Millennials, the generation of urban and apartment life, are looking for a new way of living. Millennials are starting to move out of the big cities to smaller towns. Rather than paying high rent, many are looking to buy a new home.
Many housing forecasters find this shift in living behavior surprising.
Millennials are entering their 30s and are looking to leave the fast-paced and stressful life of the city. Others want to invest in a home and some are ready to start a family.
The pandemic of 2020 caused major changes in daily life. Jobs transitioned to remote and many other millennials suffered a job loss or pay cuts. Due to social distancing, many found living in a city during a pandemic challenging, even dangerous.
As we enter 2021, millennials are looking to make a change. Here are 4 reasons why millennials are moving and what they are looking for in a new home.
Why Millennials Move
Millennials have been and are likelier to move more than any other generation before them. That trend will continue as more millennials are looking to move out of big cities. Some are moving to the suburbs and others are looking for completely different smaller towns.
The question some are asking is, why? Here is a look at the many reasons inspiring millennials to move.
1. The Pandemic
For years, millennials would flock to major cities for jobs, convenient living, and vibrant social life. Since the onslaught of a global pandemic, this has drastically changed.
City-wide shutdowns, remote work, and the need for social distancing made life in the city less than ideal. What was once a busy but fun way of life became stressful, lonely, and scary.
People all over experienced job loss, pay cuts, and furloughs, making affording the city life challenging. Others had their work switch from in-office to remote, giving them the freedom to work from wherever.
Social distancing made it challenging for millennials to go out to their favorite cafes or meet up with friends. Public transportation became a struggle as it is difficult to safely social distance yourself from others. Having to stay at home started to make people bored and restless.
This made many millennials take a step back and reevaluate what they want in life. Many realized they want to improve physical safety, more financial security, and have more space.
2. High Cost of Living
Living the city life is expensive. With more millennials wanting to improve their financial security, living in the city is not a great option.
Whether you rent or own a home in a city, you will be paying top dollar to live there. The cost of food and other goods is also more expensive in urban areas.
Smaller towns are more affordable. Rent is significantly lower making it easier for millennials who are working remotely to afford more space. Depending on which small town you settle in, the cost of food and other goods is more affordable.
3. Want More Space
Clean fresh air and plenty of space is a major draw of smaller towns. Many millennials are or are becoming health-conscious since the onset of the pandemic.
If you have ever been to the outskirts of a major city, you can often see the thick haze of smog hovering over the buildings. Large cities have more vehicles, businesses, and industries adding pollution to that smog.
Smaller towns have a lesser population, resulting in fewer cars and businesses. This allows the air to be cleaner and fresher.
Social distancing is much easier in smaller towns as there is more space. You can go to the park or hike a nearby trail and run across fewer people than you would on the city sidewalk.
Staying home is easier in a smaller town. You can find a larger apartment or new homes for less than what you paid in the city. Having more space makes it easier to work, relax, and stay at home.
4. More Remote Jobs
The need for social distancing in today’s world caused a major change in work environments. Many jobs that believed they needed to be in-person discovered their employees could work just as effectively while remote.
Without the need to be in the office, millennials have the opportunity to move to wherever they wish!
Remote jobs are rising. Those who experienced a job loss or who want a career change are looking into remote work.
Millennials, one of the most environmentally-conscious generations, welcome the opportunity to minimize their carbon footprint. Working remotely means little to no commuting which helps both the planet and the wallet.
What Millennials Want in a New Home
A unique fact about the millennial generation is they are buying a new home later in life and desiring completely different home features than their parents’ generation. The millennial homebuyer is looking for modern, sustainable, and easy-to-maintain elements.
1. Little Maintenance
The millennial homebuyer wants a home that is efficient and easy to maintain. There are several key aspects to a house millennials are looking for to make maintenance as easy and little as possible.
Millennials love hardwood, tile, or synthetic floors. Carpeting requires regular vacuuming, traps allergy-aggravating debris, and stains easily. Hardwood and tile flooring is easier to maintain and is longer-lasting.
The same is true of decks and porches. Millennials prefer composite or synthetic decking over hardwood. Outdoor hardwood needs regular staining, weatherproofing, and cleaning to stay in good shape.
An easy-to-maintain lawn is a plus. The average millennial homebuyer does not want to spend hours, let alone days, maintaining a complicated garden or lawn. Landscaping such as xeriscaping is eco-friendly as it requires little to no watering and mowing.
2. Plenty of Outdoor Space
After feeling trapped inside due to the pandemic, millennials want more outdoor space. Many have pets that enjoy the outdoors and others simply want more space to relax, work, or play.
Millennials want outdoor space to grow a garden, relax on a deck, or enjoy the privacy of a fence. Since social gatherings in public spaces are near impossible, having outdoor space is a safe way to catch up with friends and family.
This does not mean the backyard needs to be huge. A well-designed outdoor space, regardless of its size, is very appealing to the millennial home buyer.
3. Modern Looks and Amenities
Most millennial homebuyers want a modern home with plenty of convenient amenities. Many are looking for high-functioning amenities such as washers and dryers, dishwashers, and even exercise space. Other amenity perks include garage space, storage, and those easy-to-clean hardwood floors.
Technology integration is another amenity many tech-savvy millennials are searching for in a new home. This includes home automation and smart home technology, such as automated lights, heating, cooling, and security.
Millennials love the convenience of managing everything from their bank accounts to their homes from their smartphones.
4. Spacious Kitchen
Many millennials consider themselves “foodies.” They have a love for eating, cooking, and sharing food. Therefore, many are looking for larger kitchens.
Previous generations also enjoyed coming together over food. Rather than spending time in the kitchen, Gen X and Baby Boomer generations preferred formal dining areas.
Millennial real estate trends, however, are leaning towards an open concept design. The kitchen, dining, and living areas all connect allowing for community cooking and entertaining. Millennial homebuyers view the kitchen not only as a place to prepare food but a community space.
5. Multipurpose Spaces
Like the kitchen, many millennial home buyers are looking for a home complete with multipurpose spaces. This is for practical and social reasons.
Those living in smaller homes need multifunctional spaces. A bedroom can double as a place for a mini home gym. The dining room doubles as a home office or place to store outdoor equipment.
From a social standpoint, millennials love the flexibility and ease of entertaining in open concept homes. Millennial homeowners and their guests will not feel confined to a single room. Open concept floor plans make a space feel more inviting and allow for greater interaction while entertaining guests.
Versatility is a major appeal in millennial real estate trends.
6. A Great Location
Like the generations before, millennials also seek a new home in a great location. Many millennials enjoyed the city as they could live close to work and things to do. Millennials still desire a great location in a smaller town.
Older millennials are starting families and prefer a home in a safe neighborhood. They want to be close to good schools. Others simply prefer a quieter neighborhood away from the hustle of the city.
Younger millennials are starting to buy their first house. Many wish to live in a neighborhood that fosters a sense of belonging.
Millennials Are Looking for a New Home
Millennials are one of the largest groups of people looking for a new home. Learning about millennial real estate trends and what they want in a home will help you sell your home easier and faster.
Have questions or want to learn more about selling your home? Let us know and we’ll help connect you with the right real estate agent to fit your needs!