01 Sep

Generational Home Buying Trends

As one of the Wellesley area Realtors, I understand the need to completely appreciate a client’s objectives. This includes how they prefer to proceed through the process; like best manner of communication, etc.

As far as generational divides, it is not just the millennial generation’s use of technology that separates them for the rest — it is instead, their goals.

A millennial’s outlook on what a home represents and when they wish to buy one, is almost the polar opposite from how their parents’ and grandparents’ viewed the pursuit of the American Dream.

Economic eras of course have always had a great deal to do with how/when people make big purchases, but this group in particular is having a pretty large effect on the market itself.

Born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, millennials are reputed to have the highest percentage of first-time home buyers at almost 70% and have been reported to be tops amongst homebuyers overall, coming in at a little over 30%.

Notwithstanding student debt faced by a good percentage of them which impacts their purchasing power in general, this group of home buyers considers traditional milestones in a different order – for extremely practical reasons. offers up an interesting profile of what today’s millennial home buyers look like, and what they are looking for:

  • They are buying before marriage and owning a specific property for shorter periods of time
  • There exists a tendency to spend the money they do have on buying a home instead of footing the exorbitant costs of a wedding
  • Today’s home purchase is not necessarily the one that needs to accommodate plans for the future
  • The objective is more one of an investment than a place for them to grow roots and live for decades to come
  • Their choice of home tends to the more urban locales that are convenient to their places of business; not as much out-of-the-hub of activity in the suburbs with pools, backyards, tons of square footage, and the need for more attention to maintenance


Using Technology to Shop for Homes

The use of real estate technology is not a trend exclusive to millennials. Many homebuyers (and home sellers) will scour sites like and Zillow to explore properties in their price range and for a pulse on their market’s competition.

Even Google Earth comes in handy for a bird’s eye view of area parks and airports when becoming familiar with a new neighborhood or if an out-of-state buyer.

While geographic awareness will never replace the insight of a Realtor who offers in-depth area knowledge, negotiating expertise, and an education in the real estate laws, these research tools make buyers much more informed.

Taking it a step further, these efforts actually makes everyone’s journey through the transaction easier as timeframes to search for the perfect homes can be abbreviated; regardless if this virtual discovery is conducted on a desktop PC or via an app on an iPhone.

Taking some tips from the millennial generation can put home buyers of all ages even more in touch with what and where they are interested as well as the home that suits the long- or the short-term.

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