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Homeownership

Millennials aren’t moving, you guys

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) Millennials don’t have spouses, they don’t have houses, and they don’t have kids. Why are they staying put?

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mass non-migration

According to recently released U.S. Census Bureau data, millennials are not the passion-hunting rootless wanderers we often imagine them to be. In fact, they’re significantly more grounded than the last four generations, at least in latitude and longitude terms.

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Last year, only 20 percent of adults ages 25 to 35 reported living at a different address one year earlier. This represents a sharp drop for that age group, whose movement has been fairly steady for decades. In 2000, 26 percent of 25-35 year-old Gen-Xers had moved in the last year, and in 1963, 26 percent of 25-35 year-olds in the so-called Silent Generation had relocated.

what gives?

This relative immobility is surprising for a few reasons, also documented by the U.S. Census Bureau. First, millennials are less likely to be married than earlier generations of young adults, which points to more flexibility and mobility – if there’s only one person looking for a new job in a new town instead of two, it’s theoretically easier to make moving work. In the 25-35 year-old age group, only 42 percent of millennials reported cohabiting with a spouse in 2016, compared to 82 percent of Silents in 1963.

Second, fewer Millennials have to worry about selling a home they already own in order to pick up and move. Renters are generally more mobile than homeowners.

But while 56 percent of 25-35 year-old Early Boomers lived in owner-occupied housing (specifically not owned by their parents) in 1981, only 37 percent of millennials reported living in such housing last year.

Third, a whopping 56 percent of 25-35 year-old millennials were childless in 2016, while fewer than half of the past three generations were childless as young adults. No children should mean an easier move – no hunting for good schools or worrying about pulling kids away from friends, comfort zones, and doting grandparents.

So millennials don’t have spouses, they don’t have houses, and they don’t have kids. Why are they staying put?

recession remnants

The Recession could be playing a big part in the sudden downshift in mobility for millennials. Click To Tweet

Millennials were among those most affected, in terms of job-holding and salaries, and many young adults who did move in the past year were motivated by job opportunities, suggesting that the job market just isn’t strong enough for many to count on a potential job across the country.

Millennials are also up against tighter lending standards, tougher mortgages, and astronomical student debt, which makes it less appealing to move in order to own a home – especially if there aren’t any kids to make space for.

Whatever the reason, America’s youngest adult generation is growing geographically static. On the one hand, this could be a bad thing for employers, who may face a workforce more unwilling or generally unlikely to follow a job, or come to a job, than ever before. On the other hand, this could be a good thing for cities and towns looking to build real communities of people invested in the place they live, not just stopping on their way to the next big thing.

#millennialmobility

Staff Writer, Natalie Bradford earned her B.A. in English from Cornell University and spends a lot of time convincing herself not to bake MORE brownies. She enjoys cats, cocktails, and good films - preferably together. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Homeownership

Why realtors should never use the phrase ‘Starter Home’

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) You see the term in the MLS for fixer uppers, you hear it when Realtors are working with first time buyers. But the term “starter home” shouldn’t be in anyone’s vocabulary. Here’s why.

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starter homes debt existing home sales

Just words

Collins English Dictionary defines a starter home as a “small, new house which is cheap enough for people who are buying their first home to afford.” You won’t find the phrase too often outside of the real estate industry.

There isn’t much about the etymology of the phrase, but most likely, it’s a marketing ploy to get people to buy into the idea of purchasing another home in a few years.

Grind your gears

Mark Greutman, husband to Lauren Greutman, believes that the term “starter home” should bother people. The phrase implies that you will upgrade later.

Your starter home isn’t good enough for the rest of your life. And not to get into how well Americans have it, what about people who will never be able to afford anything more? Is it an insult to them?

Do you really need two living rooms?

Older generations bought one home and lived in it until they could no longer be independent. In today’s world, we buy a starter home, then upgrade to have more space, to live farther away from our neighbors, to have rooms that are only used once or twice a year, and to make sure you have a 2 or 3 car garage to hold your vehicles and more stuff, some of which isn’t taken out very often.

But consider this: You could pay off your starter home in 15 to 20 years, if you budget right.

You could be out from under a mortgage and have money to travel, send the kids to college, or even retire early. When you think about what led to the financial crisis in 2008, isn’t it better to have a smaller house where you can make the payments than worry about losing your house?

Be content where you are

Realtors are motivated to make sure that they have customers. If people buy one home with the intent to stay, will the market dry up? Probably not, because people move and a new generation will be ready to purchase homes for their own family.

Let’s think about that phrase, “starter home.” It fuels consumerism and discontentment. Don’t call cheaper houses starter homes, but just a home.

