I think of Baby Boomers and Millenials as the 'bookends' of the home market, the two largest age groups who both are getting seriously into the real estate market for different reasons but with common goals.
After years of being tied to home and family, many Boomers are ready for experiences rather than possessions… the same thing that has caused many Milennials to delay home buying. I find buyers from both generations don't want their lives controlled by housing costs… they want to keep housing costs and responsibilities down so they have freedom to pursue other interests and integrate all parts of their lives. Both groups are also often looking for places where they can build community and not depend heavily on driving. Many are concerned about the environment.
- Walkable communities – want to be able to walk, bike or take public transportation to cafes, entertainment, parks, recreation, basic services
- Urban/first ring suburban, mixed use and mixed age communities – looking to move away from the outer suburbs where many in both generations spent their lives to a different lifestyle
- Not too much space – more likely to be looking for a craftsman bungalow or a mid-century rambler than a McMansion… and less space also can mean lower taxes
- Not too expensive – first-time homebuyers are more cautious about not over-extending and many have high school loans they are paying off, while many Baby Boomers are paying cash or making a substantial down payment to keep their housing costs low
- Low carrying costs – focus on low ongoing monthly utility bills and maintenance costs not just monetary, but also in time and personal/environmental energy
- Not tied down – freedom from home maintenance and worries when away leads many to consider condos or town homes
Small, smart homes in walkable communities are a common mantra for many of today's homebuyers. With so many home sales going into multiple offers, it isn't uncommon for Baby Boomers and Milennials to be competing for the same home!
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Lifestyle Realtor