership and instead, live under their parents’ roof. The rise of 25 to 34-year-olds who live with their parents are continuing to go up. Those with lower educational attainment were even more likely to live with their parents.
Here are other reasons why millennials are delaying homeownership:
- Many millennials saw their parents lose their homes. This is often enough to put them off buying a home until they are absolutely sure.
- Millennials get married much later in life. This affects their decision to buy a home. Those who were married or have been married were more likely to own a home than those who stay single.
- Access to higher credit is hard. After the housing market collapse, lending standards have only become stricter. This makes it hard for adults with poor or no credit to secure a mortgage.
- The combination of low income and high student debt makes it hard to save enough money to buy a home.
- Downtown living
Millennials also have a preference for living in downtown areas where there’s easy access to high paying jobs. These are expensive areas to live in which makes homeownership difficult. As a result, millennials rent the spaces they live in instead of buying it.
And because rent can be expensive, millennials may opt to live with roommates as a way to cut down on costs. Landowners are paying attention too as there are more communal spaces cropping up in these areas.
- Renters forever
Many millennials are content to rent forever than buy a home. Renting allows them to be flexible with the areas they live in. When you have a home, you are forced to live in one place for many decades. In an age where travel is more accessible than ever, the last thing millennials want is to be tied down.
The good news is that renters can still enjoy some stability in their home especially if they own semi-permanent appliances and fixtures. When renting a home, millennials can ask the landlord if they have a home warranty. This is what you need to have protection for everything in your home. The rent may be higher but it’s worth the price knowing there’s no need to pay for repairing the damages.
- Mobile shopping
For millennials who do decide to buy a home, they’re doing it much differently than previous generations. Back then, homeowners found their homes by chance or through personal referrals. Today, millennials have a host of services that make it easy to find the ideal home. We now have mobile apps that match you to real estate agents. There’s also less need to go to open houses since all details such as photos, measurements, amenities, etc. can be found online.
- Small, optimal spaces
Millennials prefer to live in a space that’s big enough to accommodate their lifestyle. They don’t want large, elaborate houses that require a lot of maintenance. They’re also less likely to get a starter home. By the time they decide to buy a home, millennials want one that is ready to be moved in. This means an optimized home that caters to their needs like say, a meditation space, an expansive kitchen, a multi-use cabinet, etc.
Which of these homeownership trends are true to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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