Housing Tastes- Solid Rock Custom Homes: Millennial vs. Baby Boomer

There’s nothing better than getting handed the keys to your new home. It’s something that you’ve worked for, and finally have to chance to enjoy whether by yourself or with loved ones. However, housing tastes aren’t the same for everyone. From a tiny home to a “McMansion”, tastes vary, especially among different generations. Age is nothing but a number, they say. But in real estate, age may be the deciding factor to whether you want an extra room for visitors and a beautiful fireplace or prefer unique, smart spaces accompanied by a nice outdoor terrace.


Like-Minded Housing Tastes


From baby boomers to millennials, everyone enjoys spending time in the kitchen. With all things equal, most populations generally prefer a large kitchen with an island countertop. And, the similarities in tastes don’t stop there. Baby boomers, gen X’ers, and millennials also all enjoy beautiful outdoor features, such as a spacious backyard, patio, front porch and deck for family leisure time as well as for entertaining visitors. The main difference between millennials and the older generations is that millennials might be more willing to sacrifice these features for a more affordable home as they have accumulated more debt due to student loans and the recession.


Size Matters


As their children have left the nest, most baby boomers are on to their second or third home, while millennials are just buying their first one.

Some baby boomers are downsizing to smaller houses, or “jewelry box” homes that are more manageable and require less maintenance; and many even hope to acquire a home with “aging in place” features to ensure that they can stay in their home longer. However, other baby boomers hope to use their retirement funds, along with their time to build a larger home of their dreams, an estate-type home that they were never able to afford in their youth and can pass down to their children and grandchildren.

Gen X’ers are often reaching for the stars within their price limits. Younger Gen X buyers seem to be more interested in purchasing larger houses because they are planning to start a family, many need to accommodate growing kids or even bringing in their aging parents (or grandparents). These multi-generational homes are often bigger, multi-level homes that integrate aging in place elements into its design to keep the older generation living in these homes safe.

Some millennials have steered away from home ownership, opting instead to live in apartment or condos. Other millennials are intrigued by the simplicity and cost effectiveness of tiny home living. Yet, as many are now considering starting a family, their design tastes and home preferences are shifting. Still typically not willing to purchase a large home, millennials will look for homes that can be multi-purposeful, as they include office space and smart home gadgets.

Housing Tastes: Near the Public Transportation?


Most baby boomers drive. Unlike younger buyers, most of this population isn’t concerned about where the nearest train station or bus stop is located. They prefer to live in areas that offer as much space as possible, which often tend to be in the suburbs or away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With the convenience of the internet, many millennials are opting to work from home instead of working onsite. However, if they do decide to work onsite, the majority prefer to live near public transportation as the number of millennials with a driver’s license continues to significantly decrease every decade. Instead of taking on the expenses of a car; including insurance, gas and general maintenance, millennials are opting to use public transportation or Uber.


The Cave


Basements used to be where people stored miscellaneous items from their youth and random items that couldn’t fit in their garage. However, now many Gen X’ers and millennials are utilizing this space as home offices, children play areas, or mother-in-law suites. Those without the need for an office or play room can even use the space as a “man cave” or a “woman cave” where they enjoy personal time or throw parties, such as baby showers or game night celebrations. Their baby boomer counterparts aren’t as excited about basements because they frequently do not have a special desire for it. Additionally, this population usually works onsite and prefers to entertain in the living room or backyard. While a large basement is nice, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for a baby boomer.


Even though millennials are buying homes at a slower rate than their baby boomers counterparts were at their age, their presence is still felt in the marketplace. Like baby boomers who are choosing homes based on convenience and health, their tastes in real estate reflect their current priorities. While these populations may vary in their idea of a “dream home,” they both are choosing homes that best fit their current stage of life.


Contact us to discuss the design of you dream home. Starting in the $600,000’s (land additional), Solid Rock Custom Homes will build a home that fits every one of your needs, with a final result being a home that you can be proud of for years and years to come. Whatever you life stage, live extraordinarily.

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    - Kate Young

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