When it comes to a home's green features, younger buyers placed higher importance on commuting costs than older generations who placed higher importance on a home's energy efficient features and living in an environmentally friendly community.
Millennials tended to make more compromises with their home purchase than any other generation. Millennials most often conceded on the price and size of the home, lot size, distance from job and style of home; whereas nearly half of Older Boomer and Silent Generation buyers made no compromises on their recent home purchase.
As the age of recent buyers increases so does the rate of owning more than one home; among Millennials, 8 percent own more than one home, which could include either a vacation home or investment property; compared to 21 percent of Gen X-ers, 28 percent of Younger Boomers, and 27 percent of Older Boomers, and 26 percent of the Silent Generation.
Home buyers of all ages often begin the home buying process by looking online for properties for sales; however, the frequency of use of the internet to search for homes decreases as age increases. Ninety percent of Millennials frequently used the internet to search for homes compared to less than half of Silent Generation buyers. Younger generations of buyers were also more likely to find the home they purchased through the internet; older buyers most often learned about the home they purchased from their real estate agent.
Buyers of all ages gain many benefits from working with a real estate professional. Among the age groups, younger buyers are more likely to want an agent's help understanding the home buying process, presumably because many are buying a home for the first time. Younger buyers were most often referred to their agent by a friend, neighbor or relative whereas older buyers were increasingly likely to work with the same agent they previously used to buy or sell a home.
When it comes to choosing an agent, reputation was important to buyers of all ages; however, younger buyers more often cited an agent's honesty and trustworthiness as the most important factor compared to older buyers who most often cited the agent's knowledge of the neighborhood -- perhaps because older buyers tend to move further distances and may have less familiarity with area.
The median down payment for Millennials was 5 percent, considerably less than older generations of buyers whose down payment ranged from 8 percent for Gen X buyers to 22 percent for Silent Generation buyers. Younger buyers who financed their home purchase most often relied on savings for their down payment whereas older buyers were more likely use proceeds from the sale of a primary residence.
"An interesting finding is that Older Boomers and Silent Generation buyers found the mortgage application and approval process more difficult than expected compared to younger buyers," said Bishop. "This underscores the ongoing challenges that many creditworthy home buyers face with today's tight credit standards."
The largest group of recent home sellers was from Generation X, comprising 30 percent of recent sales, followed by Younger Boomers (21 percent), Older Boomers (21 percent) and the Silent Generation (19 percent). As the age of sellers increased, the share of married and unmarried couples declined and the percentage of single female home buyers increased, from 4 percent among Millennials to more than 17 percent among Boomer and Silent Generation sellers, perhaps due to death or divorce.
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