Millennials have been the punch line to many jokes in recent years. Too tech obsessed, too self-conscious, irresponsible, lovers of $20 avocado toast. At some point during the jokes, millennials grew up. They have become a formidable force, joining the ranks of homebuyers. According to the US Census Bureau, millennials were born between 1982 and 2000. Almost half of millennials have now passed their 30th birthdays, and many are beginning to start families. They no longer want to live in hip studio apartments in trendy urban neighborhoods; they want to buy your suburban home.
Millennials are moving to suburban areas at warp speed. As a homeowner, what do you need to know about this generation? Keep reading to demystify this thriving group of buyers and to learn what you need to do to entice them to buy your home.
Bergen County’s Millennials
Bergen County has traditionally been home to older homeowners. But, according to the latest census reports, it has experienced much higher numbers of millennials in recent years. In towns such as Bergenfield, Ridgefield Park, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, and Mahwah, millennials now outnumber baby boomers and other generations. The median age of Bergen County’s towns is shifting. In Garfield, for example, the median age is now 35 years old.
Why are Millennials Moving to the Suburbs?
Millennials are learning the lesson that other generations learned before them, that there are benefits to putting down roots in great suburbs. They’re learning that the suburbs come with larger homes for the price, unique amenities, and highly ranked schools. Bergen County is home to a staggering amount of 10/10 ranked public schools that attract buyers looking to start families. According to a census report, more millennials are moving out of cities than are moving in.
In urban areas, rent prices keep rising at upsetting rates. The benefits of buying a home far outweigh the benefits of sticking around and renting in the city. In 2016, millennials made up 42% of homebuyers. As millennials are seeing greater work and financial success, they’re able to set aside money for sizeable down payments.
Areas like Bergen County are extremely attractive to millennial buyers. According to niche.com, Bergen County contains several of the top cities for Millennials in New Jersey. Their criteria included things like schools, crime rates, family friendliness, and hot restaurants. Included on their list were Bergen County communities, Ho Ho Kus, Fort Lee, Englewood, River Edge, and Hackensack to name a few. Bergen County is becoming a destination for young buyers.
Within a decade, millennials have gone from college, to career, to families, and are now seeking home ownership. Their greatest obstacle in the current market is no longer financial ability, but a lack of homes for sale. They simply need to find available homes in thriving suburban areas.
How Can You Benefit from this Millennial Home Buying Spree?
While Millennials are out in the suburbs searching for homes, they are hitting a wall: low supply. The current 4.2 month supply of homes is well below the ideal of a 6 month supply needed to have enough homes available for buyers. As a home owner, this is great news for you! List your home and the millennial hoard will flock to your door with a bidding war in tow, right?
Almost. But it’s not quite that easy.
Millennials aren’t approaching home ownership like previous generations. Where a baby boomer or Gen X’er would have been willing to undergo an involved home renovation, millennials aren’t. Not because they’re lazy, but because they aren’t buying homes with the same permanence as other generations. Most of this group view a home purchase as a stepping stone. They assume they’ll be moving to a different home in a few years. Settling in for a multi-year renovation project isn’t on their agenda. They want homes that fit their wish list, not something they’ll need to renovate.
Millennials want to envision themselves in a home. This is why updates and staging are non-negotiable. Update fixtures in bathrooms, appliances in kitchens, and neutralize décor to make your house a blank slate to buyers. Millennials want to walk into a listing and imagine a scene of themselves alongside children and pets. That’s impossible without a bit of prep work from sellers.
Previous generations viewed homes through a lens of financial ramifications. They wanted to know resale value, threw around words like “investment,” and took on long-term equity building projects. Millennials focus on experiential reasons for buying. They want a home they can live in and love from the start. This group wants to know that there are local amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and gyms to make their purchase worthwhile.
By keeping the makeup of millennials in mind when listing your home, you can put yourself on the side of successful sellers courting multiple offers. With the help of our expertise, you’ll have an even greater edge to appeal to the younger generation of buyers looking in your neighborhood. We’ve got a finger on the pulse of this new market, so that we can give you an added edge.
Millennial buyers might have a different makeup than buyers a few years back. But they’re a dynamic group who are ready and excited to purchase their suburban dream homes. All that they need are great houses like yours from great sellers like you. Contact the BC Home Team today to see how we can help you sell your Bergen County home.