The dream of owning a home hasn’t lost its luster – especially for millennials. Although this group of folks aren’t in a hurry to buy a new home, per se, many of them still say they want to buy a home eventually.
They will continue to rent and pay down student loans, and like everyone else, patiently wait for the economy to get better. Beyond writing the perfect resume and applying to nearly 30 jobs per week to mostly employers with 1,000+ candidate pools, what is a young, green, fresh-out-of-college 20-something supposed to do?
And, just because some of them live with their parents, doesn’t make them freeloaders. It just shows how much the parents care about their 4.0 GPA model graduate, and the potential for them to be someone someday. Giving them back their old childhood room is the least any good parent can do for their offspring – right?
The alternative to all of this is millions of graduates living on the street who have no support system, who deliberately default on their loans, and never attempt to ever regain hope in the capitalistic society that we live in. Or, they buy time by going to graduate school, only to realize 2-4 years later, that they have more debt, less opportunity, and an even steeper mountain of stress.
Regardless of their choices, as millenials set up camp and wait for a full recovery and gain shelf-stocking experience at their local Hobby Lobby, the housing market will continue to shift and morph into something new. Technologies will be invented to help millennial renters find shared living spaces, roommate matches, and nearby amenities. Sort of a post-living-with-parental ethos of “If I cannot buy it, I’ll find other like-minded millennial’s, and we’ll rent it together.” That said, how does a millennial go about looking for these rentals?
You may have already guessed it: their mobile phones! Forget about the imageless days of newspapers and driving around. According to Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com, the use of websites and mobile real estate applications are on the rise, up nearly 61% year-over-year as of July based on his analysis of comScore data between the ages of 25 and 34.
He went on to say that more than one-third of millenials used a mobile device in July to look at real estate data. That is no negligible number, considering Smoke estimates that there are nearly 87 million millennial’s versus 75 million boomers.
So, how are these app’s designed what are millennial’s looking for?
- Workable Space
Millenials are not necessarily looking for TONS of space, because at this point in life, they’ve likely not acquired “stuff” to put into it! So what’s more appealing is space that can be managed, comfortable, and functional (e.g. not a formal dining room). Many are finding studio apartments just fine, given their needs – turning the dining room into a media room or 2nd bedroom into an office.
- Updated Technological Features
Yes, yes, millennials are considered “technophiles” speaking their “technobabble”, but the real estate companies who understand technology, and understand millennial’s, protest time-and-time again how important it is for a home to be up to speed in terms of tech. This means, a refrigerator with a built-in television display, a locking system and thermostat that can be controlled remotely by a mobile device, outlets with terminated Ethernet ports, etc. These types of properties demand a premium rental rate, and also keep millennial’s renting longer!
- Access to Good Schools
Hey, just because millennial’s aren’t buying homes doesn’t meant they’ve stopped having kids! Life must go on. Just like every other homeowner, millennial’s are very conscious about finding a property that is close to great schools. Some will even sacrifice a bit of comfort to ensure their child receives a good education. In fact, studies have shown that millennial’s are less likely to compromise than other generations on schools!
- Closer to Family
For millennial’s, being close to family not only makes life easier when holiday’s and football season come’s around, but also when children come into the picture. Having a support system nearby to care for children by watching them, or picking them up from school, helps millennial parents pivot more easily – with their careers, relationships, and overall lifestyle. Hey, if mom and dad decide to go on vacation, or need some time together, grandma and grandpa are there to help out! Maybe the bottom falls out, and they need to move back in with the parents – it is likely.
Today’s millennial’s don’t go anywhere with out their triple, venti, half sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato in one hand, and iPhone 6+ and wearable technology in the other. They want to be close to coffee shops and bars, as well as a vibrant night scene with good food and cool crowds. Furthermore, they value public transportation, dog parks, bike lanes, and other amenities situated deeply in the trendiest neighborhoods. I mean, what’s wrong with having high standards?
The conclusion here is this: renting isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, renting is likely to increase as real estate technology screams at warp speed while the economy sluggishly improves at a snails pace. When the economy does recover, renters will be seeking premium amenities and perks – living in the moment while they can. Eventually, these renters will likely be converted into homebuyers and bid farewell to their roomies – that is, if they can save up enough for a down payment!
If you are a millennial looking to buy or rent, be sure to talk to Ray to see if you qualify for available 0-3.5% downpayment options!