Generation X: The Rise of the Slacker Generation as Today’s Top Homebuyers
Open any online lifestyle magazine or news reader and you’ll see every article aimed at or by Baby Boomers or Millennials. The older generation of Boomers are learning what life is like after careers and raising families while Millennials are just starting to figure these things out. But sometimes, we forget that there is a small generation sandwiched in the middle. Fun fact, Generation X make up 26% of the overall market. What makes GenX different from both Baby Boomers and Millennials?
The Rise of the Slacker Generation
Generation X were born between 1965 and 1984, according to the Harvard Research Center, and while they were growing up they were often referred to as the “LatchKey” kids. This was the first generation where a significant number of mothers were working outside of the home and divorce was much more common for the parents of this generation than before. GenX was also raised on MTV and considered slackers and lazy. And while they were portrayed in movies, such as Singles, as the disaffected youth unable to function as adults, GenX did grow up. And that lack of ambition was proven untrue as the generation entered university and the workforce.
Now that GenX is well and truly in midlife, it’s clear that this slacker persona was never the case at all. Most have good careers, have achieved a work/life balance, and there are many notable entrepreneurs firmly within their generational cohort.
What does this mean for the homebuying market? Well, GenX is looking for very different living situations than most Millennials or Baby Boomers. Sellers and agents would do well to include them in their strategies.
The Preferences in Location
Location has long been a mantra of real estate professionals. That’s certainly true for what GenX is looking for in their next home purchase. There are two major factors that lead to where they will buy their next home. They want it to be convenient to their jobs and focused on the quality of school districts.
GenX is over the long commute times. They’ve done it, and they don’t want to do it again. They’re ready to find a new place to live that gives them a little more of their day back. They are also the generation most likely to have children in the home, in many cases older children.
Peak Earning Years
Gen X, in their 40s and 50s, are really in their peak earning years. This means they have worked hard throughout their adult lives and are more likely to have earned and saved the money they need to upgrade their homes.
According to Bankrate.com, “The oft-forgotten Generation X spends the most annually on their homes among any generation (almost $23,000), but that amounts to only 33 percent of total annual spending. With an average age of 43—16 years older than the average millennial—more than three-in-five Gen-Xers own rather than rent.”
Housing Concerns for Family Members
Interestingly enough, there’s another concern for GenX that Baby Boomers dealt with differently and Millennials have yet to encounter. GenX is the new Sandwich Generation. That is to say that they may have children at home and are now tasked with caring for their elderly parents.
Baby Boomers fueled the growing nursing home trend, but few of them want to face the same fate as their own parents. Care for older adults is falling on GenX who may be tasked with providing additional housing for their parents. There is a new rise of assisted living facilities, which are updated nursing homes, but some adult children are opting to find space for their moms and dads at home, often sharing with teenage children.
Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc. in West Asheville wants to service every corner of our community. Contact us to learn more about the options available for Generation X and beyond here in the Western North Carolina area.