3 Reasons Millennials Choose to Rent over Buy

Renting homes is here to stay and not just a phase our country is going through. As Millennials enter the job market and become the largest group of people working and producing in America, they aren’t going to run their lives the way the Baby Boomers or Gen X did.

They are a completely different group of people with completely different values. Because their values are so different from previous generations, it will manifest itself most greatly in the choices they make on big ticket items, including where they live.

Despite what previous generations believed, most Millennials do not value owning a home.

While they may have some desire to own a home one day, it is way down on their list of priorities. What are those priorities? Let’s take a look at three reasons Millennials will continue to rent over buying a home . . . Reason #1, they value their freedom. Generations past used to value a safe secure job, with benefits. A company they could sink their teeth into, spend long hours, buy their time and retire. That is not what the Millennials value. They want to lead the company . . . today.

They believe that working for the same place their whole career would be boring and that this wouldn’t develop them as a person. They understand that their corporate ladder will include multiple cities and multiple companies. In fact according to Forbes, Millennials change jobs three times more often than any other generation.

Buying a house for them is permanently planting their feet in the city where their current job is located. Not a good idea if you consider your next job to be hundreds of miles away. What if they got the “job of their dreams” and they couldn’t move because of the home they own? They may miss the opportunity.

They also value their freedom on their weekends. We have a number of Millennials here at the office and last weekend, two were in Auburn, one was visiting her brother and the other spent all weekend watching football with friends.

Owning a home has obligations like, cutting grass, fixing the broken door handle and installing blinds in the 3rd bedroom. All of these are a huge hindrance to the “on the go” weekends they desire.

Reason #2, they aren’t handy. Baby boomers are famous for the idea of being able to fix it themselves. If the dishwasher broke, they fixed it. If the carpet needed cleaning, they cleaned it. They actually enjoyed doing these tasks on their weekend.

Not Millennials.

They don’t care to understand how to fix something. Renting for them allows them to have a full time handyman service at their fingertips. Something breaks, call on the way to work or submit an online work order and it is fixed by the time they arrive home. Again, they get to protect their weekends.

Reason #3, their parents were foreclosed on The American Dream. Millennials don’t see owning a home as the American dream anymore. Too many, they saw their parents get foreclosed on and it became a family nightmare. They swore that would never happen to them.

They believe that their wealth will be in their savings account and, most importantly to them, the experiences they gain while living.

What does this mean for us?

Since Millennials are here to stay, what does it mean for the world of renting?

Certainly, it is great for the apartment industry. Single people rent apartments and Millennials certainly qualify given the average age people get married is pushing further and further back.

But, what about the Millennials with families? People with significant others don’t lease apartments for very long. Particularly when they start to have kids. Millennials will be the fuel that grows rental housing for the next decade. More Millennials, more rentals.

Since we will be leasing to more Millennials and their values are so different, this will require a different type of rental home. One that meets these needs and values of a Millennials. Here are just a few ideas:

Weekly landscaping – who doesn’t like to come home to a manicured lawn?

Faster turnaround on work orders submitted – along with real time updates on where the work order is in the process of being completed.

Online payment features.

Home sitting – when they are gone for three weeks, who is going to ride by the house?

Monthly house tune up – replace the filters, change the light bulbs, check the smoke detector batteries.

The future of renting homes is bright . . . Thank you Millenials.