As the millennial generation comes of age, they’re beginning to grab their fair share of the housing market. In 2017, 34.7% of homeowners were millennials—one year later, they’re 36% of homeowners. That number may not seem huge, but it was by far the largest increase in any age group during that time period.
There are many different driving forces when making the decision to buy a home, but we wanted to learn more about what’s pushing millennials to take the plunge. This Q&A features Katie, a 29-year-old attorney from Rhode Island who is currently shopping for her first home. She told us what made her decide to buy without a partner, what she’s looking for in a house, what she’s worried about, and what she’s most excited about.
What made you decide you wanted to buy on your own?
I have always wanted to own my own home one day. There’s never been a doubt in my mind that I would be a homeowner. It was the when and the where that remained the question. I set an arbitrary goal for myself to buy a place before I turned thirty. It just so happens that this is the right time.
Purchasing a home is an important milestone. One I look forward to surpassing.
How do you plan to use your home?
I plan to live in my home for at least September through May. Ideally, I would Airbnb/VRBO the unit during the summer months, as July in the city does not appeal to me. I am lucky enough to have the majority of my family living near the water on Aquidneck Island, so there are plenty of places for me to stay June through August.
The biggest appeal to purchasing a home closer to my place of employment is eliminating my commute. I currently spend two+ hours a day in my car driving to and from work. Two and a half years of that commute has certainly taken its toll. I am looking forward to a new neighborhood, close access to restaurants and shops and most importantly a safe community.
What type of home are you looking for?
I’m planning on purchasing a one or two bedroom condominium. I want to live in Providence, either close to downtown or on the Eastside. A condo offers the perfect solution for me. I am single, female and in my late twenties. The HOA fees cover parking, secured entry, snow removal, trash pickup, etc. Relatively little to no upkeep is exactly what I am looking for at this point in my life.
I grew up in a brick colonial in a small town. Exposed brick makes me feel right at home but I am looking mostly for an open space, lofted ceilings, and plenty of natural light.
What are you excited about? What are you worried about?
I’m most worried about living on my own. I have never truly lived by myself so that will be a significant adjustment. It makes sense at this point in my life—I spend 3/4 of my day at work. Nonetheless I imagine coming home to an empty house will be tough to get used to.
I’m most excited to have a place of my own. It will be solely my decision on wall color, art, furniture, etc. I’ve never been able to decorate every inch of my house. Essentially what I am most excited for is the flip side of what I am most nervous about but I look forward to this new chapter. Being a homeowner has always been important to me. I am not tied down and will retain the ability to rent out my place should I choose to move in a couple of years, but for now I know this is the right move.
Do you have any pets?
No pets! The thought of getting a dog has crossed my mind but I am not home enough and don’t think it’s the right time. The silver lining being that some condo associations restrict pets (though that’s become less and less frequent). I look forward to becoming a dog owner at some point after becoming a home owner—and finally getting a place of my own.
Are you going to have a housewarming party?
Any excuse to have a party! We had a solar eclipse party so I definitely plan to have a housewarming party once I am all settled. There is something about new memories in a place with the ones you love that really starts to make it feel like home. Until you have memories and laughs I anticipate it will just feel like four walls. A housewarming party will be at the top of my list once I move in.