Photo by Mark Moz, courtesy of flickr.
Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1979) is considered to be an especially financially savvy and well-educated group. Gen Xers were born at a time when entertainment and communications technologies evolved right under their noses. This had a direct impact on their perception of work and living environments as adults.
According to several surveys, Gen Xers tend to carry up to 70% more debt than their Baby Boomer predecessors do. Almost all of it is associated with today’s higher housing costs. According to a Wall Street Journal article by Kristen Gerencher, “What we’re seeing is a fundamental mismatch between what these buyers are wanting and what the market is offering. They’re settling for what’s available.” This assessment dates back to 2006, but many in the Real Estate industry agree that it is accurate today also.
Real Estate gurus and Building Contractors also agree that Gene Xers have different expectations when it comes to housing. This generation typically produces smaller families or they are more likely to acquire a home as bachelors because they tend to delay married and family life. Research by the Metropolitan Builders Association indicates that, “They want warm and welcoming houses that look like homes, not museums…They want the best product they can get for the money they spend. And they like details such as wood-trim, porches and exposed beams. Xers appreciate fine carpentry”.
When thinking of a home environment, Gen Xers have an awareness of technology that did not exist so much for their parents. They look for homes that are pre-wired for computer and video. They also have a greater interest in their impact on natural resources. “Environmentally conscious builders score many points with Generation Xers,” according to the Metropolitan Builders Association.
An August 2009 article appearing in the Winnipeg Free Press seems to reveal similar housing trends north of the US border. It adds that, “As much as the Baby-Boom Generation was a breed of workaholics, their kids have a passion for enjoying leisure time”…More important than the investment aspect is the commitment to lifestyle.” Recreational properties are no longer merely an investment. After all, lifestyle begins at home.