This is part one of The Millennial House Hunt, my series on what I, as a millennial, care about and look for when shopping for a home. Having watched one too many episodes of House Hunters, I thought, “Hey, if these people can do it, why can’t I?” So, I decided to see what it would be like for me to buy a house by undertaking a fictitious home-purchasing quest – millennial style.
The Millennial Homebuyer Setup
A certain suspension of disbelief was necessary, but I want to pursue the millennial search in all earnestness. Following that mandate, I made an outline of realistic limitations (sorry $12,000,000 mansion in Napa Valley, we still love you).
- Millennials would typically be looking to purchase their first home
- A Millennial home buyer would (hopefully) have stable finances and steady income
- They would also (probably) not be looking for mansions and million dollar properties
10 minutes of Googling, and the vast sea of possibilities and permanence of the choice I was looking at nearly sent me scrambling back to the comfort and impermanence of the Leasing Life, “Why do I need a house anyway?”
The house hunt is overwhelming. So, I considered what would be most important in a millennial house search. Speaking as a millennial, where you live is going to play the most important factor in how you live your life.
However, the right location is subjective. What is necessary to the majority of millennials is being near shopping, nightlife, and other Points of Interest. There’s also the need to be in an affordable neighborhood, be in an area with low crime rates, and be around other young people. For me, I want to live in a city. Everything else is, generally speaking, negotiable.
This sparked another round of Googling phrases like “Best cities for 20 year olds”, “Best public transportation”, “Up and coming cities”, “Healthiest cities in the US”, “Best paying cities for women” and my favorite “Google, where should I live?”. I frequently saw San Francisco in these lists, so I narrow my search: “Homes for sale in San Francisco, CA”.
Google’s top results scattered property listing points all across San Francisco with abandon, making me realize I needed more context. Which neighborhood has good nightlife? Where are the young people? Where is the crime happening?
Continuing my search, I find Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, which has points of interest, demographic information, crime rates, and more for each San Francisco area. I also find out I can draw my own boundaries on the map once I find neighborhoods that best suit millennials and filter search results based on local transit and budget.
This site has a lot for me to explore, and not even millennials can find their perfect home in a day, so join me tomorrow when I unveil how to drill down a city into desirable neighborhoods – millennial style.
Image Credit: Jason Jenkins on Flickr.com