Generations X and Y experienced the housing crisis at very different times in their lives, but they have similar views on real estate, according to a new survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate.
More than 77 percent of all respondents believe they have a better understanding of real estate because of the increased media coverage of the housing market downturn. “When you involve fear and hard times with anything, people pay attention,” says Leighton Dees, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Generations, based in Mobile, Ala.
The survey categorized people ages 18 to 34 as Generation Y, and 35- to 45-year-olds were labeled Generation X.
Additionally, the “American dream” is still alive and well – 75 percent of people see owning a home as a sign of success, more so than fancy vacations, expensive cars or designer clothes. Dees says there is a common belief that getting a loan is difficult nowadays: “It’s a sign of accomplishment when they actually obtain a home.”
To achieve this, 62 percent of people are willing to eat out less, 40 percent would work a second job and 23 percent would move back home with their parents in order to save for a house.
Where people in both generations split ways is their idea of a dream home. According to GfK Roper Reports, a consumer insight group, the parenting generation (X) imagines a family-oriented dream home. Their top three household items are a state-of-the-art kitchen, walk-in closets and a fireplace. Generation Y’s preferences focus on entertainment and fun: Whirlpool, swimming pool and game room make the top three for them.
Technology is one thing that connects them. Dees, who is a member of Generation X, says: “Technology was something that enthralled our generation. The generation behind us has done nothing but advanced that movement. I think our mindset is close… in the way we utilize tools and things around us to interact with our environment.”
Kathy Sheehan, the executive vice president of GfK Roper Reports, predicts that the generations’ differing preferences will stay in place, even as Generation Y grows up. “Gen Y is delaying family formation, they’re getting married later, they’re having kids later. Their needs are different,” she says.