Why Millennials Are Moving To The Suburbs After All
“Millennials aren’t moving to the suburbs,” they said, “They’re looking for energy efficient homes in metropolitan districts where they can bike to work and grow vegetables on their patio,” they said. Although his was true a few years ago, more recently, a growing number of 18-32- year olds have come around to the idea traditional neighborhood, wave-to- your-neighbor- at-the- mailbox kind of living in the ‘burbs, they are known as the generation that would rather spend money on experience and adventure rather than retirement and savings accounts, and are much more likely to spend money on travel, try new foods, take a spontaneous trip and take a risk and start a business than the generations before them.
While their parents, now empty nesters, may be moving down south, working with real estate companies like Sky Five Properties, and investing in smaller, yet more luxurious real estate options in which to enjoy their retirement, millennials are going about their real estate experience much differently.
Millennials are a little late to the game when it comes to buying real estate, which may be in part because of their astronomical student loan debt, recession, the rising real estate market and difficulty finding a job after college. When they’re finally in the right place to buy a house, many urban options are either too expensive, unavailable, or not conducive to their lifestyle. So they move to the suburbs closest to the major cities and buy the oldest, and most affordable homes available. They’re not necessarily worried about being close to the best schools in the area, or buying the biggest, newest homes. Experiencing the “city” life is still very important to them, so they’re buying smaller, older homes that still put them close to the lifestyle that is important to them.
The American Dream looks a little different to millennials than it did to their parents. They are perfectly ok with smaller square footage and a smaller carbon footprint, they want walkability and convenience, and they want their home to work for them. While they aren’t worried about pools, a ton of bedrooms, a quiet cul-de-sac, a three car garage or other features that typically define buying a home in the suburbs, they are interested in new, energy efficient appliances, a “smart home” system, hardwood floors, and outdoor deck or patio, and a close proximity (less than 10 miles) to the nearest city. Many of these features can be implemented into a suburban home, but millennials are having a hard time finding a home that is built to meet their needs. They’d prefer a spacious bedroom to a big piece of property, and they’d choose a fully furnished basement over an above average school district. They aren’t looking for fancy embellishments or pricey upgrades, and don’t care about crown molding, formal dining rooms or imported materials, and prefer open layouts and multifunctional rooms. They are all about low maintenance living, with a focus on technology, being environmentally conscious and comfortable. They don’t want to spend their weekends mowing lawns or pulling weeds but can appreciate a small outdoor patio or balcony.
Staging A Home For Millennial Homebuyers
Because this generation is so used to instant information at their fingertips, they like the idea of a home that is ready to go, that they have to do very little work to inorder to create the space they need. They want to buy a house, move in and start their lives, so a turnkey home is more up their alley than a fixer-upper. A real estate agent working with millennials would lead potential home buyers to a staged home that allows them to see the potential of the home based on their individual interests. Showing them a home with an art studio, fitness room, gourmet kitchen or home office will peak their interests and get their creative juices flowing with ideas on how to make this space their own. Like the generations before them, they like clean lined furniture, uncluttered spaces, light paint colors and open floor plans. Floral wallpapers, outdated furniture, trinkets and collectibles and quilts that remind them of their grandma are out, while more modern fixtures like laptops, cell phone charging stations, updated kitchen appliances and an emphasis on social spaces are what will really get their attention.
One of the most important things to remember about millennial homebuyers is that they don’t view a house as a long-term investment or a place to “settle down.” It’s a comfortable, fun, affordable place for right now, while they are enjoying life, working hard, and “adulating” as they call it. Their interests and styles are constantly changing, which means their taste in real estate will too.