Since 1904, the property-buying, hotel-snatching, do-not-pass-go family favorite board game has been a part of family gatherings and—let’s be real—feuds about stolen properties, the evils of capitalism, and bottled up frustrations manifesting themselves in one sore loser hurling the game off the table.
Monopoly, the beloved household game, has been inspiring family competition for generations and yet was risqué enough to create a version playing off of the worst stereotypes that plague the Millennial generation, from their oversensitivity to their love of organic and avocados, to their supposed inability to own property. The game eliminates real estate purchases (which is the whole point of Monopoly!) and instead creates a game that gives Millennials the opportunity to earn “experiences.”
Hasbro faced outrage after the game hit the shelves, as many young people took offense to the idea that they were snowflakey, responsibility-evading youngins that largely lived in their parents’ basement. We take issue with that too! After all, Cornerstone Realty works with many young homebuyers who are purchasing their first or second home and doing so efficiently and responsibly.
According to U.S Census data from the Bureau Housing Vacancies and Homeownership report, homeownership for 25-to-34-year-olds has gone up from 36.5 % in the fourth quarter of 2018 to 37.6% one year later. Part of that change comes from many young millennials earning higher wages than people in the previous generation did— comparatively— at their age. This is thanks to flourishing industries like technology and engineering. On July 30th, 2020 Fox News reported that millennials in the El Paso area were embarking on the homeownership journey. Realtors in the report cited at least 50% of their clients falling in the millennial age group. In 2020, the homeownership rate stood at 39.5%, another rise from the previous year.
The past few years have shown that younger buyers are making the transition from renters to homeowners and bringing some very unique qualities with them. Even during the pandemic—despite all the uncertainty—young prospective home buyers did their research and found information about low-interest rates appealing enough to get them excited about buying.
The year 2020 had eye-opening interest rates that meant lower monthly mortgage payments and was the final push for many young people. The report indicated that these buyers knew how to operate in the new online models that were presented in the past few years and especially in 2020; they are tech-savvy, know how to use the internet to inform themselves, do research, do virtual tours, and search for homes they like online.
Here’s what separates younger homebuyers from older buyers:
Millennials are patient and careful buyers: Surveys conducted by real estate firms and other researchers, suggest that Millennial homebuyers are willing to shop for a longer time to find what they want. This demographic of buyers knows what they are looking for: minimal, energy-efficient, and modern amenities that match their lifestyles. One survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders found that young buyers that preferred a new home jumped from 28% in 2007 to 41% in 2018. The data seems to suggest that many buyers in this group prefer to get newer amenities without having to commit to immediate repairs and remodels. These young buyers seem to be in tune with the fact that home insurance carriers are much likely to insure a newer home than an older home with better rates.
Millennials like technology and energy efficiency: New construction homes have a high demand for including smart home amenities. Smart home concepts are a big appeal to the younger age group that tends to work in areas that involve technology and that have grown up around it. Up to 36% of these young homeowners want to install smart home technology in their homes.
Millennials are comfortable with a digital home-buying experience: Every industry has been touched by the pandemic. The real estate industry is no different and it has been forced to shift its operating model to online and digital. This was already happening, of course, the pandemic merely accelerated it. And yet, young buyers don’t mind it and they operate very comfortably in that space.
While there does seem to be even other features that Millennials search for in a home include:
Updated kitchens and bathrooms.Young buyers know that fixing, replacing, or renovating a bathroom or kitchen is rather costly. Viewing a home that indicates this is a requirement, i.e an old-fashioned kitchen or run-down bathroom is a deal-breaker. Buyers know that this is an unwanted expense and so they don’t come near it.
Open-floor plan. Millennials like wide-open spaces. From shared space offices to large conference rooms, young buyers want shared spaces and rooms that bleed into each other because it’s what they are used to. Room-flow is a thing, and it’s a way to create a welcoming environment that doesn’t section people off into separate rooms.
At this point, it seems that buyers born between 1980 to 2000 make up the largest segment of the buyer market. So, as far as Hasbro and their Millennial Monopoly version are concerned, they are quite wrong! So what happened to the game? It was largely seen as a flop and, although Hasbro stood by their Millennial jokes and stereotypes, it seems the premise is proving somewhat outdated.
Are You a Young Buyer Considering Making the Leap to Home Ownership?
Talk to somebody who can help. If you are a young buyer ready to embark on the homeownership adventure, connect with Cornerstone Realty today.