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Published On: Wed, Jan 10th, 2018

Millenials Are Finally Buying Homes But What Can They Do to Keep Costs Down?

Perhaps it’s finally time to put the “lazy” and “entitled” label to bed for Millenials at large.

A decade following the initial recession and housing crisis of 2008, those aged between 18 and 34 represent the largest group of homebuyers in the United States.

photo Alina Ku-Ku via Shutterstock

Given that just six years ago, a staggering one-in-three millennials were living with their parents’, this stat points to a new era where young people are financially empowered to become homeowners.

Chalk it up to financial confidence, an uptick in individual housing markets or young millenials waiting until their early thirties, but this certainly spells good news for the financial situations of young people, right?

The Caveats of Becoming a Young Homeowner

Not necessarily.

Millennials still have a long way to go when it comes to sustaining the lifestyle of the average homeowners. The rise of the gig economy and increased costs of healthcare require many younger people to work paycheck-to-paycheck or otherwise forego insurance that could prevent them from financial ruin.

In other words, being able to buy a home isn’t the be-all, end-all of millennials’ economic status.

Making Millenial Home Ownership a Long-Term Reality

Young people must learn from the mistakes of previous generations and likewise form smart financial habits ASAP. The sooner that millennials understand how to keep costs down as a portion of the population, the less likely they’ll be to fall prey to the mistakes of the past.

Investing in Smaller Starter Homes

The average price of a home sits somewhere around $200,000 in the United States, which of course doesn’t include the cost of renovations and decor. Young homeowners should therefore consider how they can make the most of small spaces rather than trying to “go big or go home.”

Seeking happiness in minimalist and DIY decor is a small inconvenience for the sake of home ownership. Applying a fresh coat of paint yourself doesn’t have to be a headache. Natural light and solar shades can do so much to play with the mood of a room while also keeping energy costs down.

These are the sort of purchases and projects millennials should be looking at upon moving, not something grandiose.

photo: photologue_np via Flickr

Rethinking their Career Paths

Those who get jobs in tough economies typically have a more difficult time raising their earning potential. As such, millennials should look beyond dead-end gigs and never sell themselves short when it comes to new opportunities. While young people may have been burnt by the job market in the past, accepting your fate in terms of your salary isn’t an option.

Downsizing and Smarter Subscribing

Additionally, changes that reexamine your day-to-day spending and habits can put young people on the path to a more financially sustainable lifestyle. Those changes include:

  • Getting rid of cable in lieu of Netflix or Hulu, both of which offer incredibly cheap entertainment options
  • Ditching a secondary vehicle, opting to bike or hitch a ride to work (or likewise sharing rides with spouses, roommates and coworkers)
  • Adopting a more self-sufficient lifestyle centering around experiences instead of possessions

The phenomenon of millenials buying homes en masse for the first time is a welcome change from the gloom and doom often associated with the youth and the economy. Let’s just hope that their momentum doesn’t come to a grinding halt.

Author: Carmelo Hannity

photo 401K 2012/2013 via Flickr

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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