Generation is focused on building home equity, doing home improvements themselves
Millennial homeowners ages 22 to 39 see homeownership as a good investment, according to the ninth annual Better Homes & Gardens survey of attitude and behavior trends of U.S. homeowners. That’s especially true of millennial “firsts”—those millennials living in first homes they’ve owned for five years or less. The research reveals that 85% of respondents view owning a home as an important part of their American Dream.
The study, however, found that the generation, especially millennial firsts, are extremely practical about homeownership. While they have aspirational dream homes, they have a realistic approach to their goals and budgets when it comes to home buying and renovating.
“These first-time millennial homeowners are focused on building equity—not debt,” says Jill Waage, editorial director of digital content and products for the brand, owned by Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith Corp. “They are strong believers in being able to afford their dreams as they achieve them and not overstretch themselves.”
According to the survey, millennial firsts are financially conscious and aim to accomplish home goals as they progress through life stages and become more financially stable. In fact, only 50% of firsts are willing to spend top dollar to get exactly the features and quality they want, and only 36% are willing to take out a loan to take advantage of a deal.
Millennial firsts instead will make trade-offs, including waiting and tackling do-it-yourself projects to get what they want when they can afford it.
Other findings include:
- Firsts are more likely to live in lower-end homes that are aging and in need of repair. Fifty percent of firsts said at move-in their current home’s condition required some degree of work or remodel—ranging from minimal to considerable.
- When it comes to home improvement needs, only one in four firsts say their primary approach is to pick up the phone and pay someone, compared with 40% of all millennials.
- Three out of four firsts perform some degree of DIY in their home.
- Nearly 90% of firsts are very or extremely interested in learning about home repair and home improvement projects.
The top interior DIY improvements about which millennial firsts want more information include simple but stylish projects that add value to their home, such as painting walls, laying tile and installing light fixtures.