(Or, the Millennial Homebuyer Drought and Its Potential Impact on Western Civilization)
— From the pages of FLL#35
As my daughter tells me, I can be occasionally prone to hyperbole. But, the subtitle of this column is not quite so hyperbolic as it is true. Overall, the Millennials do not see owning a home as an urgent need, unlike those of the immediately previous generation. Why? Well, as I am not a qualified Cultural Anthropologist, I can only speculate.
Here’s what I think. I think it is a combination of needs and (lack of) money. As for the needs, I am not certain that Millennials are quite settled yet, in not yet having landed “the job” (largely through circumstance, or the last seven years of economic circumstances). This is historically the first and most compelling force behind the purchase of one’s first home. It’s that first “real” job… the job after college that one will occupy for quite some time. This is the job that instills a sense of community and roots. Once you feel you are somewhere you will remain, the urge for permanency tends to set in. As the Millennial generation hasn’t had quite as much opportunity for these types of jobs, the need for permanency may take longer to rise within them.[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Overall, the Millennials do not see owning a home
as an urgent need, unlike those of the immediately
As the economy is now improving, jobs are becoming more available. Finding a more welcoming job market than they have in the recent past, younger workers now want to establish a home of their own. With the combination of affordable mortgage rates and rising monthly rent bills, home ownership becomes a viable option for the young buyer.
The good news for these burgeoning homeowners is that there are still great options for new buyers. Some are keyed to first-timers, but most are simply geared towards helping people acquire a home/ mortgage with a modest down payment and a reasonable monthly payment. Without going into the infinite details of all the available programs and whom they will best be suited for, I will simply say that there are many options available with modest down payments and total cash requirements, and potentially notable tax benefits.
The great news for western civilization is that home ownership is generally a great bolster to the economy.
Maybe my subtitle was a bit hyperbolic? Hey, it made you read this column, though, didn’t it?