A New Generation Of Homebuyers is on the Scene! In Friday’s post, I was discussing whether Generation Y will value home ownership the way Baby Boomers have.
There was much discussion at the recent Realtor’s convention about this topic. In the airport, waiting to fly home to Denver, a group of us were discussing it again. A little while after we settled in to wait for the flight, I felt a tap on my shoulder and an, “excuse me…”
Rachel Krill, a Realtor from Yuma, Arizona said, “I couldn’t help but listen to your conversation. I’m 23 and I sell a lot of homes to Gen Y’ers!” Rachel was (and is) an impressive young woman. She exuded a confidence and business savvy that is rare for someone without the benefit of years’ of experience and hard knocks. She is enthusiastic about her chosen profession, and I can tell she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Rachel wrote me a guest post to reflect her sentiments about home ownership:
A few days ago, I was sitting in the airport, and overheard a few Realtors talking about the real estate market and trends. I was leaving New Orleans after the National Association of Realtors conference. There was one conversation that my ears could not turn away from. The agents were talking about the real estate trend for Generation Y!
I am a Gen Y Realtor (23 years old), and have been for five years, so I was intrigued by this conversation! They were talking about a blog by Tinus Swanepoel (son of a well known real estate speaker and trend writer, and a Gen Y’er himself.) In his blog he says there is a current market shift taking place, as Baby Boomers desire to sell off their real estate, but Gen Y’ers are not interested in buying (at least not in the same numbers and at a later age,) thus creating a stand off. He states they (Gen Y’ers) are “too into” their fast paced life style, taking their focus away from home ownership. He says home ownership simply is not on the top of their list.
I disagree with the premise! I am a Gen Y’er who owns 2 houses and I sell a majority of homes to Gen Y’ers (40-50 percent). I have a few reasons why I believe Generation Y’ers will not abandon home ownership:
1. Generation Y does care about wealth and making money. As much as we are into our smart phones, $300 jeans, Sushi, and fast paced lifestyle, our end desire is to have money to pay for this lifestyle. Buying a home is the fastest way to create and build wealth. When a Gen Y’er is educated about the benefits of being a homeowner, including building their asset portfolios, most of them are on board immediately with asking how do I do it?!
2. No matter whom you are, Baby Boomer or Gen Y’er, you need a place to lay your head. With home prices down and interest rates at a record low, owning a home is very cost effective. When a Gen Y’er is shown the cost of owning vs. renting, in some states it is much more beneficial to own, or very close to the same price as renting. When they see the comparisons they jump on board with the home ownership philosophy.
3. Because Gen Y’ers live this fast paced lifestyle, our idea of home ownership is not that of our parents. Please don’t compare us! We don’t dream of the plot of land with a home and the white picket fence, but it doesn’t mean we are abandoning home ownership all together. Our idea in owning a home is how much money we can make on it and how fast, while still having a place to lay our heads. We see it more as an investment ~ rather then a dream.
I am not lumping all Gen Y’ers in this category; however, from my experience most Gen Y’ers are interested in owning a home, but their reasons for purchasing a home, and their emotions involved in doing so, differ dramatically from that of the Baby Boomers. I speak to young people in our local schools and talk to them about owning vs. renting. 90% of them say they WANT to own a home one day…and soon!
Yes, times are changing, life is fast paced, Gen Y’ers seem to be glued to their gadgets, but they still want to own homes. Maybe for different reasons, but I do not believe Generation Y will abandon home ownership! And I, for one, will work my hardest to make sure it doesn’t happen!
So there you have it. Differing opinions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future. I’m signing off now because I need to go into the MLS and begin a search for Denver homes for my newest clients. I received a web inquiry yesterday from a 27 year-old woman. She and her fiancee are ready to buy their first home. They need a single family house with a yard for their two dogs.
Gretchen Rosenberg is a real estate broker in Denver, Colorado. She sells homes in all price ranges and to any generation.