Millennials don't want to buy baby boomers' sprawling, multi-bedroom homes, and it's creating a major problem in the real-estate market

Millennials don't want to buy baby boomers' sprawling, multi-bedroom homes, and it's creating a major problem in the real-estate market

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Millennials don't want the same types of homes baby boomers do.


It's well-documented that millennials tend to make different lifestyle choices than baby boomers do, from waiting longer to get married and have children to spending their money on health, wellness, and experiences rather than material goods.

But baby boomers and millennials also want very different types of houses, and it's creating a major problem in the real-estate market.

Fifteen years ago, boomers were building large, elaborate houses in states like Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, The Wall Street Journal reported. Now, faced with the effort of maintaining such houses, they're looking to downsize.

Read more: Millennials are choosing to face 2-hour commutes instead of paying exorbitant rates to live in cities, and it's resurrecting a near-dead part of the suburbs


The only problem? Young people aren't interested in buying their houses, according to the Journal.

"Homes built before 2012 are selling at steep discounts - sometimes almost 50%, and many owners end up selling for less than they paid to build their homes ..." Candace Taylor wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Boomers are looking to downsize - but millennials aren't interested in their homes

"These days, buyers of all ages eschew the large, ornate houses built in those years in favor of smaller, more-modern looking alternatives, and prefer walkable areas to living miles from retail," Taylor wrote.

Younger buyers are also disinterested in outdated interior design.

"Design trends have shifted radically in the past decade," Taylor wrote in the Journal. "That means a home with crown moldings, ornate details and Mediterranean or Tuscan-style architecture can be a hard sell, while properties with clean lines and open floor plans get snapped up."


In addition to their love of open floor plans, millennials are known for being partial to minimalist, low-maintenance designs and sleek, discreet appliances - elements not always found in older homes.

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Millennials want clean lines rather than elaborate, ornate designs in their homes.

Another hurdle for boomers looking to sell is that most younger buyers want to buy modern, newly constructed homes to avoid paying for renovations or plumbing and electric issues, according to a 2018 report from Nationwide Mortgage.

It's also much harder for millennials to buy homes at all

Millennials are often seen as a generation of renters, but many of them actually want to buy homes - it's just much harder for them to do so.

Millennials buying their first home today are likely to pay 39% more than baby boomers who bought their first home in the 1980s, Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported.


Read more: Millennials are buying a lot more homes than you think

The generation is also facing record levels of student-loan debt, making it hard to take on a mortgage loan, as Business Insider's Akin Oyedele reported.

When millennials can finally afford to buy a home, it makes sense that they'd hold out for something that's exactly to their taste.