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As the millennial generation in Canada grows into their 30’s, it should come as no surprise that they’re making up more of the first-time homebuyer demographic than they ever have before. However, this group of buyers has some distinctly different habits when it comes to homeownership than their Boomer parents do. Here’s how millennials differ:

They’re into home renovations, but mostly for ROI. According to Home Advisor’s State of Home Spending, millennials that spend money on home renovations are hoping to increase their return on investment with smart renovations. Kitchens and bathrooms are their favourite spaces to overhaul, but the focus is often on resale value and functionality.

They’re willing to sacrifice space for lifestyle. Gone is the suburban dream for many younger buyers. Millennials are much more willing to look at condo and townhome ownership, in exchange for a trendy, walkable neighbourhood they love. They’re also into travelling and life experience, meaning they’re willing to spend less on a home if it means they can spend more time and money crossing items off their bucket list.

Millennials are willing to look at creative buying options. Thanks to rising home prices and an increase in single-income buyers, millennials seem more willing to look at more creative options when it comes to financing that first home. These include things like properties with built-in rental suites that provide potential income from tenants, and co-ownership with friends or family members.

The gig economy makes mortgage qualification challenging. Many millennials find themselves working in the gig economy, moving from contract-to-contract or juggling several at once, a phenomenon which impacts this generation disproportionately. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to obtain a mortgage, as lenders prioritize income stability. The good news is that there are still some creative ways for gig workers to look great in the eyes of lenders.