Millenials and Money: Homebuyer’s Regret

The term “millenial” references people born between 1981 and 1996, putting their age ranges between 22 and 36 in 2018. Statistics regarding their opinions towards financial management, homebuying, and money in general turned up some surprising results.

The Future of Homeownership

Millenials made up nearly 33% of the home-buying population in 2017. This seems logical and expected — many millenials are now in the age bracket where (even with our economy being as it is) they are either achieving financial independence or financial success. Most have finished school and are firmly established in relationships, eager to take the next step and settle down — maybe even start a family. That’s what generations before them have done: degree, marriage, house, family. However, that tradition may be changing.

A survey offered by Bank of the West saw 600 millenial respondants — of the 42% percent who own homes, an astounding 68% regret their purchase. Their buyer’s remorse is intimately tied to the financial decisions they forgot to consider, or didn’t understand the implications of. Most alarmingly, one in three dipped into their retirement savings to cover the down payment. Ryan Bailey, head of Bank of the West’s retail banking, describes the trend succinctly.

“Millennials are so eager to become homeowners that some may be inadvertently cutting off their nose to spite their face.”

Here’s a breakdown of the results:

  • Four in 10 linked their regret to financial distress
  • One in five discovered damages that needed to be repaired upon moving in
  • Two-thirds compromised on characteristics they desired in their home

Millenials and Their Relationship With Money

A survey run by Wells Fargo tried to get to the root of happiness for the group, and saw 1,771 online respondents. The result was two-fold. Firstly, that millenials linked happiness with stability, and financial success attributed to that stability. Kristi Mitchem, CEO of Wells Fargo Asset Management, explained the connection.

“The more active this generation is with their finances, the happier they are — and this was proven out by the group of millennials who affirm all five statements in what we are calling the Positive Financial Indicator (PFI).”

The statements describe various aspects of financial engagement, from actively pursuing your financial goals and achieving them to ensuring you’re saving for retirement. Around 36% of respondents affirmed all five statements and were happier than those who had not.

The second aspect of happiness for millenials in regards to stability related to relationships, and dominated the poll: love. Survey participants chose between five words that most described happiness to them:

  • Love (62%)
  • Doing good (23%)
  • Money (10%)
  • Work (4%)
  • Power (1%)

Millenials may regret buying homes, but it seems that as long as they’re happy with the friendships and romantic relationships in their lives, everything will be alright.

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