The Millennial Generation (1981-1996) are reaching the milestone of turning 40! Hard to imagine, I know. Generation Y, are getting to be middle-aged. The youngest is graduating college and the oldest is joining the 40 Club! The Millennials topped the Baby Boomers in 2019 as the largest living generation, with an estimated 72.1M Millennials over 71.6M Boomers. This generation came of age in the Great Recession, seriously hindering early adulting for many. Millennials were teens and young adults when the internet, home computers, and iPhones came into their lives. They adapted rapidly to the new way of tech, and are used to tech-heavy lifestyles. There’s a smartphone in every hand. Millennials lived through the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Many are paying off crippling student debt. With 63% carrying more than $10,000 owed with an average payment of $393 a month in 2019. This group carries 300% more student debt than their parents did.
These days Millennials are all grown up with long-term life goals, careers, and businesses. 40% are parents of Generation Alpha, for many, ownership of that first home is already a reality. Many older, sometimes called Geriatric Millennials, have owned their first homes long enough to see substantial equity gains. Now could be the time for them to “trade up” for that “move up” home. Younger Millennials are entering their first-time homebuying years. Just out of college, chasing after their part of the American Dream. After all, interest rates won’t be historically low forever! They want homes, but not any old home will do. They are often skipping the first-time tier and moving on to something bigger and more expensive. NAR reports that 45% of homebuyers age 30-39 spent more than $300,000 for a home.
Open, airy homes with a minimalist vibe attract this crowd. It’s about function and amenities. Lots of built-in storage solutions to keep the home clutter-free. Separate, dedicated spaces for home offices are not just desirable but required. Agents should highlight convertible areas/spaces that could become that needed work area. If buyers are on a tight budget, there won’t be extra money for updating. These buyers most likely need a turn-key property with low maintenance. Low maintenance features include granite countertops, hardwood floors, and metal roofs
The heart of the home is the kitchen, always will be in my mind. In 2020, many people went into the kitchen to bake, steam, broil, instant pot, and cook their way through the pandemic. Upgraded stainless steel appliances are still in fashion. Along with sub Zero refrigerators, built-in wine coolers, pizza ovens, and farmhouse sinks. Kitchens tend to be the main entertaining space.
Certain interior features such as a separate laundry room on the main or second floor are coveted. Outdated bathrooms are a real turnoff when buying on a budget. Revamped bathrooms, vanities with double sinks, high-tech showerheads, and free-standing soaking tubs are positives. This generation is primed to take smart home technology to the next level. Incorporating it in everything from doorbells, thermostats, automatic lighting, home security, to viewing the refrigerator contents. Streamlined and convenient ways to operate the dwelling from your smartphone is the new way of doing things.
Millennials are an environmentally friendly generation that values access to outdoor green spaces. They are looking to decompress after a long day. A fire pit, patio, deck, pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen, or vegetable garden are high on their wish lists. Access to green spaces or walking to amenities are tops on this client’s must have list.
More than half of this group says the internet is the ONE THING they cannot live without. For Millennials houses need to be more than just traditional pictures. Livestreaming and videos will bring the house to life. They are voracious social media users. Establishing a relationship with this group via social media is huge. This generation is likely to do business with a brand they follow. Always remember, the social media relationship comes before the client relationship. NAR says 99% of this demographic start their home search online. Millennials are looking for agents who are comfortable using technology for communication, contracts, and closings. Their perfect agent is not only tech-savvy but also is skilled at verbal communication, negotiations, and has strong relationships with other agents. An agent who has the critical and creative thinking to keep up with the times.
The Millennial Generation accounts for the largest segment of the workforce and rental market. In 2017, Pew Research Center reported an average median income of $69,000 for households headed by a Millennial. They take finances and investing seriously, not surprising growing up in the Great Recession. They believe in emergency funds, planning for retirement, and finding a forever home. Millennials may have a tougher financial road to travel than other generations, however, they are proving to be up to the task at hand. So Happy Birthday Millennials and welcome to your Quadragenarian years!
~Some famous personalities turning 40 this year. Beyonce (truly a Child of Destiny) Paris Hilton & Nicole Ritchie (Remember ‘The Simple Life’), Serena Williams (Still Ruling the Tennis Court) & Anna Kournikova (Stardom on the court, mom of 3 with Enrique Iglesias, even has a drink named after her), Eli Manning (Payton’s younger brother), Brittany Spears & Justin Timberlake (Mickey Mouse Club is a distant memory), Pitbull (Songwriter, Rapper, Philanthropist, NASCAR team owner), Alecia Keys (Composing songs since 12 – this girl has always been on fire), Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins has been back at the shire for a decade), Josh Groban (20 years since his debut album), (Captain America) Chris Evans, (Duchess of Sussex) Meghan Markle, Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls still rule!) and Natalie Portman (Wife of Anakin Skywalker, Mother of Luke Skywalker and Girlfriend of Thor)~
Shannon Aldrich Whaley (C) 2021