It wasn’t that long ago that people were talking about how millennials simply weren’t buying homes. At the time, that was true—the millennial generation, on the whole, wasn’t looking to buy homes while in their mid or even late twenties. However, while some people may still think of millennials as the young generation, the truth is that the generation began in the early 80s (the exact year is subject to discussion). Many millennials are now in their mid-thirties, and even the youngest of this group has now finished college and are settling into their careers.
Now that many millennials are financially established, married, and have families, they are looking to become homeowners. If you’re selling your home or are a millennial preparing to buy, it can certainly help to know how this generation is going about the process of homeownership. Here are six habits common among millennial homebuyers.
They’re Buying Later in Life
Older generations often did buy homes early in life. It was often accepted that people would complete their education, get a job, get married, and buy a house well before they turned thirty. Millennials see things a bit differently. Some are in no hurry to accumulate more debt because they’re already facing tens of thousands of dollars of student loans. Others may want to be very financially stable before committing to owning property. However, while some millennials aren’t buying now, many do say that they are considering buying within the next five years. First, they need to save up a down payment, increase their credit score, or establish their careers.
Millennials Approach Debt and Budgets Differently
The second habit of today’s millennial buyer is how they approach debt and their home buying budget. Older generations such as the baby boomers often graduated college with little to no debt and were able to find a good-paying job fairly quickly. Today’s economy is different. Young graduates are often starting their careers with $40,000 or more in student loan debt. This monthly financial obligation can be a major burden to those who are unable to find jobs.
This means millennials approach buying a home with this debt in mind. They are often very careful not to overextend themselves. They’re more cautious about buying, especially after living through the recent housing market crash and recession.
The Environment Is Important to Them
Millennials are one of the greenest generations, and they are often looking for ways to protect the environment or lower their impact on it. This affects their home buying strategy in several ways. They may want to be in a location that allows them to walk to work or other places. This may mean they place less importance on homes with garages. Some may not even own a car at all and need to be near public transportation. Others may want a home built using sustainable materials and energy-efficient appliances.
Millennials don’t just know what they want, they’ve done the research on it. These young homebuyers are going into the buying process armed with knowledge. Many understand the real estate process and don’t rely on their agent as much as buyers in the past did. They know what they can afford, they know what area they want to live in, and they know the home features they want.
Millennials Know What They Want
Being informed leads into the fifth habit of millennial buyers. They know what they want. They don’t want to spend time looking at homes—they want to see what fits their needs rather than wasting time looking at properties that they won’t want to buy.
They also want to find the perfect home, or at least the most perfect available option. They aren’t as willing to take on fixer-uppers properties that will need a lot of remodeling. Often, they already have that student loan debt hanging over them, and they’re cautious about spending. Additionally, millennials tend to be too busy to add large DIY projects to the schedule.
Technology Permeates their Lives
Finally, the final buying habit is that millennials know technology. It permeates almost every aspect of their lives, and they’re going to leverage this in their home search. As mentioned earlier, it’s likely that the millennial homebuyer has already spent hours online looking at listings. These buyers are also likely going to want technology such as smart thermostats and other features in their homes.
These are six habits of today’s millennial home buyers that make them different from previous generations. While they may be buying homes later in life, they are buying. Millennials simply approach the process differently.