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Do You Think You Know Gen X and Gen Y? Think Again….

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By Jennifer Marchetti

Out of the housing downturn has emerged a new, more informed homebuyer. A homebuyer that is willing to do their homework and eager to earn the right to homeownership.

These findings, detailed in a national survey released today by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, point to a an enlightened, proactive generation of 18-35 year olds, who also happen to represent the next wave of homebuyers in America. Although Gen X and Gen Y have come of age during the housing crises, this groundbreaking study shows they have not been deterred from home buying, but instead are buoyed by the belief that owning a home is a wise and worthy investment…and a very real part of the American Dream.

Knowledge is Power

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents, who represent the estimated 103 million Americans that make up this population, say they have become increasingly knowledgeable about homeownership due to a news cycle that has magnified the real estate industry throughout the past six years. Findings show that these generations of potential homebuyers are not dissuaded from homebuying. Instead, they are eager to buy, believing that owning a home is a key indicator of success (75 percent). Furthermore, they are willing to do their research and save in ways that may surprise those who believe the values of Gen X and Y have strayed from the beliefs of their parents.

“Many people have misconceptions about the priorities, the work ethic and the grit of Generations X and Y,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. “Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate sees a group of people who are wise, proactive and have the right strategic approach to their future. For example, over the last few years high rental statistics have been attributed to a decreased interest in homeownership. Our findings indicate this is not true. The industry needs to be prepared to accommodate this thoughtful, informed population when they are ready to enter the market. And they will be ready.”

Gen X and Y: A Savvy Homebuyer

Today’s Gen X and Y homebuyer is not the buyer of five or more years ago. After the tightening within the mortgage industry and subsequent fallout in the housing industry, today’s buyer is savvier then ever. They are street smart having built an education off Internet and newspaper reports offering real-time insight into the home buying process.

(Source: NAR 2011 profile of homebuyers)

As the survey found, Gen X and Y are knowledgeable, responsible and ready to buy when the time is right.

Additional key findings from the survey:

• They are not the “all about me” generation as 71 percent surveyed believe that home ownership should be earned, not something they are automatically entitled to.

• Additionally, 69 percent believe that the recent housing downturn has made them more knowledgeable about homeownership than their parents were at their age

• For non-homeowners, research is key before making the biggest investment of their lives. Interest rates (59 percent), home prices in a desired neighborhood (59 percent), and the ability to secure a loan (55 percent) are the top areas to research before buying.

• Results show that 75 percent contend that homeownership is the ultimate sign of success, and are not easily influenced by other factors, such as extravagant vacations or expensive and flashy cars.

• Gen X and Y want to make sure they are ready to own. And 69 percent believe someone is ready when they can afford to buy while also maintaining their lifestyle. For 61 percent of respondents, the “readiness indicator” is when they’ve landed a secure job.

For more information regarding the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gen X and Y homeownership survey, visit www.bhgrealestate.com and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/allthingsre.

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