Generation X is the smallest generation — but they’re also one of the most active in the housing market. With the highest average household incomes of all living generations, they’re into buying, selling, investing, fixing, flipping — you name it.
But that’s not to say pleasing them is easy. While sure, they’re looking to get in on real estate in more ways than one, they also come with some unique preferences and leanings when compared to other generations.
Want to see success with your Gen X buyers and sellers? Then catering to these nuances is key. Here’s what you need to know when working with Gen Xers:
Gen X home buyers like it hot.
According to recent data from Realtor.com, the top spots for Gen X home buyers are almost all in the South, West, or along warmer coasts. Houston claimed the No. 1 destination for Gen X buyers, while fellow Texas cities Dallas, San Antonio, Odessa, and Austin also made the top 10. Miami and Atlanta also ranked highly, as did Riverside, California, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The only temperate city to make the top 10 with this cohort was Washington, D.C.
They’re looking for affordability.
Gen X was the group hardest hit from the Great Recession not too long ago. They might have even lost their homes or savings during that time. Because of this, they’re very strategic about their investments, and they want properties that aren’t just affordable — but great deals, too. They might have the biggest incomes in America, but that doesn’t mean they want to spend all that money on housing. They want to live comfortably without breaking the bank.
Generation Xers also typically have higher costs than those in other groups. Many are taking care of their aging parents, and others are footing college tuition and other bills for their adult children. They have a lot of responsibility — and they don’t want to add stress by buying beyond their means.
Gen X home buyers want family-friendly homes.
A lot of Gen Xers still have minor children (about 62 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors), and those who don’t? Many are sharing homes with other family members. Because of this, they’re looking for family-friendly properties.
They want lots of space (in Houston, 2,400 square feet, 4 bedrooms around $260K are the most common choice), and they’re on the hunt for good schools and lots of amenities. They’re the most likely to gravitate toward master-planned communities.
They have influence.
Gen Xers are movers and shakers. Not only are they smack dab in the middle of all living, actively home buying generations, they’re also high on the food chain at work and in their communities. This makes them uniquely placed to help spread the word about agents, lenders, and other service providers they use in their real estate transactions. They also have sway with their kids (millennials and Gen Zers), as well as their aging parents (the Silent Generation and baby boomers) when they’re looking to buy a home. This makes pleasing them even more important, from a business standpoint.
They’re open to multi-generational homes and investment properties.
This generation isn’t limiting themselves to just single-family homes. Many are buying duplexes and properties with accessory dwelling units to share with kids and parents, while others are getting in on the short-term and vacation rental game by buying investment properties in their hometowns, in tropical destinations, and along the coasts. Some have even picked up on the fixer-upper trends and are using fix-and-flip strategies to bring in extra income.
Gen X home buyers are independent.
A recent study from Owners.com shows that Gen Xers are pretty independent when it comes to buying a home. In fact, just 9 percent of recent Gen X home buyers said they relied on their real estate agent for recommendations, instead choosing to take charge of the house hunt themselves. Only 29 percent said they trusted their agent to do “most of the legwork.” Agents should work to build trust and establish their expertise with these buyers from the very beginning.
Generation X might be the most diverse population out there (just 21 percent identify as white), but they’re still quite traditional when it comes to home buying habits. Out of all generations, these buyers are the most likely to be married and the most likely to have children under the age of 18. They also value short commute times to work and place school district quality high on their list of must-haves — everything you’d expect from an American home buyer.
Get to Know Generation X
Working to understand the unique preferences and buying style of Generation X can help you better tailor your services to their needs. You should also make sure any service providers you recommend to these clients — lenders, title companies, inspectors, etc. — understand their needs as well.
Want a knowledgeable lender for your Gen X clients? Refer them to Embrace Home Loans. We’re here to help.