Leave it to millennials to turn a trend into a real estate boom! Millennials moving to the suburbs have become more common, but this isn’t the first time they’ve had a massive influence on real estate. Despite the misplaced blame that millennials receive, experts agree that this group has single-handedly transformed Chicago’s real estate landscape like their baby boomer parents.
Consider a typical urban area setup, a massively transformed landscape to provide a live, work, play lifestyle that embraces experience and walkability. With developer visions and millennial needs merging, urban block after urban block now comprises residential towers, cafes, galleries, and coffeehouses. But every generation must reach a stage where they’ve fully grown, and their priorities changed.
For the millennial generation, the oldest of which are approaching the middle-age, these changes encompass kids, skyrocketing rent, a rising cost of living, and the realization that the big city landscapes may lack essential amenities that define suburban lifestyle, including private yards, detached homes, and quality education.
If you’ve been considering shifting to a calmer, serene, and more spacious surrounding with access to all the amenities you need, you’re not alone. Millennials moving to the suburbs has been a consistent trend in the last few years, especially in big cities like New York, Houston and San Francisco. In 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported a substantial boom in suburban America, with millennial homebuyers opting for affordable homes away from cities.
The generation continues to transform Chicago’s suburban landscape as they look for walkable locations that allow them to live, raise families, work, and play. Municipalities, urban planners, developers, and large employers are paying attention.
As the realities of creating families, looking at home prices, and becoming first-time homeowners continue to hit you, the city’s urban landscape you used to adore is now losing its shine.
Millennials Now Form the Most Significant Percentage of Homebuyers
For years, builders and real estate agents have enthusiastically awaited this generation’s entrance into the market.
Millennials were severely affected by the financial crisis as they began their ventures and careers. So most had to delay the milestones that come with homeownership, like getting married, raising kids, and growing a family.
But in 2018, probably a decade down the line, this generation represented the most prominent home buyers group. A 2019 National Association of Realtors report notes that this group constituted 37%. The report also notes that millennial buyers have unique preferences that can sometimes be uncompromising.
The association conducted the study on 5,870 individuals who had recently bought a home through online and hard-copy questionnaires. Its main objective was to survey each generation to ascertain their different attributes in terms of home-buying.
According to the findings, millennial homebuyers were more willing to acquire a previously-owned townhouse or home and refurbish it for their specific needs. Furthermore, this generation is more likely to rely on online avenues for a digital home buying experience.
Millennials moving to the suburbs is not a loss. In most parts of Illinois, suburban communities have transformed into more dynamic living environments than previously. Real estate stakeholders have noted that 30-something year-olds have a growing interest in these areas. With these insights, they’re now developing advanced neighborhoods different from the outdated assembly-line homes that most people associate with the suburbs.
The Impact of COVID-19 on City-to-Suburb Migration
Arguably, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the shift to suburban life in the last year. A recent report by Pew Research center notes that about a fifth of Americans relocated due to the pandemic situation or know someone who moved. The most popular explanation for the migration from city life to suburbia was to lower the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
According to the study, the group with the highest movement rate was those between 18 – 29 years. This demographic encompasses young millennials and their older Gen Z counterparts. The next group was between 30 – 45 years, comprising Gen X’s tail end and older millennials.
Travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders brought by COVID-19 have changed homebuyers’ mindset, and a lot of people are inclined towards the city to suburb migration. Overall, homes are taking longer in the market due to the affected economy. But as the economic state slowly recovers, rural and suburban markets aren’t experiencing this overall stagnation as much thanks to the higher demand.
The preference for suburban landscape and subsequent migration isn’t a new trend. However, the tendency has become more pronounced post the coronavirus pandemic.
After staying indoors for several long months to fulfill the stay-at-home orders, you probably desire more space. Furthermore, most people in the corporate world have moved to full-time remote work. These are likely the primary factors that have made suburban homes more popular among young adults, and you should consider the move as well.