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Homeownership

Hilarious items left behind when homeowners move out

(HOMEOWNERSHIP) People often forget what changes and additions they’ve made to a house until it is too late. This Twitter thread is a hilarious reminder to take everything with you when you leave.

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hidden in house

There are moments when social media brings people together and gives us comedy gold. Have you ever left something behind when you moved, something that while maybe not so crucially important to you, will definitely offer an interesting insight into your life? Such as a message written behind a wall, or a note hidden in an air duct? Well a twitter thread posted earlier this week opened up Pandora’s box for amusements on this topic and some of these are just getting stranger and stranger.

The original poster, @KaylaKumari, brought it up originally when she asked her mother, who had just recently moved out of her last home, if she’d uninstalled the special fire alarms that she recorded in her voice yelling, “GET OUT OF THE HOUSE BECAUSE MOM’S CANDLES CAUGHT THE HOUSE ON FIRE”. A perfect line, short and succinct. Now some poor family is going to have a fire and some woman’s voice will be ushering them out instead of an alarm. Hopefully there won’t be too much confusion there.

kayla kumari upadhyaya on Twitter: “My parents sold their house like a month ago but my mother JUST realized she did not uninstall the special fire alarms she had put in that are a recording of her own voice screaming at me and my sister to “GET OUT OF THE HOUSE BECAUSE MOM’S CANDLES CAUGHT THE HOUSE ON FIRE” / Twitter”

My parents sold their house like a month ago but my mother JUST realized she did not uninstall the special fire alarms she had put in that are a recording of her own voice screaming at me and my sister to “GET OUT OF THE HOUSE BECAUSE MOM’S CANDLES CAUGHT THE HOUSE ON FIRE”

After that, the tweets and retweets just kept coming. Some of them mostly relating to habits or forgotten moments. In four days, the post has gotten over 17K retweets and/or comments and some of these are gems.

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A lot of people seem to enjoy feeding wildlife as well. Lots of fun shocks to go around. I would recommend however, to disclose that upon sale of the house so you don’t get sued. But this just goes to show that social media can be nice sometimes. A nice uplifting moment in our days.

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Homeownership

Homeownership dreams suddenly abandoned by many millennials – why?

(REAL ESTATE) A perfect storm has arrived in the American housing market, and it’s not just a global pandemic that has dramatically shifted plans.

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millennials abandoning dream of homeownership

Millennials, a generation often bemoaned for their comparatively nomadic tendencies as far as housing is concerned, looked for a while to be settling down in a more traditional sense. Now, in the wake of a pandemic and talk of a housing bubble, nearly two-thirds of those who were formerly interested in homeownership are changing their minds.

According to a Legal & General study, nearly half (47%) of millennials reported that COVID “negatively affected” their home-buying plans, with a whopping 61% of millennials who had saved for a down payment deciding to cancel or postpone the process.

The study also shows that 12% of millennials who were interested in homeownership “completely abandoned their home owning plans,” having been entirely disheartened by things like home scarcity, atrociously high bidding wars, and rapidly increasing cost of living in urban spaces.

That last criterion was also a damaging factor for many. Legal & General quotes millennial participants, one of whom laments being “priced out of my community, my county, to make way for the rich and for overpaid tech workers who are running us out of town and out of the state.”

Others referenced things like heavily politicized policies that “[drove] up the cost of living,” debts in a post-COVID relief society, wage stagnation, and the general dissonance of enjoyable activities and locations being almost entirely inaccessible to middle-class workers who cannot afford to live in the city.

But Legal & General points out that COVID-19 resulted in “aggravating existing housing trends, rather than generating a new pattern of trends”, signifying something many already knew – that millennials are reluctant to purchase what feels like a permanent investment in a world framed by extreme precarity.

“Our generation has had many setbacks to home ownership between the stock market crash and the pandemic, student loan crisis, the cost of living going up much faster than
the rate of salary increases…” says one participant in Legal & General’s study. “…it has been extremely difficult to even be in a position to save money.”

With almost 70% of millennials admitting that COVID and other related factors changed the way that they think about their future (specifically regarding where they might want to live) it seems like this generation is, once again, experiencing a profound setback to the plan espoused as the norm by prior generations.

However, the seeming exodus from densely populated areas to smaller, more suburban areas (seen toward the beginning of the pandemic) along with some pockets of resistance to wage stagnation in the last year does inspire some hope for a paradigm shift.

As the world reckons with the devastating effects of the pandemic and the rebuilding to follow, it is very possible that millennials will once again find their footing and once again plan on homeownership.

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