Buying your first home is a stressful experience, but it’s exciting. From choosing the perfect place, sizing, and designing to make your dreams come true, there’s a lot to go into finding your first and sometimes eternal home.
However, as the headline suggests, this process varies greatly depending on the age of the buyer. Most of the talk about millennials and real estate refers to the generation to “kill” the housing market (1), They are really just rocking it (2). Not only do they skip the starter home and buy a dream home when they are financially ready, but the home they are looking for also looks significantly different from their predecessor’s home (3).
Alternation of generations certainly changes what a picture-perfect starter and dream home look like, but gender also affects what first-time homebuyers are looking for. Recent research by insurance expert Clovered We set out to find out the most important features and equipment for first-time homebuyers, and how these qualities vary by generation and gender.
Despite many headlines suggesting that millennials are pursuing modest and small homes (Four), Clovered’s research found that millennial dream homes are larger than baby boomers and Generation X generations, both in square feet and in the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. While the baby boom generation dreamed of a home less than 3,000 sq ft, Generation X thought that 3,311 sq ft would be ideal, and millennials expanded the size to 3,320 sq ft. Similarly, the oldest generation of dream homes had an average of 3.7 bedrooms and 3.1 bathrooms, with ideal numbers of beds and baths for millennials of 4.2 and 3.3, respectively.
But when making a perfect starter home rather than a dream home, all generations leaned towards smaller sizes. The ideal size this time was 1,442 sq ft for the baby boom generation, 1,582 sq ft for the Generation X generation, and 1,726 sq ft for the millennial generation. Homeowners need even fewer bedrooms and bathrooms, and Generation X and Millennials have agreed that 2.8 bedrooms are ideal.
Perfect area and amenities
Finding a house with perfect square footage and a number of bedrooms and bathrooms may be a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t make sense if the location isn’t right. Choosing a “good” place means different for everyone, but research shows that the majority of men and women say that affordability in the area is paramount (“Five).
Low crime rates and proximity to the workplace are also the biggest factors, and women are more likely to consider both. Men, on the other hand, tended to take into account the climate and geography of the area.
The most important amenities also depend on gender. Central air conditioning, a private backyard, storage space, and plenty of natural light topped the list, but women tended to be more important than men. In fact, men wanted more than women, only granite countertops, outdoor balconies, smart home technology, and elaborate front doors.
However, when it comes to naming the most important amenities, dream Men’s interest in oversized garages has skyrocketed (from just 15% of starter homes to 56% of dream homes), with homes, walk-in closets in master bedrooms, and separate laundry rooms in the top five.
Dreams come true … soon
Millennials may want a larger home than previous generations, and women may want a long list of amenities, but these ideal starter homes are less accessible. Not. In 2017, the average home is 2,660 square feet (6) — Significantly larger than the ideal size for starter homes of all generations. However, rising home prices are in line with inflation and slow wage growth, meaning that both dream homes and starter homes are increasingly out of reach ().7).
- https://www.forbes.com/sites/megangorman/2019/08/31/how-millennials-are-revolutionizing-the-home-buying-process/# 76ad7ff92a02
- https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/06/us-house-prices-are-going-to-rise-at-twice-the-speed-of-inflation-and-pay-reuters-poll. html
What trends have you noticed that young buyers and renters are looking for? Are you doing anything to meet their needs and desires?
Let’s talk in the comments.