Companies in Chicago are Adapting to The Trend
For many years, most entrepreneurs moved to the city to create sprawling corporate establishments where the grass was greener, and the schools were advanced. Nowadays, however, they’re beginning to move back away from cities. Why? Because this is where millennials are migrating to.
In less than ten years, 50 corporations have shifted their head offices to downtown Chicago. One great example of these established entities is McDonald’s, which had spent decades in distant locations. The burger giant first had its headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, in 1955, but it’s now headquartered in the West Loop community.
McDonalds is just one of the numerous high-profile migrations from urban environments. Other entities that have made this move include Motorola Solutions and Kraft Heinz, and ConAgra Foods. Overall, corporate entities’ migration to Chicago’s suburbs presents these locations with the numerous facilities that you’d expect from your downtown condo location.
So if you’re considering migrating to a suburban home, it’s time you join your cohorts in achieving your goal. All you need to do is get things in order and work with a reliable real estate expert for guidance as you shop around.
Millennial Ideal Suburban Home Must-Haves
Millennials moving to the suburbs have real estate preferences that closely resemble those portrayed by baby boomers. However, this demographic doesn’t want the same suburban experience enjoyed by their parents or grandparents. Instead, the millennial homebuyer is looking for a suburban landscape with an urban twist.
Typical desires among this generation include multifunctional spaces, access to urban centers, and smart homes with sustainable elements.
If you are a millennial, let’s explore what you stand to get in a suburban home:
The importance of property location is consistent across generations. It’s a deciding factor for most millennials moving to the suburbs. You want a home that’s closer to your workplace and accessible to the city, like the communities along the BNSF train route. Suburb landscapes offer walkable neighborhoods with a central downtown area similar to a city center, where you can access parks, bars, coffee shops, restaurants, or gyms.
A majority of millennials prefer suburban homes thanks to their outdoor spaces. You probably fancy the idea of a home with amenities like fences, decks, vegetable gardens, and space for your pets, kids’ play, or a backyard barbecue. Your city condo may not provide all these amenities, and the rent you would pay for such a home is just unimaginable.
Big, Modern Kitchen
You probably want a decluttered kitchen space that fits your growing family, a privilege that you can only afford away from the city. The mid-century homes of Chicago’s suburbs come with a unique expansive kitchen that you can customize to your needs. You’ll no longer be confined to the traditional dining room setup. The houses have an open floor plan that connects the dining and living areas.
Millennials moving to the suburbs also want homes to be equipped with advanced, high-functioning amenities, from standard home appliances to top-shelf security solutions. Fortunately, suburban homes now have state-of-the-art amenities, and varying levels of home automation features to fit your budget. These include automated heating and cooling, security, lighting, and much more.
You want a home with a minimal impact on the environment and lower overall energy consumption. A suburban home gives you more flexibility to tailor the space to match your energy needs. This way, you can easily ensure sustainable living in your expansive area and substantially cut your energy expenditure.
Another crucial feature of millennial homes is the ability to run things quickly and efficiently using durable appliances and amenities. Fortunately, suburban homes are now more utility-focused and offer the convenience you need. The low-maintenance should not be limited to the inside but extend to the yard as well.
More millennials moving to the suburbs now prefer interior layouts that offer more open space for multiple purposes. A smaller, manageable living space with a minimal but sleek interior allows you to interact with guests easily and move around casually. With a suburban home, you’ll get the multifunctional space you need.
The Bottom Line
Moving to the suburbs can be a lifetime decision that you’ll never regret. In these locations, buying or renting a home is relatively cheaper, and you’ll get a much larger space than in the city. Your children will enjoy quality education in a less-crowded and fully staffed learning facility. Furthermore, suburbs are mostly filled with nature, including wildlife and vast vegetation cover.
If you wish to enjoy a stronger sense of community in Chicago’s west suburbs, then search no more. Scout Real Estate Partners are reputable real estate experts with all the resources and networks to link you with a relaxing, modern suburban home. Contact us today, and our qualified agents will listen to your real estate needs.
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